Dr. Nicole Winsor is a College of Arts and Letters 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellow in English at the University of Notre Dame. In July 2018 she defended her doctoral dissertation, In the Wake of Revival and Revolution, 1915-2005: Postcolonial Modernist Theatre and Performance in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, receiving her Ph.D in English with a minor in Irish Studies from Notre Dame. She is originally from New Zealand and she received her Master of Arts specializing in Drama with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland. Nicole’s broad areas of research are global anglophone modernisms/modernities and postcolonial theatre and performance. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and is forthcoming in the Journal of Modern Literature.
Her research is informed by methodologies and theories of comparativism, postcolonial studies, modernism and modernity studies, performance analysis, spatial and material culture studies, and queer historical materialism, all of which allow for a critique of the cultural politics of drama and performance as they interact with a wide range of historical experiences of modernity. She is, more broadly, interested in interrogating the development of Western civilization and modernity and the effects that imperialism, Enlightenment modernity, and coloniality have had upon the cultural developments of diverse regions of the globe (including Oceania, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and Ireland).
Her monograph, In the Wake of Revival and Revolution, 1915-2005 examines how politically and aesthetically radical modernisms are generated out of geohistorically specific modernities that are characterized by energies of cultural revival and socio-political revolution. By tracing the aftereffects of cultural, social, and political movements within postcolonial modernity as they intersect with theatre and performance practices and history in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, she offers an analysis of how postcolonial modernist theatre and performance becomes a simultaneously funereal and celebratory vigil over the vicissitudes of modern life in newly reconfigured postcolonial nation-states.
This comparative study of plays by Irish playwrights William Butler Yeats, Denis Johnston, Lennox Robinson, and Mary Manning; Australian playwrights Wesley Enoch, Deborah Mailman, Josephine Wilson, Erin Hefferon, John Romeril, and Andrew Bovell; and New Zealand playwrights Briar Grace-Smith, Apirana Taylor, Jacob Rajan, Justin Lewis, and Michelanne Forster, spans the twentieth century and reaches into the first decade of the twenty-first. She includes Irish plays written from 1915-1935, and Australian and New Zealand plays from 1990-2005, demonstrating that playwrights and theatre practitioners respond acutely and in radical aesthetic ways to their respective modernities. She identifies formal patterns of melancholic temporal impasses, surrealism, orientalism, and modes of futurity, demonstrating how postcolonial modernists engender artistic, political, and cultural utopias and affects of hope within the nation-state. They do this by sampling both the utopic and dystopic affective, social, cultural, and political energies of everyday life, containing and exploding them within the apparatus of the theatre.
The postcolonial modernisms she explores in this monograph emerge in anticipation of and develop alongside the postcolonial modernities of newly reconfigured nation-states; as such, they are neither derivative nor belated instances of British or American modernism. Her analysis of theatre, performance, drama, and modernity intervenes in recent debates in modernist studies by offering a new account of the commensurabilities between these three instances of modernism/modernity. By comparing the lived experiences of subjects within these postcolonial modernities as well as the dramatic forms which such a milieu produces in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, her work shows that while the narrative content of these modernisms differ, the various forms of aesthetic responses to these instances of postcolonial modernity have strong affinities which go beyond the particularities of each country’s geohistorical context.
Nicole is a member of the International Network for Comparative Humanities, a global consortium of scholars organized by Princeton University in partnership with the University of Notre Dame. She has participated in conferences and symposiums run by the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, the American Conference for Irish Studies, the Australian and New Zealand Studies Association of North America, and the New Zealand Modernist Studies Consortium. During Summer of 2017 she participated in the Global Dome Dissertation Workshop Program organized by Notre Dame in partnership with the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. She was also a finalist for the University of Notre Dame Shaheen Three Minute Thesis competition (see video below).
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