Rashna Nicholson

Assistant Professor


Rashna Darius Nicholson is a cultural historian who holds a PhD (summa cum laude) in Theatre Studies from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. She studied Performance Studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the University of Copenhagen and held a research fellowship at the University of Munich. Her research and teaching specializations include nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century theatre history, historiography and practice; postcolonial and world literature and cultural development. Rashna’s previous project, The Theatre of Empire: The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage (1853-1893) traces the origins and early development of ‘modern’ South Asian and Southeast Asian theatre. Her current work focuses on the impact of foreign funding on theatre in the Global South during and after the Cold War.

Selected Publications


  • Nicholson, Rashna Darius. “‘A Christy Minstrel, a Harlequin, or an Ancient Persian’?: Opera, Hindustani Classical Music, and the Origins of the Popular South Asian ‘Musical.’” Theatre Survey, vol. 61, no. 3, 2020, pp. 331–350., doi:10.1017/S0040557420000265.

  • ‘Troubling Race: The Eastward Success and Westward Failure of the Parsi theatre’, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, 44:1, doi: 10.1177/1748372717735819 

  • ‘The Picture, the Parable, the Performance and the Sword: Secularism’s Demographic Imperatives’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, doi: 10.1080/01419870.2018.1381342 

  • ‘From India to India: The Performative Unworlding of Literature’, Theatre Research International, 42:1 (March 2017)

  • ‘Corporeality, Aryanism, Race: the theatre and social reform of the Parsis of Western India’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 38.4 (December 2015)

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Nineteenth-Century Research Cluster

Faculty of Arts, Run Run Shaw Tower, 

Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong

Pokfulam, Hong Kong 

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Background image (1858) from The British Library.