I am interested in why (music) theatre and performance matter to us: What does it do to us, or make us do, culturally, politically, socially? Our senses, meanings and responses to performance are highly contingent on social and historical processes, and so are our sense of self, the identities we perform. We are living in rapidly changing times. We are challenged by globalisation, migration, cosmopolitanism, neoliberalism, austerity, injustice, illiberal democracies. In response to these challenges, theatre is in constant flux, and so are we. Therefore, my research interests lie particularly in interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary performance practices and their relationship with the wider socio-cultural and political contexts in which they operate.
My work splits into two main research directions:
- I engage critically with European theatre and performance traditions that experiment with sound, voice and music, often in interactive and intermedial ways, to discuss developments in spectatorship and aurality (auditory culture and aural literacies). This strand of research includes Aesthetic Theory, (Post-Classical) Narratology, Music Sociology, Opera Studies, Sound Studies (soundscape analysis, psycho-acoustics), and Voice Studies.
- I focus on contemporary political and social issues in the theatre, mainly between Turkey and Europe, which include debates on intercultural community, diaspora, (post)migration, social movements, the Kurdish question, and performative protest. For this, I work with theoretical perspectives and concepts from Postcolonialism (decolonisation), Political Sociology, Critical Race Studies (‘Critical Whiteness’), Social Movement Theory, Feminism and Cultural/Historical Materialism.
For both strands, I regard ethical, pedagogical and policy-related aspects as highly important. They help me to place theatre and performance within the wider contexts of cultural practices and political cultures.
My publications include numerous works on sound, voice and aurality in Performance Research (Routledge 2010), Theatre Noise (CSP 2011), The Legacy of Opera (Brill2013), Disembodied Voice (Alexander Verlag Berlin 2015), and Journal of Sonic Studies (2017). My latest texts on the Gezi protests and Standing Man were published by IPC-Mercator (2013), the Jahrbuch Türkisch-Deutsche Studien (V&R Unipress 2014), and the Turkish journal for historical materialism, Praksis (2016). I am also a co-editor of books: Inside Knowledge: (Un)doing Ways of Knowing in the Humanities (CSP 2009), and Cathy Berberian: Pioneer of Contemporary Vocality (Routledge 2014).
I am currently working on two related book projects:
- I am co-editing a book with Dr Miriam Haughton and Dr Alinne Fernandes, under the working title, Theatre and Commemoration: Crisis and the Performance of Nationhood (to be submitted with Cambridge Studies in Modern Theatre).
- I am preparing an updated version of the PhD, entitled The Frequency of Imagination: Auditory Distress and Aurality in Contemporary Music Theatre (to be submitted with Palgrave).
Further publication projects will focus on the post-Gezi impact on theatre art and protest aesthetics in Turkey and Germany, on opera and nationalism, and on post-migration on the European stage (Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany).