Dr Rosa van Hensbergen

2008-2011 BA English (Jesus College, Cambridge), 2011-2012 Harper-Wood Studentship in Creative Writing & Travel (John's College, Cambridge), 2012-2014 Daiwa Scholarship (Daiwa Foundation), 2014-2015 MSc Modern Japanese Studies (Pembroke College, Oxford), 2015-2019 PhD English (Emmanuel College, Cambridge), 2019-2020 Bye-fellow English (Christ's College, Cambridge)


This year, I'm involved in Queens’ Presents, a student-led hub for experimental arts. In the past, I have taught Paper 1 (Practical Criticism & Critical Practice), Paper 7A/B (English Literature & its Contexts, 1830-present), and contributed teaching for Papers 2 (Tragedy), 12 (Contemporary), and 17 (Lyric).


My research to-date has looked at the language that makes bodies move: dance notation, verbal instruction, stage directions. In the period I work on – the immediate post-war to the contemporary – there is an opening up of techniques and formats for the ‘recording’ of movement, legible in creative communities dispersed throughout the globe. My focus has been on the written and performance works of Japanese choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata, playwright Samuel Beckett, and choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. I have published articles on Beckett and contemporary dance and I’m currently working on a monograph for OUP Oxford Studies in Dance Theory Series on Hijikata’s poetic notational language. My next project is on post-war poetry in performance, with a particular focus on transpacific exchange.

Alongside my research, I translate academic and art writing from Japanese, write and publish poetry, and create performance works in collaboration with choreographers and composers. My latest project with singer Kate Huggett is a BBC/ICA New Creatives Commission being supported for development in 2022 by Britten-Pears/Snape Maltings.


I am focussing on research this year, but I’m always open to students wishing to discuss their academic and creative work

  • Junior Research Fellow