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TEATERVETENSKAP: Guest lecture with Rashna Nicholson (Hong Kong University)


Datum: torsdag 25 november 2021

Tid: 13.00 – 15.00

Plats: Via Zoom

Welcome to a guest lecture in Theatre and Dance Studies with Rashna Nicholson, Hong Kong University.

On Thursday, November 25, Rashna Nicholson will give a lecture on the subject Parsi theatre, Cultural Compradorship and Entertainment Districts in Colonial Bombay.


This paper traces the origins and development of three distinct entertainment districts in colonial Bombay in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It analyses how theatre buildings, that is, institutionalised performance spaces first emerged in Western India and how these spaces functioned as sites of socio-political collaboration and contestation between colonial authorities, comprador elites, and indigenous communities.Through three case studies: the Grant Road Theatre, the Gaiety Theatre and the Royal Opera House, the paper examines how urban performance spaces mediated relationships, functioning not only as spaces for the consolidation of colonial rule but also as a grey zone of ambiguity and difference that incubated inter-communal hostilities, sedition and subversion.

Rashna Darius Nicholson is a cultural historian who holds a PhD (summa cum laude) in Theatre Studies from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. She studied Performance Studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the University of Copenhagen and held a junior research fellowship at the ERC-Developing Theatres project at the University of Munich. Her research and teaching specializations include nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty first century theatre history, historiography, and practice; postcolonial and world literature; and cultural development. Rashna’s first monograph, The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage: The Making of the Theatre of Empire (1853-1893)which traces the origins and early development of the colonial South Asian theatre is due to be published in 2021. She is currently working on two projects: the influence of the Rockefeller and Ford foundations on theatre in the Global South during and after the Cold War and the lost theatre buildings of Hong Kong. In fall 2021, she is a Babro Klein fellow at the Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study in Uppsala.

For questions, please contact Meike Wagner.