Emer O'Toole, PhD
Performance Studies, School of Irish Studies
I study theatre, film and performance, particularly the intersecting influences – in terms of economics, politics, history, race, gender and class – that inform performances of Irishness in a globalized world. I love critical theory, and my frameworks are Bourdieusian, performative, postcolonial and cultural materialist. My research asks questions about power, privilege, identity and culture, and is always underwritten - in a cultural materialist vein - by a commitment to social equality.
My current research projects, funded by the FRQSC and the SSHRC, explore the relationship between contemporary Irish performance and activism.
I am deeply invested in the importance of bringing academic ideas to non-specialist readerships. My popular audience book, Girls Will Be Girls (2015), renders Judith Butler's theory of performativity accessible and, I hope, exciting to a wide demographic. I also write columns for media sources including The Guardian and The Irish Times; these often deal with feminism and Ireland.
If you are a potential graduate student and would like to work with me, I am particularly interested in supervising research on Irish film, theatre and performance that has resonance with my own, but am open to discussing work in adjacent fields.
My Ph.D (Royal Holloway, University of London, 2012) examined the ethics of intercultural theatre practice, with a particular focus on adaptations of J. M. Synge’s canonical Irish play The Playboy of the Western World. The thesis can be downloaded in full here. Articles and chapters based on my doctoral work can be found in journals including Target: International Journal of Translation Studies and The Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, as well as in the upcoming edited collections Irish Migrant Adaptations and Ethical Exchanges.
Following my PhD, I spent a year working on as a postdoctoral research assistant on the Indigeneity in the Contemporary World project, and retain a keen interest in first nations, aboriginal and indigenous art and politics.
I also hold an MPhil in Irish Theatre and Performance from Trinity College Dublin, as well as a BA in Philosophy and English Literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway. My teaching practice is accredited by the UK's Higher Education Academy.
At 300 level I teach:
Irish Performance Studies
Contemporary Irish Theatre
At 200 level I teach:
Introduction to Irish Studies
At 800 level I teach:
I also regularly supervise independent undergraduate field studies in Ireland
Please consult Concordia's class schedule tool (here) to see what I'm teaching this year
I am an ambassador for the National Women's Council of Ireland
I am a fellow of Concordia's Simone de Beauvoir institute
I am a co-convener of Concordia's Feminism and Controversial Humour Working Group
I am a member of the International Federation of Theatre Research, where I served on the executive committee as New Scholars' Representative between 2009 & 2011
I am a member of the Canadian Association of Irish Studies
I serve as performance review editor for the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies