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I joined King's College London in 2021 as a lecturer in Culture, Media and creative Industries, with a specific focus on activism and social change, community arts, and performative culture. I have a PhD in Drama from the university of Exeter, and I continued to teach at the Drama Department in Exeter for 5 years after finishing my PhD before joining King's. I also established a community arts company called Yalla Arts and have worked as a theatre facilitator and cultural producer across the South West and London.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Theatre Studies
  • Performative cultural practices and society
  • Intangible culture, heritage, and archiving
  • Postcolonial studies, race studies and representation

Selected publications

  • Forthcoming (2023) Performing Muslim Women: Islamic Feminisms and Contemporary British Theatre. Monograph to be published by Routledge.
  • Abdulla, A. (2022) A Different Approach to Making Theatre with/about Refugees: A Refugefrom Being a Refugee, In N. De Martini Ugolotti and J. Caudwell (eds.) "Leisure and Forced Migration: Lives Lived in Asylum Systems". London: Routledge.
  • Abdulla, A. (2021) Craving Care in Refugee Camps. Dialogues in Human Geography. Volume 12, special issue.
  • Abdulla, A., Schaefer, K. et al (2021) Artist Development: Class, Diversity and Exclusion. In Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol. 40. No. 3. Pages 334-345.
  • Abdulla A., (2018) British-Pakistani Female Playwrights: Feminist Perspectives on Sexuality, Marriage, and Domestic Violence. In Aslam, S. and Kanwal, A (Eds) “The Routledge Companion to Pakistani Anglophone Writing.” Routledge: London. 


  • Cultural activism
  • Culture and arts for social change
  • Community arts
  • Socially-engaged arts
  • Performance studies
  • Global south studies
  • Islamic and Arab culture

Expertise and public engagement

  • Founder and director of Yalla Arts, community arts company
  • Trustee at Phosphoros Theatre, London
  • Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter