© 2018

Performing Statelessness in Europe


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. S. E. Wilmer
    Pages 1-10
  3. S. E. Wilmer
    Pages 121-138
  4. S. E. Wilmer
    Pages 209-212
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 213-245

About this book


This book examines performative strategies that contest nationalist prejudices in representing the conditions of refugees, the stateless and the dispossessed. In the light of the European Union failing to find a political solution to the current migration crisis, it considers a variety of artistic works that have challenged the deficiencies in governmental and transnational practices, as well as innovative efforts by migrants and their hosts to imagine and build a new future. It discusses a diverse range of performative strategies, moving from a consideration of recent adaptations of Greek tragedy, to performances employing fictive identification, documentary dramas, immersive theatre, over-identification and subversive identification, nomadism and political activism. This study will appeal to those interested in questions of statelessness, migration, and the problematic role of the nation-state.


theatre immigration crisis theatre and citizenship asylum displacement subversive theatre

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity College DublinDublinIreland

About the authors

S. E. Wilmer is Professor Emeritus in Drama and former Head of the School of Drama, Film and Music at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University and UC Berkeley and Research Fellow at the International Research Centre for Interweaving Performance Cultures at the Freie Universität, Berlin. He is the author of Theatre, Society and the Nation.

Bibliographic information


“An adept volume that makes a significant contribution to the rapidly expanding field of migrant and refugee theatre studies. In a way that will be welcome to theatre scholars and students alike, it offers readers the benefit of a long-range view of European performance as well as close insights into selected works at particular times and places. … represents a unique and essential document for reflection on the imminent divergent trajectories of two old, powerful member states of … the EU.” (Emma Cox, Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, Vol. 8 (2), 2020)

“The book presents gems of close performance analysis: an invaluable addition to an archive of contemporary performance … Performing Statelessness in Europe is essential reading material for all students and scholars of theatre who are deeply engaged with and disturbed by today’s social and cultural practices of migration and nationalism.” (Yana Meerzon, Modern Drama, Vol. 62 (2), 2019)