Helen Gilbert

Membership:  2016, 2017

Member Bio

Educated in Australia and Canada, Helen Gilbert is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of several influential books, notably Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross-Cultural Transactions in Australasia(with J. Lo, 2007) and Postcolonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics (with J. Tompkins, 1996). From 2009 to 2014, she led a large, ERC-funded project, Indigeneity in the Contemporary World, focusing on indigenous performance across the Americas, the Pacific, Australia, and South Africa. She has curated experimental performance work in universities and museums and brought performance-based insights to scientific research, notably in Wild Man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan (written with R. Cribb and H. Tiffin, 2014). In 2015, she won a Humboldt Prize for lifetime achievements in international theatre and performance studies.


  • Cribb, Robert, Helen Gilbert, and Helen Tiffin. Wild Man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2014.
  • Gilbert, Helen. EcoCentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts, 17-day curated exhibition over 5 floors at Bargehouse, London, 2013.
  • Gilbert, Helen. “Indigeneity, Time, and the Cosmopolitics of Postcolonial Belonging in the Atomic Age.” Interventions: An International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 15, no. 2 (2013): 195–210.
  • Gilbert, Helen. “Let the Games Begin: Pageants, Protests, Indigeneity (1968–2010).” In The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures, edited by E. Fischer-Lichte, T. Jost and S. Iris Jain, 156–75. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Gilbert, Helen, and Charlotte Gleghorn, eds. Recasting Commodity and Spectacle in the Indigenous Americas.London: ISA, 2014.
  • Gilber, Helen, and J.D. Phillipson. “Cultural Graffiti in London: Singing Life into Exhibitions and Embodying the Digital Document.” UNESCO Observatory e-Journal 15, no.1 (2015): 1–36.