I graduated with my PhD in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway in 2019. Recently I was a Research Assistant on the Early Modern Studies in the Global Classroom project, as well as a Research Assistant on the Curriculum and Canon project collecting data on early modern drama performed at Dublin’s Werburgh Theatre. At present I am an Occasional Lecturer at University College Dublin.

I am the author of the forthcoming Irish Shakespeares: Gender, Sexuality, and Performance in the Twenty-First Century, currently under contract with Routledge. This is an expansion upon my doctoral dissertation (fully funded by the Irish Research Council), and looks at contemporary Shakespeare performance by Irish practitioners inside and outside of Ireland, exploring their engagement with gender, queerness, and feminisms, and exploring this in tandem with its contested relationship with issues of Irish national identity. Case studies include Druid Theatre’s Henriad adaptation DruidShakespeare (2015), Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of The Taming of the Shrew (2016), the Abbey Theatre’s production of Twelfh Night (2014), and the Almeida/Harold Pinter Theatre production of Hamlet (2017). I am also working on a number of projects, including: Stage Traffic: Shakespeare and the Irish Actor, a history of Irish Shakespearean actors; a history of Twelfth Night in performance; and a co-edited collection on the idea of the Shakespearean actor.

My research interests include: early modern performance studies; Shakespeare and Ireland; theatre and celebrity culture; the histories of actors, acting, and acting practices; theatre history and historiography; audience and reception studies; contemporary Irish and British performance; and queer and feminist theory and performance. I am currently writing and developing articles and book chapters on Irish Shakespeare performance; Shakespeare on film and celebrity culture; and the terminologies of early modern performance studies.

From 2015-2018, I served on the steering committee of the Society for Theatre Research’s New Researchers’ Network. I also co-hosted the podcast Feminist Theatre Squadron, and have contributed my work to Women Are BoringShakespeare in Ireland, and Reviewing Shakespeare.

I’ve taught undergraduates in Drama at NUI Galway, and have also taught in the Discipline of English at NUIG, the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, and in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. I specialise in and have taught classes on theatre histories and historiographies; global Shakespeares; the history and practice of performing Shakespeare; film and Shakespeare; revenge tragedies; approaches to staging classical texts; modern Irish theatre; and comedy in performance. (And, of course, I am always open to specialising in other areas too.)


2014-2018: PhD candidate and IRC Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar, NUI Galway. Passed without corrections.

2012-2013: MA in Shakespeare and Theatre with Distinction, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.

2008-2012: Double First Class Honours in English and History with Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway.



Emer McHugh, Irish Shakespeares: Gender, Sexuality, and Performance in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming with Routledge).



Delia Jarrett-Macauley, Emer McHugh, and Varsha Panjwani, ‘Richard II at Shakespeare’s Globe: A Collective Perspective’, Otherness: Essays and Studies (forthcoming 2021).

Emer McHugh, ‘Writing (Irish) histories on the body: DruidShakespeare, gender, and the Shakespearean history play’ (under consideration at Shakespeare Bulletin).

Emer McHugh, ‘Shakespeare Performances in Ireland, 2018-2020’, Shakespeare Survey (forthcoming, invited to submit by summer 2021 for publication in 2022).

Emer McHugh, ‘Defining and Doing Shakespeare/Early Modern Performance Studies: Theory and Praxis’ (in preparation).


Book Chapters 

Emer McHugh, ‘Irish Shakespeare Performance (Faraway, So Close!)’, in Shakespeare and Anti-Fandom, ed. by Kavita Mudan Finn and Johnathan Pope (proposal in preparation).

Emer McHugh, ‘A shared language: placing and displacing Shakespeare in the Irish national theatrical repertoire’, in ­Negotiating Ireland’s Theatre Archive: Theory, Practice, Performance, ed. by Barry Houlihan (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2019), pp. 123-40. 

Emer McHugh, ‘“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart”: staging Irish womanhood at the Globe’, in The Taming of the Shrew: The State of Play, ed. by Heather C. Easterling and Jenny Flaherty (London: Bloomsbury/The Arden Shakespeare, 2021), pp. 144-68.


Encyclopaedia Entries

‘Derek Jarman’, The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Global Shakespeare, ed. by Alexa Alice Joubin (forthcoming).

‘Druid Theatre Company.’ The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Global Shakespeare, ed. by Alexa Alice Joubin (forthcoming).

‘Druid Theatre Company’, The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Global Shakespeare, ed. by Alexa Alice Joubin (forthcoming).

‘Andrew Scott.’ The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Global Shakespeare, ed. by Alexa Alice Joubin (forthcoming).

‘Ruth Negga.’ The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Global Shakespeare, ed. by Alexa Alice Joubin (forthcoming).


Book Reviews and Essays

Emer McHugh, Queer Shakespeare: Gender and Sexuality, ed. by Goran Stanivukovic, Early Theatre 22.1 (2019), pp. 223-6.

Emer McHugh, The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, ed. by Magda Romanska, Platform 10.6 (2016), pp. 102-4.

Emer McHugh, Shakespeare in the Theatre: Trevor Nunn (Russell Jackson), Peter Sellars (Ayanna Thompson), Patrice Chereau (Dominique Goy-Blanquet), and the National Theatre, 1963-75 (Robert Shaughnessy), Shakespeare Quarterly (forthcoming).


Performance Reviews and Essays

Emer McHugh, Hamlet at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, Shakespeare Bulletin 37.1 (2019), pp. 138-41.

Emer McHugh, The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane at the Abbey Theatre, Shakespeare Bulletin 36.4 (2018), pp. 731-4.

Emer McHugh, ‘Almeida Theatre’s Hamlet’, Early Modern Culture 13 (2018), pp. 252-4.

Emer McHugh, Othello at the National Theatre, The Shakespeare Institute Review 3 (2017), pp. 5-7.

Emer McHugh, The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Shakespeare in Ireland. <https://shakespeareinireland.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/review-taming-of-the-shrew-shakespeares-globe-2/&gt;.

Emer McHugh, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Abbey Theatre, Reviewing Shakespeare. <http://bloggingshakespeare.com/reviewing-shakespeare/midsummer-nights-dream-abbey-theatre-dublin-ireland-2015/&gt;.

Emer McHugh, Twelfth Night at the Abbey Theatre, Reviewing Shakespeare. <http://bloggingshakespeare.com/reviewing-shakespeare/twelfth-night-abbey-theatre-dublin-ireland-2014/&gt;.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

‘Kenneth Branagh, Irishness, and the Shakespeare Industry’, Irish Society for Theatre Research annual conference 2021. Queen’s University Belfast, May 2021 [postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic].

*‘English histories and Irish lenses: navigating space, place, and history in DruidShakespeare’, Shakespeare’s Globe/London Shakespeare Centre symposium on Performing the Histories. Shakespeare’s Globe, TBC [postponed from March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic].


Irish Renaissance Seminar, 2014-present

European Shakespeare Research Association, 2014-present

British Shakespeare Association, 2014-present

International Shakespeare Association, 2014-present

The Society for Theatre Research, 2015-present

The STR New Researchers’ Network, 2015-present

Shakespeare Association of America, 2015-present

International Federation for Theatre Research, 2017-present


Emer McHugh

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