Mr Richard Ashby

Supervised by

  • Chris Megson First/primary/lead supervisor


  • Chris Megson First/primary/lead supervisor


Personal profile

Educational Background:

  • BA, 1st Class Honours – English Literature (Royal Holloway: 2004-2009).
  • MA, Distinction – Shakespeare (Royal Holloway: 2010-2012).
  • PhD, 'King Lear "After" Auschwitz: Shakespeare, Appropriation and Subjectivity in the Catastrophist Playwriting of David Rudkin, Howard Barker and Sarah Kane' (Royal Holloway: 2014-2018).


Personal Profile:

I came to the Drama Department to study for a PhD in 2014, having completed a BA in English Literature and MA in Shakespeare in the English Department at Royal Holloway. My PhD analyses post-Holocaust appropriations of King Lear in British playwriting and drama. My thesis, which passed without corrections in 2018, concentrates on the plays of Howard Barker, David Rudkin and Sarah Kane, but also includes work on a variety of other playwrights and practioners, including Peter Brook and Edward Bond. My PhD shows that post-war British playwrights appropriate King Lear to interrogate and refashion tragedy and subjectivity 'after' Auschwitz.  


My research is funded by the AHRC as part of the TECHNE scheme.


Other research interests include:


  • Shakespeare and early-modern perspective theory.
  • Shakespeare and Lacanian and post-Lacanian theory.
  • Shakespearean tragedy on film.
  • Shakespeare and post-war German theatre, particularly Heiner Muller.
  • Post-war and contemporary British playwriting and drama.
  • Holocaust drama.


I have published work in leading journals in a variety of areas of Shakespeare Studies and also delivered conference papers on Shakespeare, and post-war British drama, at both national and international conferences. I am currently a Visiting Lecturer in the English Department at Royal Holloway, teaching Renaissance Literature and undergraduate and postgraduate Shakespeare, and a peer-reviewer for Adaptation.


I am also a co-organizer of the HARI and BSA funded international conference 'Shakespeare and/as Philosophy' - details can be found here - and I (occasionally) tweet @DrRRJAshby.


I was recently featured in the Drama Department news feed.

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