© 2015

Theatre and Human Rights after 1945

Things Unspeakable

  • Mary Luckhurst
  • Emilie Morin

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction: Theatre and the Rise of Human Rights

    1. Mary Luckhurst, Emilie Morin
      Pages 1-17
  3. Colonial Legacies and the Unspeakable

  4. Unspeakability and Ethnicity

  5. Returning Histories, Listening, and Trauma

  6. Theatres of Advocacy and Western Liberalism

  7. Militancy and Contemporary Invisibilities

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 207-207
    2. Mary Luckhurst
      Pages 228-240
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 241-254

About this book


This volume investigates the rise of human rights discourses manifested in the global spectrum of theatre and performance since 1945. Essays address topics such as disability, discrimination indigenous rights, torture, gender violence, genocide and elder abuse.


Theatre of Human Rights Contemporary Performance Political Theatre democracy drama human rights theatre tragedy

Editors and affiliations

  • Mary Luckhurst
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emilie Morin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MelbourneUK
  2. 2.University of YorkUK

About the editors

Ananda Breed, University of East London, UK Marvin Carlson, City University of New York, USA Cathy Caruth, Cornell University, USA Maryrose Casey, Monash University, Australia Michael M. Chemers, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA Catherine M. Cole, University of California, Berkeley, USA Emma Cox, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK Mark Fleishman, University of Cape Town, South Africa Mary Luckhurst, University of Melbourne, Australia Michael McAteer, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary Carol Martin, New York University, USA Emilie Morin, University of York, UK

Bibliographic information


“Editors … have collected an impressive range of international perspectives on human rights and theatre. … What the volume as a whole achieves is an insistence on theatre’s roles in wider cultural (often global) contexts that are about testimony, the recognition of past injustices, mediation, advocacy, and potential catharsis. Contributors offer engaging accounts of examples from a range of places (and eras) in which performance speaks of and through human rights abuses at the level of institutions, states, and international collusion.” (Aylwyn Walsh, New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 33 (1), February, 2017)

“I describe this book as vital to playwrights, artistic directors and serious artistic thinkers alike. … I learned much from this book and it will assist my own work as a playwright. … I suggest that whether you are a theatre practitioner or an audience member, your stage experience will be improved by reading these essays. As I said at the outset, Mary Luckhurst and Emilie Morin have compiled and edited a vital series of essays.” (Hubert O’Hearn, San Diego Book Review, October, 2015)