Leila Michelle Vaziri M.A.

Akademischer Lebenslauf

© Universität Augsburg



Bachelorstudium der Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Philosophie an der Universität Augsburg und der Aberystwyth University, UK


Masterstudium Philosophy and Literature am University College Dublin (UCD), first class honours


Masterstudium Psychological Studies an der University of Aberdeen, Schottland, with distinction

Seit 2018

Promotionsstudium an der Universität Augsburg

Seit 2020

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Lehrstuhl für Englische Literaturwissenschaft der Universität Augsburg


Arbeitstitel: „Phenomenology, sociology and aesthetics in contemporary British drama: the theatre of anxiety“


In our fast moving and globalized world, feelings of fear and anxiety have become ubiquitous, and we often feel overwhelmed by environmental, political and social topics. As a result, global catastrophes and public crises may not just alter our personal behaviour, but also lead to a more pessimistic view of future perspectives. This trend goes beyond mainstream media circles and is increasingly manifesting itself in contemporary (British) drama: As demonstrated in plays by playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, Mike Bartlett, Thomas Eccleshare, Zinnie Harris, Stef Smith, or Alistair McDowall, anxiety is a pervasive factor in the background of many theatre productions throughout the UK, especially in the last five to ten years. Given this central role of anxiety, my aim is to outline the interplay of theatre and anxiety on both a thematic and aesthetic level.
I would like to argue that a strand of contemporary theatre that combines topics of social, political, technological and ecological importance with philosophical and aesthetic implications of anxiety has come to prominence. This strand in contemporary theatre can be characterised as a veritable theatre of anxiety – anxiety as defined by Sara Ahmed as a conglomeration of several objects of fear. In addition to the thematic implications, which I will consider in the context of sociology and social philosophy, my dissertation will also look at philosophical (in particular, phenomenological) notions of anxiety in relation to theatre and comment on the connection of anxiety and meaning. Moreover, I will analyse the aesthetic implications of the theatre of anxiety by looking at the language and text of the plays as well as their performative aspects. I would like to argue that the key to portraying fear and anxiety in dystopian plays, as means to comment on global crises and catastrophes, lies in the crossing of several borders in time, the connection between anxiety, pain and disgust and the destruction of language. Finally, the analysis of eight British plays will show that contemporary drama and performance both aesthetically and contextually reflect on the ways in which the precariousness of modern society induces anxiety as well as on the performative power of this anxiety.

Arbeitsschwerpunkte und Interessensgebiete

- Contemporary (British) drama and performance
- The intersection of literature with philosophy, psychology and sociology
- Eco-drama and performance
- Literature and feminism

Preise und Stipendien

Seit 2019

Stipendiatin der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes


Seit 2020

Stipendiatin des Marianne-Plehn-Programms