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Expertise: Clothing industry
Dr Aoife Monks
I'm a theatre historian who studies the peculiarities of acting, in the form of star and virtuoso performances, 19th century Stage Irish and blackface minstrel performers, the role of fashion and costume in the star system, sentimentality, superstition and backstage cultures at the theatre, nudity onstage, and acting training and practice. I'm also interested in various forms and histories of popular Irishness, such as the work of Michael Flatley, Riverdance, St Patrick's Day Parades, Dion Boucicault, nationalist speeches from the dock and the Irish ballad. I write on performance and the law, examining how the law is performed onstage, and how the law is itself theatrical. I have a particular expertise in theatre costume, considering its relationship to systems of fashion, dress reform, archives and museums, actorly superstition and of course, asking the most important question: 'what should ghosts wear in performance?'