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Dr Silvija Jestrovic


Associate Professor (Reader) of Theatre and Performance

Tel: +44 (0)24 765 73100
Email: s dot jestrovic at warwick dot ac dot uk

F04, Millburn House
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7HS


Silvija Jestrovic studied playwriting and dramaturgy at the University of Belgrade (1989–1992) and completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Toronto in 2002. From 1990 to 1996 she was a freelance playwright, dramaturge and journalist. Before coming to Warwick in 2005, Silvija was SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow and lecturer at York University in Toronto. Whilst at Warwick she has designed modules that address her interest in performance and exile, avant-garde theatre, playwriting, and theatre and performance theory.

Teaching and supervision

Undergraduate modules
  • Writing for Performance
  • Theatre and Ideology: Exilic Perspectives (not offered this year)
  • From Text to Performance
  • Author Dies Hard
  • Postgraduate modules

MA in International Performance Research Core Faculty

Administrative roles

Senior Tutor

Research interests

  • Exilic theatre and performance, citizesnhip, gender and labour migration
  • Contemporary urban and political performances
  • Cultures of the Left
  • Avant-garde theatre and performance
  • Performance, theatre, and culture of the Balkans
  • Performance analysis
  • Language and intertextuality in drama and performance
  • Writing for performance

My research in performance and exile has been ongoing since 2003 when I co-organised the International Conference on Theatre and Exile (University of Toronto) and co-edited the special issues of Modern Drama on this subject. I have written on exile extensively including essays ‘Performing Like an Asylum Seeker: Paradoxes of Hyper-Authenticity’ (RIDE, 2008; re-printed in C. Bishop’s 'Double Agent' ICA, 2009; in 'European Theatre Practices 1900 to Present' eds. N. Holdsworth and G. Willcocks, Ashgate, 2014; and translated into Serbian for Teatron, 2013) and the co-edited monograph (with Y. Meerzon) Performance, Exile, ‘America’ (Palgrave, 2009). My reserach in the area has also focused on performance of gender in the context of labour migration as part of the UKIERI funded collaborative project Gendered Citizenship: Manifestations and Performance.

I have explored issues of exile and identity in relation to space and performance of resistance in my last monograph 'Performance, Space, Utopia: Cities of War, Cities of Exile' (Palgrave 2012), which marks my intellectual and political engagement with performance practices in Belgrade and Sarajevo during the political upheaval and war in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and beyond. My interest in cities has been further reflected in my most recent essays “Sarajevo: The World City Under Siege” (Performance and the Global City, eds. K. Solga and T.J Hopkins 2013), “Performing Belgrade: Itineraries of Non-Belonging” (Performing Cities, ed. N. Whybrow 2014), “Theatricality vs. Bare Life” (Grammar of Politics and Performance, eds. S. Rai and J. Reinelt, 2014).

My interest in political performance has most recently been developing into research on the cross-cultural performances of the Left, which I have started to explore in the essay “Born in YU: Performing, Negotiating and Transforming an Abject Identity” (Theatre and National Identity, ed. N. Holdsworth, Routledge, 2014), and most notably through the British Academy funded Partnership and Mobility Project 'Cultures of the Left: Manifestaions and Performances' in collaboration with colleagues from JNU (New Delhi).

I have co-editing with Dr Ameet Parameswaram (JNU) the special issue for Studies in Theatre and Performance ‘Worksites of the Left’.

I am also one of the co-editors with S. Rai, M. Saward and M. Gluhovic of the Handbook of Politics and Performance for OUP.

My research interest in the avant-garde and in theatre theory has resulted in my first book Theatre of Estrangement: Theory, Practice, Ideology (University of Toronto Press, 2006) that focuses on the notion of making the familiar strange in Russian Formalism, Russian avant-garde and in Brecht. Building on some aspects of this research, I have started to work on a book-length project 'Author Dies Hard', which explores authorial presence on the level of text and performance.

My interest in playwriting is reflected in articles such as “Playwright between Languages”, “Nomadski jezik”, collaborative projects such as Languages at Play Colloquium (with Italian Department, Warwick 2008), in my teaching, and above all in my practical work. My stage and radio plays have been produced in Belgrade, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.


Office hours


Friday 12-13.30 or by appointment


Undergraduate modules

Writing for Performance

From Text to Performance

Author Dies Hard (not running this year)

Theatre and Ideology: Exilic Perspectives ( not running this year)

Postgraduate modules

MAPA staring in 2020/21