Nesreen Hussein is a lecturer, researcher, and performance maker. Her current research focuses on performance, politics, and activism, in relation to issues of agency, identity and belonging. She has published widely on this topic, in addition to delivering a number of conference papers and invited talks internationally. In 2011, she was awarded the Helsinki Essay Prize and the New Scholars’ Prize from the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) for her essay ‘Patagonia: Rearticulating an Experience as a Site of Estrangement.’
Nesreen joined the Department of Performing Arts at Middlesex University in July 2013 as a Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre Theory and Practice. Previously, she was a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent where she joined a few months after completing her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London. Prior to that, she worked as a Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway, a Research Assistant at the Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research, led by Professor Helen Gilbert at Royal Holloway, and a Senior Teaching Assistant at Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt, where she obtained her BFA degree in Scenography and Interior Architecture (with class rank: 1st). She is currently the BA Theatre Arts Admissions Tutor (2014 – present).
Nesreen has worked internationally with a number of theatre companies, directors and design studios as a performer, designer, and puppet maker. She currently creates and devises performance with particular interest in exploring identity, mobility, and the city.
Nesreen's teaching interests reflect her interdisciplinary background as well as her wide range of interests and areas of specialism. Particular teaching specialisms include devising and adaptation, contemporary theatre and performance practices, postcolonialism, interculturalism, critical theory.
Modules she led and taught in the BA Theatre Arts Programme at Middlesex University:
She has examined, chaired and supervised PhD theses to completion, with ongoing interest in the areas of performance and politics; performance and activism; visual arts and performance; objects and materiality; physical theatre and dance practices.
List of Publications
Co-edited Special Issue of a Journal:
Hussein, Nesreen and Iain MacKenzie, eds; 2017; ‘Cultural Practices / Resistant Acts’; in Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest; Berghahn Books; ISSN 2572-7184
Chapter in an Edited Book:
Hussein, Nesreen; 2013, 2015; ‘Cairo: My City, My Revolution’; in Performance and the Global City; ed. D.J. Hopkins and Kim Solga; Palgrave; Basingstoke and New York; 223-244; ISBN 978-1-137-36785-3.
Hussein, Nesreen; 2018; ‘What has the City Trained in You?’; Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (edited interview by Thomas Wilson); 9.1; 116-119; ISSN: 1944-3927
Hussein, Nesreen and Vanio Papadelli; 2017; ‘Training and… Borders’; Theatre, Dance and Performance Training; 8.1; 109-110; DOI 10.1080/19443927.2017.1275208
Hussein, Nesreen; 2015; ‘Gestures of Resistance between the Street and the Theatre: Documentary Theatre in Egypt and Laila Soliman’s No Time for Art’; Contemporary Theatre Review; 25.3; 357-370; ISSN 1048-6801
Hussein, Nesreen; 2008; ‘Seeing through the Wall: Objectification between Resistance and Acceptance’; Platform: Objects of Engagement; 3.2; 62-78
Sánchez-Camus, Roberto, Nesreen Hussein and Grant Tyler Peterson; 2008; ‘Objects of Engagement: Conference Response’; Platform: Objects of Engagement; 3.2; 9-15
Hussein, Nesreen N.; Rewriting Narratives in Egyptian Theatre: Translation, Performance, Politics (Routledge, 2016); eds. Sirkku Aaltonen and Areeg Ibrahim; review published in Theatre Research International; 2017; 42.3; 353-355; DOI S0307883317000669
Aug. 2018; ‘Performing Utopia / Reclaiming the Public Sphere.’ Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, Protest. Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s annual conference (ATHE). Boston.
Jul. 2018; ‘Performing Utopia / Reclaiming the Public Sphere.’ Theatre, Nation and Identity. International Federation for Theatre Research’s annual conference (IFTR). University of Arts, Belgrade.
Jun. 2016; ‘My City, My Revolution and the Theatrical Re-telling of Experience.’ Presenting the Theatrical Past. International Federation for Theatre Research’s annual conference. Stockholm University, Sweden.
Jul. 2014; ‘Performance as a Gesture of Resistance in Laila Soliman’s No Time for Art.’ Theatre and Stratification. International Federation for Theatre Research’s world congress. The University of Warwick, UK.
Nov. 2012; ‘Cairo, My City, My Revolution: Creative Practices and Acts of Resistance.’ Creativity and Revolution. The International Symposium on Comparative Literature. Cairo University. Cairo, Egypt.
Aug. 2011; ‘An Urban Site of Rebellion: the Performative Dynamics of Resistance in Tahrir Square.’ Tradition, Innovation, Community. International Federation for Theatre Research’s annual conference. Osaka, Japan.
Sept. 2009; ‘Transformation as Action & Reaction: The Body as a Site of Material and Political Exchange.' The Body and Performance working group. TaPRA conference. University of Plymouth.
Jul. 2009; ‘Negotiating the Material Past: “Telling” as Rearticulation of Place.’ Silent Voices, Forbidden Lives. Centro de Estudos de Teatro. International Federation for Theatre Research’s annual conference. Lisbon, Portugal.
Aug. 2008; ‘Bodies of Denial: Seeing the Invisible.’ Emerging Scholars Panel (Performance Studies Focus Group). Difficult Dialogues: Theatre and the Art of Engagement. Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 22nd conference (ATHE). Denver, Colorado.
Jun. 2008; ‘Material Bodies... Bodied Material: A Case of Subversion.’ Objects of Engagement conference, Royal Holloway.
Apr. 2008; ‘Time as Body, Body as Object, Object as Time: A Case of Materiality.’ Theatre Materials / Materials Theatre, the Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre conference, Central School of Speech and Drama. London.
Invited guest lectures and talks
Nov. 2018; ‘Performing Utopia / Reclaiming the Public Sphere.’ Anarchist Research Group. London.
Jun. 2017; ‘(Re)Visions of Spaces’ panel. 49°Grenzüberschreitungen Festival. Universitat Bayreuth, Germany.
Jul. 2016; ‘Gestures of Resistance between the Street and the Theatre’. Keynote talk. Performing Politics/Politicising Performance summer school. University of Warwick, Coventry.
Apr. 2015; ‘Gestures of Resistance between the Street and the Theatre: Documentary Theatre in Egypt and Laila Soliman’s No Time for Art’. Anarchist Research Group. London.
Mar. 2015; ‘Here… There… and the Question of Belonging’ followed by a screening of My City, My Revolution performance. Contested Exchanges: Space, Place and the Performance of Democracy conference. Artaud Performance Centre. Brunel University, London.
Mar. 2015; ‘Here… There… and the Question of Belonging’. Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival. Rich Mix, London.
Apr. 2014; ‘Working with and Supporting Early Career Academics’ panel. SCUDD annual conference. Aberystwyth University.
Jun. 2013; ‘The “Performativity” of Resistance in a Time of Revolution.’ University of Kent’s Summer School, Paris.
May 2011; ‘Reflections on observing, doing and writing for “practice-informed” research.’ Practice and Research / Practice-as-Research Symposium. Royal Holloway.
May 2011; ‘Improbable Objects: Physical Materials between the Self and the “Other”?’ Is Material a Performative Subject? Bodies, Objects and Performance Practice Research Group. Royal Holloway.
Member of International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR).
Member of ‘Unheard Voices, Untold Stories’ research cluster, Middlesex University.
Peer reviewing for Palgrave Macmillan, Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts, Contemporary Theatre Review, Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).
Research Event Organisation
Standing Conference of University Drama Departments (SCUDD) Annual Conference, Middlesex University, 27-28 March 2015, member of organising committee.
Hosting the 'Dialogue Project': a series of international video conference seminars based at the American University in Cairo (AUC). University of Kent and the AUC. 2012.
Co-organiser of 'Creative Practices / Resistant Acts;' one-day interdisciplinary symposium at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London. A collaboration between the School of Arts and the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. 2011-12
Co-organiser of AHRC funded postgraduate symposium.'trans.form@work: Experimental Methodologies and Interdisciplinary Challenges in Arts Research,' Dept of Dance, Film and Theatre, University of Surrey. Collaboration between Royal Holloway, University of Surrey and University of Chichester. 2008-10.
Co-organiser of 'Indigenous Communities and Puppetry;' a one-day talk and workshop by Australian director, designer and puppeteer Sandy McKendrick. The Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research, Royal Holloway. 2009.
Co-organiser of ‘Objects of Engagement’ postgraduate symposium, Royal Holloway. 2008.
My City, My Revolution. Devised multimedia performance, conceived, written and co-performed by Nesreen Hussein, devised in collaboration with performer Vanio Papadelli (Greece/UK), film maker Mohamed Goely (Egypt) and sound designer Michael Picknett (UK). January 2015, Rich Mix, London. And June 2015, The Ditch, Shoreditch Town Hall, London (the latter was part of Dis/placed: A week-long programme of events in response to global demographic shifts and human displacement. Produced by Counterpoints Arts in partnership with Live Art Development Agency).
Published interview about My City, My Revolution, by Marcia Lynx Qualey:
'My City... My Revolution: Turning an Academic Essay into a Performance Piece'; in Arabic Literature and Translation, 2014.
Satyagraha opera by Philip Glass. An Improbable theatre production in collaboration with the English National Opera and The Metropolitan Opera. ENO, London: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2018. Metropolitan Opera, New York: 2008. Performer and puppet-making assistant.
The Air Changes the Colour of Things. Physical theatre, site-specific performance. Dir. Vanio Papadelli. Hackney Empire Studio, 2009. Shunt Vaults, London, 2010. Designer.
Phantom Limb. Physical theatre performance. Dir. Vanio Papadelli. The Festival Of. Central School of Speech and Drama, London, 2009. And Creative Forum for Independent Theatre Groups. Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Alexandria, Egypt, 2010. Designer.
Everyday Life in the Folds of a Serviette – A Journey Undertaken. A site-specific, promenade performance in Surrealism Laid Bare: Living in Surrealism conference. Dir. Richard Gough. Centre for Performance Research, in collaboration with West Dean College. West Dean House, Chichester. 2007. Performer.
A 100 Years in Boxes. A site-specific, promenade performance. Dir. Richard Gough. Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth, Wales. 2005. Performer.