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Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh 

Assistant Professor in Modern and Contemporary Drama and Literary Theory

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh's photo

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh is an Assistant Professor in Modern and Contemporary Drama and Literary Theory at the University of Southampton. 


Whilst Alireza is widely known as a Barker scholar, he, as is evidently reflected by his publications, more broadly specializes in modern and contemporary Anglo-American drama, World Literature (with a particular focus on Persian, Arab and African literatures), literary theory and philosophy of literature. Alireza is primarily interested in World Literature(s) and World Drama(s) with a specific focus on the works which are mainly concerned with the questions of the ethical, aesthetic and ontological facets of environment, ecology, and energy resources. Alireza’s research and teaching span all periods of Anglo-American literature, with a focus on twentieth and twenty-first century narratives about fossil energy extraction. His interests include the immigrant and ethnic literatures, proletarian fiction, disaster and environmental writing, critical race theory, and the relationship between affect, toxicity, and literary form.

Concerning the areas of literature, Alireza is primarily interested in the entanglements between theory and literature (with a specific focus on the intersections between postcolonial, decolonial and world literatures, the philosophy of mind-body relationship, and the philosophy of the event). These three broad categories include some specific trends such as Energy and Environmental Humanities, ecocriticism, Affect Studies, and Trauma Studies in relation particularly to drama and fiction. Alireza has also dedicated a significant portion of his research to the exploration of the literary representations, critical history, and psychoanalytical treatments of mental health, therapy culture, and various psychopathologies (including schizophrenia, melancholia and other psychosomatic issues). Among the other focal points of his research have been the ontology, ethics and aesthetics of the “evental” in the context of such ideas and paradigms as the Decolonial, Capitalocene, Anthropocene, and Disaster Capitalism, along with the use of literature as either a representational or interventionist space for tackling them.    

Recently (2021), Alireza was granted a SIAH award for his Cultures, Ecologies, Economies of Oil project based on which he ran four series of cross-disciplinary talks revolving around the questions of oil cultures, oil literatures, energy humanities, alternative energy forms, and energy futures. The talk series featured eminent scholars working in the fields of environmental history, Energy Humanities, Postcolonial Studies, Ecocriticism, and political economy. For a detailed account of the talks click on the link below:

Alireza is currently engaged in the completion of his two-volume book on Oil and World Dramas (under contract with Routledge). The first volume, entitled: Oil and World Dramas: From Petro-Mania to Petro-Melancholia, A World-Systemic Analysis of Oil Cultures and Literatures in the UK, USA, and Europe (under contract with Routledge) is due to be published in 2022.  This is a pioneering, two-volume, book in the emerging field of Oil literatures and cultures, and the more established field of World Literatures. This book is not only the first full-fledged book on oil and modern and contemporary drama, but also the first book on oil and world dramas. This book takes as its sweeping scope the entirety of dramatic literature concerned with oil produced in the frontiers of oil production or oil-owning countries. These prominently include: America, Iran, the Arab world, Africa, England, and Scotland. This task is pursued over the course of two volumes where the first volume is dedicated to representations and perceptions of oil in the Anglo-American, Scottish and European world; and the second volume to Iran, Africa and the Arab world.  
Alireza 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.

Alireza is the convener of four modules: Approaches to the Long 20th Century (an MA core module), World Dramas (a first-year core module), Burning Worlds, Pipeline Dreams, and Climate Crisis: Traumas and Aporias of Oil and Other Energy Modes in World Dramas (a third-year module), and American Dreams? Monetized Bodies, Terror and Trauma in American Drama (a third-year module). 


  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy , awarded in 2019. 
  • The Most Engaging Lecturer, 2019 (Awarded by the Student Union, University of Southampton) 
  • SIAH Award for the (2000 £).
  • PhD Thesis Fund, awarded by the English and Comparative Literary Studies Department, 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 NNN: 65/1005

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