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Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh 

Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Drama and Literary Theory

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh's photo

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh is a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Drama and Literary Theory at the University of Southampton.


My research and teaching focus on almost all aspects of Modern and Contemporary drama in conjunction with philosophy of art and literature, critical theory and literary theory.

As regards various areas of literature, I am primarily interested in modern and contemporary drama and the ideas of tragedy and the tragic in all eras. I am also interested in world drama and literature as well as modern and contemporary poetry in English and beyond.  Theoretically, I am generally interested in phenomenology and post-phenomenological trends in Continental (including Deconstruction and Deleuzian philosophy) and Analytical philosophy; the philosophy of the body and the concomitant issues of somaesthetics, theories of consciousness, memory, and trauma (including various approaches to them such as: phenomenology, neuroscience and the cognitive science); I have also a long-standing interest in the philosophy of the event; psychoanalysis; ethics; eco-poetics and cognitive poetics; and theories of translations.

I would welcome inquiries from graduate students regarding the supervision of MA and PhD theses that concern any of the fields and areas delineated above in conjunction with diverse aspects of modern and contemporary drama and culture, ranging from modern/postmodern tragedy, post-dramatic theatre, to relationship between image and the text, critical representations of the history of medicine and mental-physical illnesses in contemporary dramatic literature.

I am the convener of three modules I have ideated and devised: The first one is World Dramas (1079) which is a first-year core module. The second module is a second year one: Modern Drama since World War II (ENGL 2029). And the third module is a third-year one: American Dreams? Monetized Bodies, Terror and Trauma in American Drama (ENGL 3091).

My first book, in its exhaustive scope, delves into the questions of gender and gender politics, catastrophic ontology, nature and modes of desire, the relationship between embodiment, desire and language, and the inextricable intertwinement between the theological, the ontological and the ethical dimensions in Barker’s oeuvre, all of which constitute the focal points of The Castle and this monograph. Equally noteworthy, numerous crucial dimensions of the foregoing issues remain unexplored and unexamined and in need of elaboration and elucidation. This monograph undertakes to fill this lacuna.  The book is the most extended and sustained analysis of The Castle since Lamb’s engagement with the play predicated on Baudrillard’s theory of seduction. Nevertheless, far from being confined to a single focus on The Castle, the scope extends considerably beyond this play to incorporate analysis and exploration of the same issues (evental approach to history and foregrounding the question of the virtual in Theatre of Catastrophe; the questions of gender, subjectivity and desire; God/religion; aesthetics of the self; autonomy-heteronomy; an evental ethics realized in the spiritual-carnal proximity between the self and the Other; disciplinary apparatuses; somaesthetics of the body; and the relation between political and libidinal economy) at stake in 20 other plays by Barker (including Rome, The Power of the Dog, The Bite of the Night, Judith, Possibilities, I Saw Myself, Fence in Its Thousandth Year, The Gaoler’s Ache for the Nearly Dead, The Brilliance of the Servant, Golgo, among others).  It is worth indicating that this is the first book that proposes the illuminating relevance and applicability of Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of the event, of micro-politics of desire and affective aesthetics to Barker’s work. 

In my second book I have approached and explored Barker’s corpus (theoretical, poetic and dramatic) interweaving philosophical and critical analysis. My thesis was entitled "Howard Barker's Theatre of Aporias: from a Phenomenology of the Body to an Ontology of the Flesh, Questions of Ontology, Aesthetics and Ethics in Barker's Work". The book seeks to demonstrate how Barker is primarily a European dramatist in whose tragic theatre aesthetics, ethics, and ontology are treated aporetically. Barker’s drama, in this study, is succinctly characterized as the drama of sense and différance which is inherently traversed with the question of aporia. The concept of aporia forms and inform the thesis. Aporia, as deployed here, designates a situation or condition in which the conditions of possibility prove as the conditions of impossibility. Furthermore, my deployment of “aporia” more than being confined to a strict philosophical-conceptual sense or logic, articulates a topological mode of relationality between two entities or processes which is at once non-synthetic and non-dualistic. Put concisely, to demonstrate the aporetic nature of the three foregoing domains in Barker, I have focused on four pivotal matters - body, death, subjectivity, and language - while the question of ethics (of the Other and the Event) subtends the whole book.

It is paramount to mention that I am the academic translator of Howard Barker's works from English into Persian (for a detailed lists of works see my Publication Section).  I have also written several critical articles on his plays and his book on death both in English and Persian. In the field of philosophy, I have translated Derrida’s Aporias and Merleau-Ponty's The Visible and the Invisible. I have also been the literary editor of the book Bio-Energy Economy. I have also published a collection of my poems entitled These Who Are Lying Awake under Your Skin, and proposed a new trend in Iranian poetry called Chaos Poetry.


Top student in BA (Hons) in English Literature (summa cum laude)

The second highest rank in the nation-wide MA entrance examination

Top student in MA in English Literature (summa cum laude)

Top student in MA in Philosophy (continental philosophy)

Internal Award from the English and Comparative Literary Studies Department of Warwick University (24000 £)

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Authored Books

These Who Are Lying Asleep under Your Skin: A Collection of Poems (by Alireza Fakhrkonandeh), Nashr Cheshmeh Publications, 2016.

Body and Event in Howard Barker's Drama: From Anastrophe to Catastrophe in The Castle and Other Plays. Palgrave, Macmillan 2019. 180 pp.

Authored Articles (in English):

“The Ethics of Representation: Punctum Language, Evental Photography, and Affective Scenography in Howard Barker’s Drama”; in ANQ: A Quarterly of Articles, Queries, and Notes; Routledge. October 2017, pp. 1-13 (8900 words).

“Hermeneutic Color-blindness and Shadow-Writing of Power: An Analysis of the Questions of Hermeneutic, Aesthetic Method and the Body in Howard Barker’s Scenes from an Execution” in Theatre Quarterly: An November 2017, pp. 1-35. Peer reviewed.

“Noli Me Tangere: The Efflorescence of the Third Skin in the Torsions of Pain, An Analysis of Howard Barker’s The Europeans”; in Textual Practice, April 2017, pp. 1-35.

“Melancholy Ontology, Evental Ethics, and the Lost (m)Other in Howard Barker’s Theatre of Catastrophe: A Case of 13 Objects” in Comparative Drama (published by Michigan University), Winter Issue 2016, pp. 365-405.

“The Acousmatic Voice as the Chiasmatic Flesh: An Analysis of Howard Barker’s Gertrude-The Cry" in Symploke, issue 22:1-2, December 2014, pp. 193-255.

“Asyntactic Contact with Fleshless Words: A Critical Reading of Howard Barker’s The Castle”. Journal of Contemporary Drama in English (JCDE), December 2013, pp. 279-298.

 “Chaos Poetry: A Propositional, Theoretical Scheme for Analyzing Various Modern and Avant-Garde Trends in Persian Poetry” in Mehraveh Journal of Arts, Literature and Culture 2009, pp. 185-220. Peer-reviewed. 

“Prufrock: On the Couch or in the Street. A Schizoanalytical Reading of T. S. Eliot’s Early Poetry and Thought,” under review.

Translated Books

The list does not include all my translated works:

No End of Blame (by Howard Barker), Gaame No and Farda Pubs. 2010.

Death, the One and the Art of Theatre (by Howard Barker), Gaame No Pubs. 2010.

Scenes from an Execution (by Howard Barker), Bootimar Pubs., 2014.

The Castle (by Howard Barker), Bootimar Pubs., 2015.

Arguments for a Theatre (by Howard Barker), Bootimar Pubs., forthcoming in 2016.

The Eyes of the Skin (by Juhanne Pallasma), Cheshmeh Pubs. 2014.

Pity in History (by Howard Barker), Porsesh Pubs. 2012.

Blok/Eko (by Howard Barker), Ghatreh Pubs. 2016.

Victory (by Howard Barker), Cheshmeh Pubs. 2009.

Aporias (by Jacques Derrida), Porsesh Pubs. 2010.

The Visible and the Invisible (by Maurice Merleau-Ponty), forthcoming with Adineh Pubs.


Conference Papers

“Re-Embodying Abstract(ed) Bodies in the Disembodied Tehran: Modes of Somaesthetic Practices in Iranian Heterotopias” delivered at Somaesthetics of the City conference held in The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture University of Florida, USA.  26-7 January 2017      

“Encastling in Contemporary Drama: Walls, Wallpapers, and Neo-Medievalism in Europe and Beyond” delivered at Strong hold: Castles and the Culture of Nation Building held in Southampton Art Gallery, UK. June 2017

"An Anatomy of Affect in Howard Barker’s Theatre of Catastrophe: An Exploration of Evental Ontology and Evental Aesthetic-Ethic;” delivered at Mood Aesthetic, Psychological and Philosophical Perspectives, held on the 6th-7th of May 2016, at The University of Warwick.

"Howard Barker and the Possibility of a Psychoanalytical Reading: An Ontological-Schizoanalytical Approach”, delivered at For a Materialist Psychoanalysis Conference, held at the University of Warwick, May 8-9, 2015.

"Ethics of the Event and Evental Ontology in Howard Barker’s Theatre of Catastrophe”, delivered at Deleuze & Aesthetics: Annual National Deleuze Scholarship Conference; held at Radboud University Nijmegen The Netherlands, the 5th of June, 2015.

"Noli Me Tangere: The Efflorescence of the Third Skin in the Torsions of Pain”, delivered at “Between Bodies/Bodies Between International Conference” held in Ireland, April 2013.

"Prufrock: on the Couch or in the Street: A Schizoanalytic Reading of T. S. Eliot’s Early Poetry and Thought”, presented at Modernism Now International Conference, London 2014.

"Is Everything in the Text or the Context? Trace as a Means of Writing a Contextual Text”, delivered at Warwick Annual Postgraduate Symposium, May 2014. 

"Aporia in Arcadia (A Philosophical Reading of Barker’s Ego in Arcadia)”, presented at Warwick Annual Postgraduate Symposium, May 2013.

"Con/T(r)actile Aesth/Ethics: A Philosophical Reading of Howard Barker's The Castle", presented at Warwick Annual Postgraduate Symposium, May 2012.


Book Chapters

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/1005

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