Ellen Redling

Colleges, School and Institutes


I joined the department in September 2016, after teaching English Literature and Drama at the University of Heidelberg since 2007. From April 2015 to April 2016 I conducted research at the Drama department of the University of Royal Holloway, London. I studied at the University of Heidelberg as an undergraduate and as the equivalent of a Master’s student (joint honours English & German, 2002-2007) and completed my PhD in 2012 while teaching full time there.

I have been an active member of CDE (German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English) since 2008, when I co-edited the conference proceedings on the topic of Non-standard forms of Contemporary Drama and Theatre. In addition to that I have been a peer reviewer in the field of Contemporary Drama for the journal Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature since 2016.

Research interests

I am currently working on a post-doctoral book project that has the working title ‘Theatre in Times of Uncertainty: Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics in British Big Issue Plays After 2000’. For this project, I gained a prestigious research scholarship which enabled me to live and conduct extensive research in London from April 2015 until April 2016. The plays under consideration in this project feature controversial socio-political as well as ethical discussions and interventions concerning national topics, such as the NHS or the housing crisis, and international themes – e.g. wars, the global financial crisis, Trump and Brexit, terrorism, refugees and climate change. I am particularly interested in analysing how socio-political drama ‘works’ today in terms of its politics, ethics and aesthetics, and how it responds to – as well as interacts with – current issues and a wide-spread feeling of uncertainty in the Western world today.

The post-millennial plays have arguably re-introduced a focus on politics. The second decade of this century might prove to be even more political than the first decade – in the sense that the range of social and political plays that can currently be seen on the British stages has increased immensely. This development not only provides exciting material to work with but also feeds directly into my teaching as it allows me to offer topical courses on a wide range of current issues. Aside from seminars on refugees and climate change in contemporary drama, one can, for example, look at plays dealing with precarious jobs, old age, addiction and mental health.

For this project I was awarded a fully-funded post-doctoral research year in London:

  • 2015-2016: Research year at the Drama Department of Royal Holloway University London (Prof. Dan Rebellato), funded by the German Research Association (DFG)

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research in the following areas:

Contemporary socio-political drama (British and European)
Ancient Greek and Roman plays and their influence on British theatre
Medieval and Renaissance drama
Non-standard forms of contemporary drama and theatre
Drama and narration
Literary and cultural theory and networks
Ethics and drama