Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Théo Aiolfi

IATL/IAS Early Career Fellow

t.aiolfi@warwick.ac.uk

Linktree

Twitter

Academia.edu

Research Gate

Office: SH2.21 (Senate House)

Teaching 2021/22

IL028/128: Understanding Wellbeing

IL001/101: Forms of Identity

Advice and feedback hours (during term time) on Mondays from 14:00 to 15:00 in SH2.21

 

Dr Théo Aiolfi is an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) and the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) of the University of Warwick. After receiving a BA in International Relations from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and an MSc in Global Governance & Ethics from University College London (UCL), Théo joined the University of Warwick in 2017 where he started his doctoral research at the department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS).

Working in conjunction with the department of Theatre and Performance Studies (TPS), his doctoral project was supervised by Shirin Rai (PAIS) and Silvija Jestrovic (TPS), and it was funded by a Departmental Scholarship offered by the department of Politics and International Studies.

Thesis Title
Charting the Populist Style: Trump, Le Pen and the Populist Repertoire of Exclusionary Nationalism

Théo’s interdisciplinary research is located at the intersection of politics and performance studies. Exploring the concept of political style, how politics is being performatively produced by political actors, his research focuses on the concept of populism. Challenging mainstream understandings of populism that define it as a (thin) ideology or a set of political beliefs, his thesis builds on the work of Laclau and Moffitt to develop an interdisciplinary definition of populism as a political style, an open-ended repertoire of political performances that articulate various conception of ‘the people’ and ‘the elite’. In complement to the specialist literature on populism, Théo borrows the theoretical and methodological tools of performance studies to conduct a performance analysis inspired by Pavis, Taylor and Schechner. Focusing on right-wing populism, his thesis is a comparative case study of the cases of Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen during their presidential campaigns of 2016 and 2017, which examines the complex intersection between populism and exclusionary nationalism.

His thesis received an Honourable Mention Award at the 2021 Doctoral Research Awards in the category of Management and Social Sciences, as well as the most popular presentation in the category. His presentation was also selected in the top 8 out of 40+ contestants for the 2021 Warwick 3-Minute-Thesis (3MT) competition, and voted as runner-up for the 2021 mini 3MT competition.

 

In addition to populism, performativity and politics as performance, Théo's research interests also include discourse and visual analysis, semiotics, popular culture and theories of International Relations.

 

Current publications
Upcoming publications
  • Petrovic-Lotina, G. & Aiolfi, T. [Eds.] (2022, Forthcoming). Performing Populism on the Left. Bloomsbury Series: ‘Agitations: Text, Politics and Performances’ curated by William C. Boles & Anja Hartl (Series Editors). London: Bloomsbury.
  • Aiolfi, T. (2022, Forthcoming). “Performing the Populist Repertoire on the Global Stage: A Critical Approach to IR and Populist Communication”, in Lacatus, C., Löfflmann G. & G. Meibauer [Eds.], Populism, Political Communication and Performative Leadership in International Politics. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Petrovic-Lotina, G. & Aiolfi, T. (2022, Forthcoming). “Introduction”, in Petrovic-Lotina, G. K. & T. Aiolfi [Eds.], Performing Populism on the Left. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Aiolfi, T. (2022, Forthcoming). “The Stylistic Approach to Populism: From Early Definitions to Interdisciplinary Hybridization”, in Petrovic-Lotina, G. & T. Aiolfi [Eds.], Performing Populism on the Left. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Aiolfi, T. & Champion, G. (2022, Forthcoming). “‘Enfrentar vírus como homem’: Bolsonaro’s Populism and Performing Hegemonic Masculinity”, in Pereira, A. [Ed.], Populism in Latin America. New York: Routledge.

 

Teaching experience
  • 2022: Co-Teacher and Guest Lecturer for Forms of Identity (IL001/IL101 – 2nd and 3rd year UG module), Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, University of Warwick
  • 2021: Co-Teacher and Guest Lecturer for Understanding Wellbeing: Theory and Practice (IL028/IL128 – 2nd and 3rd year UG module), Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, University of Warwick
  • 2019-20: Assistant Teacher and Guest Lecturer for Performance Analysis (TH116 – 1st year UG module), Department of Theatre and Performance, University of Warwick
  • 2018-20: Seminar Tutor for World Politics (PO131 – 1st year UG module), Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
  • 2019: Guest Lecturer for Inter-Performance (TH248 - 2nd year UG module), Department of Theatre and Performance, University of Warwick
  • 2018-19: Seminar Tutor for Politics, Governance and Corporate Accountability (IB2480), Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
  • 2018: Seminar Tutor for Foundations of Political Economy (PO133 – 1st year UG module), Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick