Claire French


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am particularly interested in hearing from doctoral students exploring multilingual dramaturgies and methodologies in performance.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Prior to the University of Birmingham, I taught at the University of Warwick (UK) and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK). I have completed two postdoctoral fellowships: The Arts Research Africa and Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Award at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and the Institute of Advanced Studies Early Career Researcher Postdoctoral Award at the University of Warwick (UK). I currently hold Associate Fellowships at these two universities to maintain reciprocity and sustainability in my practice research collaborations. Additionally, I have research projects ongoing at The University of Sydney (Australia) and Aarhus University (Denmark).

I am also a practitioner, having worked as a dramaturg and producer across professional stages in London (UK), Berlin (Germany) and Perth (Aus) and as a facilitator of community practices in London, Birmingham (UK) and Johannesburg (SA), while developing projects challenging the intersections of these Euro/Anglo arts industry binaries. My documentary theatre carves out processes of making performance that privilege the storyteller in their unique social, epistemological and interactional context – to unearth new truths, new connections and new cultural literacies. I have experience across many articulations of diversity, facilitating intergenerational community groups (The Old Vic, London), elders (Visible Theatre, London), asylum seekers and refugees (Evelyn Oldfield Foundation, London) and leading open intercultural workshops (Creative Multilingualism, University of Oxford). Borrowing from my research, I seek to situate linguistic hegemonies in these multilingual, applied and autobiographical performance contexts.

More about my work can be found at

Research interests

My recent practice research project 'Decolonising language ideologies in the body' with Sibusiso Mkhize developed improvisational approaches to multilingual South African (isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, English) performance making at the University of the Witwatersrand. This research advances decolonial, multilingual and intercultural theatre and performance frameworks and will be featured in three forthcoming chapters (2023) of edited collections as well as my monograph Making multilingual performance: Omission, alignment, disruption (Routledge 2023, Forthcoming).

Previous research projects have included Indigenous multilingual and intercultural dramaturgies with Professor Jaky Troy, University of Sydney; and translanguaging and youth art-making with Dr Rachael Jacobs for UNESCO and Western Sydney University.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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