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About Kim Solga

I work in two main areas of contemporary performance studies: early modern performance studies and urban performance studies.
Early modern performance studies examines the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries by exploring in rich detail the cultural contexts in which that work was made, and also thinks about contemporary productions of early modern play texts within the cultural contexts of the producers (that is, you and me). Our culture has a seemingly tireless fascination with four-hundred year old plays; my work asks why that is, and digs deeply into the kinds of contemporary messages (for example, about men and women, about violence, about space and place) we use those plays to communicate to one another now.
When I’m not writing about the early moderns, I’m often writing about cities: what kinds of performances happen in cities, and how they shape the identities of those of us who live there. A few years ago our globe passed an amazing turning point: for the first time in human history more people lived in cities than not. That’s a massive cultural change! As a scholar of urban performance I’m interested in how that change resonates with artists as well as with ordinary people who turn to the arts to help them make sense of this new, citified world. I’m interested, too, in how the economics of a city-planet work – who does what kinds of work in cities, and how that labour is represented, or not, in performances around the globe. In 2009 I was part of a small team that published one of the pioneering books in urban performance studies, Performance and the City, and with my frequent collaborator D.J. Hopkins I’ve just published a new, related volume, Performance and the Global City.
I’m a very collaborative scholar, and I’ve done a lot of work in my career with colleagues whose perspectives I value. Scholarship can be quite solitary labour, but no academic will seriously pretend he or she is doing it all alone - we all collaborate all the time, covertly or out in the open. I prefer the latter approach, and my favourite form of collaboration is editing: it’s a chance to read terrific work by smart colleagues writing about topics of interest to me, and to contribute somehow to making that work even better. In addition to my two city books, both joyous collaborative endeavours, I’ve worked with artists and postgraduate students on a pair of linked, award-winning volumes, called New Canadian Realisms, for Playwrights Canada Press; I’ve worked with students and teaching peers on a special issue of Canadian Theatre Review called “The Activist Classroom: Performance and Pedagogy”; and I’ve recently published a special issue of the journal Shakespeare Bulletin on early modern performance and Naturalism, edited with my long-time friend and collaborator Roberta Barker.
In addition to reading and writing about best teaching practice alongside my regular research, I also write a blog called The Activist Classroom. Students and prospective students are especially welcome to read, follow, and join in the discussion at


Present Affiliate Professor, Women's Studies and Feminist Research, Western University
Present Associate Professor of Drama, Theatre and Performance Theory, Department of English, Western University

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, 2012-14
  • Eugene O'Neill Award, Canadian Association for Theatre Research, 2013
  • Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching, UWO, 2009
  • Standard Research Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 2009-2012
  • Richard Plant Essay Prize, Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR), 2008


  • English 3556: 20th Century Drama
  • Theatre Studies 2202: Performance Beyond Theatres
  • Theatre Studies 3205: History of Performance Theory

Contact Information

University of Western Ontario
London, ON N6A 3K7
Tel: 1 519 661 2111 x80118


Books (5)

Book chapters (8)

Articles (13)