Dr Emma K Cole

FHEA, BA(Syd.), MA(U.C.Lond.), PhD(U.C.Lond.)

  • BS8 1TB

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a scholar of the reception of Greek and Roman literature. My area of expertise lies in the reception of Greek tragedy in contemporary theatre. My first monograph, Postdramatic Tragedies, was published through the Classical Presences series at Oxford University Press in 2019; it analyses receptions of Greek and Roman tragedy that come under the banner of 'postdramatic theatre', and argues that classical tragedy has played a crucial role in the development of the postdramatic, and that the postdramatic provides key insight into the role of tragedy in modernity. I have previously published the co-edited collection Adapting Translation for the Stage (with Geraldine Brodie, for Routledge's Advances in Theatre and Performance Studies series, shortlisted for the 2019 TaPRA prize for editing), alongside articles and chapters on Sarah Kane, Martin Crimp, and Katie Mitchell. I also write for a number of popular publications including The Theatre Times, The Conversation, and Exeunt Magazine.

Throughout 2019-2021 I am completing an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (ECR Route) for the project Punchdrunk on the ClassicsThe project will pioneer a new direction of research in classical reception regarding the classics and immersivity. The research project builds upon my prior work as academic consultant on Punchdrunk’s Kabeiroi (2017) and involves me being seconded to the theatre company in a knowledge-exchange arrangement. The fellowship will result in a monograph, as well as a series of collaborative events between academics and practitioners on knowledge exchange and the creative industries and the classics and immersivity.

Together with Dr Lyndsay Coo I co-ordinated the Arts Faculty 'Tragedy' Research Cluster (2017-18, 2018-19).

Contact Information

Office: Mezzanine (accessed from level 1), 11 Woodland Road

Email: emma.cole@bristol.ac.uk

Twitter: @Emma_Cole1

Consultation Hours: By appointment

Research Supervision

I am currently supervising postgraduate work on cognitive approaches to Dionysiac rituals, ekphrasis and dance, rehearsal and devised theatre, and operatic responses to Euripides' Bacchae. In the past I have supervised dissertations on postcolonial receptions of the classics, and the reception of the classics in video games, alongside a range of undergraduate Classics, Classical Studies and joint English/Classical Studies dissertations. I would be happy to discuss research projects on the reception of Greek tragedy and epic, on immersivity and the classics, on the reception of Aristotle's Poetics, and on any of the contemporary dramatists and companies about whom I have published (Katie Mitchell, Martin Crimp, Sarah Kane, Tom Holloway, The Wooster Group, Simon Stone and The Hayloft Project, ZU-UK, Jan Fabre, and Punchdrunk). 


I teach in both Liberal Arts and Classics, across all levels of our programmes. In 2020-21 I am teaching the Year 1 Classical Studies module Literature.

I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in October 2016. 

Further Information

Alongside academia, I work as a dramaturg and academic consultant on new writing and classical adaptation projects, and welcome contact from potential collaborators. 

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition
  • Reception


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