We are pleased to welcome a series of eminent scholars and researchers as Professorial and Visiting Fellows each year.
Professorial and Visiting Fellows are invited to Central to contribute to the research culture through a residency. They are expected to participate in School projects, deliver seminars, workshops and/or lectures, contribute to other research activities, including PhD training, and engage with the wider intellectual and cultural life of the institution. They include scholars based at overseas universities and researchers who work outside the HEI sector. If you are interested in applying to this scheme, please contact Dr. Kate Elswit.
Professorial and Visiting Fellows for 2015-17 bring expertise in a range of areas. To find out more about them, scroll below.
Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts, Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, University of Pennsylvania
I am delighted to visit Central from the US, where I teach and direct in the Theatre Arts Program at the University of Pennsylvania. My book, An Actress Prepares: Women and “the Method” (Routledge 2012), is the first full-length feminist examination of American, Stanislavsky-based actor training traditions. In that work, I ask: “What happens to women in Method actor training?”, exposing sexist patterns, and reclaiming empowering techniques. A related inquiry, “Stanislavsky’s System and Women: A Feminist Reading of New Translations,” is collected in the Routledge Companion to Stanislavsky (2013).
The natural extension of that work is to explore what happens after training: How might professional actors—and directors—reinterpret texts with feminist purpose? One such collaboration is analyzed in my essay “Theatrical Realism as Feminist Intervention: Katie Mitchell’s 2011 Production of A Woman Killed with Kindness,” published in Shakespeare Bulletin (Winter 2013). I am currently working on a project entitled “Attention Must Be Paid: Staging Linda Loman.” Death of a Salesman is regularly revived—and Linda is a problematic character. This work will be a comparative examination of historical portrayals, including Dame Harriet Walter’s revelatory interpretation at the RSC last year. Other ongoing projects include a feminist portrait of master teacher Stella Adler, as well as co-edited collection of work by contemporary American women playwrights.
The legendary Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has long loomed in my imagination, and I am eager to learn more about actor training at one of the UK’s leading drama schools. I hope to visit classes and speak with students and teachers; I am also excited to engage with researchers and their projects, and with my hosts Gilli Bush-Bailey and Tom Cornford. (An added bonus, of course, will be to see as much London theatre as I can!)
I hold a PhD in Theatre from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, an MA in Theatre from Villanova University (where I was an Acting Scholar), and a BA in both English and Studies in Theatre and Dramatic Literature from Dickinson College. I received actor training at Circle-in-the-Square Theatre School and HB Studio, and am a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Associate Professor of Theatre Studies, Western University, Canada
I am a scholar of contemporary theatre and performance, urban performance studies, and feminist performance theory and practice who has long had research interests in the kinds of practical labour that form the heart of Central’s pedagogical remit. My research on “emotional realist” acting and directing techniques with early modern theatre scholars Roberta Barker and Cary Mazer has resulted in a play anthology, a volume of essays (both 2012), as well as a special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin (2013); I have also published independently on the Stanislavsky-based work of Katie Mitchell (2008) and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (in Stratford, Ontario, 2010). My current book project, Realism After Neoliberalism, looks specifically at the nature of affective labour on stage and off, and asks questions about the social and political efficacy of realist dramaturgies alongside realist acting praxis as techniques for politicizing the work of “the cultural industries” under neoliberalism in Britain, Europe, and the Americas.
From 2012 through 2014 I taught in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary, University of London; I am now based in Canada, and am embedded in Toronto’s theatre culture as well as the larger networks of the Canadian theatre and performance academy. I still maintain actively my many British connections with scholars as well as artists, however, and as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Central I hope to facilitate transatlantic discussions and enable fresh research networks to develop among these various constituencies. Furthermore, as an award-winning teacher who is committed to pedagogy as a public, performative, and activist practice, I am excited to collaborate with Central’s postgraduate student base, offering research seminars and/or master classes in teaching and learning in higher education. I write a teaching blog which invites guest writing from junior teachers, senior teachers, and students alike, and I will be very happy to offer mentoring programs around teaching, performance, and social activism while in residence.
Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Queensland
My research focuses on digital tools for theatre research. I have produced an innovative research tool, called Ortelia, to enable the analysis of theatre space through virtual reality. It provides the means for curating and archiving art gallery, museum, and theatre spaces, as well as theatre productions and gallery exhibitions. I have been instrumental in the development of AusStage, the Australian performance research database that documents performance in Australia. This work has emerged from more conventional research in theatre: I have published widely on drama and theatre, including being the co-author of Post-Colonial Drama (with Helen Gilbert) and Women’s Intercultural Performance (with Julie Holledge), and author of Unsettling Space: Contestations in Contemporary Australian Theatre (2006) which explores the politics of contemporary Australian theatre, and Theatre’s Heterotopias: Performance and the Cultural Politics of Space (2014). A forthcoming co-authored book is A Global Doll’s House: Ibsen and Distant Visions, by Julie Holledge, Jonathan Bollen, Frode Helland, and me. I have also been active in editing. I am co-editor, with Anna Birch, of Performing Site-Specific Theatre: Politics, Place, Practice (2012), and among my guest-edited issues of journals are two issues of Contemporary Theatre Review; the first, with Anna Birch, was on Site-Specificity and Mobility (2012) while the second, with Maria Delgado, was on the Politics, Processes and Practices of Editing (2015). I am currently Editor of Theatre Journal. I am currently Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at The University of Queensland.
I am looking forward to meeting many of the staff at Central in person and engaging with the research community in particular. My approach to theatre research echoes Central’s—the idea of articulating a vision for theatre and performance in twenty-first century society — and I look forward to learning how staff at Central achieve this.
Associate Professor in the Departments of Communication and Ethnic Studies, and the Program in Critical Gender Studies, at the University of California, San Diego.
A former Fulbright Scholar and Berkeley Fellow, Anderson pursures research about the production of political subjectivity and objecthood in the context of violence, mortality, and pain. He has published two books: So Much Wasted: Hunger, Performance, and the Morbidity of Resistance (Duke, 2010) and (with Jisha Menon) Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routs of Conflict (Palgrave, 2009). His experimental study of extended, life-threatening illness, Autobiography of a Disease, will be released in 2017. He is currently completing a critical study of empathy and its discontents — Empathy’s Others — that considers contemporary performance practice and political activism in light of empathy’s troubled genealogy; he will be focused primarily on this project during his visit to Central. Anderson co-edits the Performance Works book series at Northwestern University Press with Nicholas Ridout; he has also served as Vice President of the American Society for Theatre Research and, for seven years, a board member of Performance Studies International. During his residency at Central, he is very much looking forward to the opportunity to meet with students, practitioners, and colleagues who are interested in any aspect of this work.
Professor of Philosophy and Executive Director of University Studies, Portland State University, USA
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to engage the outstanding academic community at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. My work focuses on developing a robust notion of an ethic of care. So named in the 1980s, care ethics is a relational approach to morality that emphasizes the significance of context and emotion, particularly empathy, over more traditional ethical preoccupations with rules or the moral calculus of consequentialism. Originally, developed by feminist theorists and derived from women’s experience, care ethics has achieved widespread academic attention in philosophy, political theory, health care, geography, and business ethics. With this expanded consideration has come efforts to fit care ethics into mainstream and analytic frameworks of normative ethical theory. I have argued that although such an approach has merits, it limits the radical potential of care to address the interconnected human experience. In my estimation, exploring the embodied, aesthetic, and performative aspects of caring can yield a thicker understanding of caring including its nuance and power. Accordingly, I have suggested that care not only has ethical implications but also significance for aspects of who we are and how we come to knowledge. Given this context, exploring the intersections of care ethics and performance philosophy, experiential learning, emotional labor, and aesthetic experience together with scholars Amanda Stuart-Fisher and Tony Fisher is particularly energizing for me. The performing arts engage the moral imagination in rich ways that analytic philosophy cannot, but that notion does not always hold sway with mainstream theorists. I am interested in having conversations about how philosophy and performance can co-create the moral understanding of care. Furthermore, the idea that care is embodied and performative suggests that we must dramatically reconsider how we teach ethics to include its aesthetic dimension.
My research and writing reflects the development of the ideas described above as well as bringing the language of care to a variety of human endeavors. Since the monograph Embodied Care (1995), I have edited or co-edited a number of volumes engaging care ethics including Care Ethics and Political Theory (2015), Applying Care Ethics to Business (2011), Feminism and Hospitality (2010), Socializing Care (2006). Articles in the trajectory of performance philosophy include “Care Ethics and Confronting Intersectional Difference through the Body,” in Critical Philosophy of Race 3:1 (2015); “A Performative Approach to Teaching Care Ethics,” Feminist Teacher 23:1 (Fall 2013); “Care Ethics and Corporeal Inquiry in Patient Relations,” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 5:1 (Spring 2012): 52-69; “Care Ethics, John Dewey’s ‘Dramatic Rehearsal’ and Moral Education,” Philosophy of Education Yearbook 2010. (Spring 2011); and, “The Will to Care: Performance, Expectation, and Imagination,” Hypatia, 25:3 (Summer 2010) 675 – 695. I am hoping that discussions during my stay at Central will lead to further scholarship on the intersection of care ethics and performance philosophy.
I hold a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Oregon as well as a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics, an MBA, and a Graduate Certificate in the Study of Women and Men in Society from the University of Southern California. For further information please see my webpage.
Ruth Little is a theatre and dance dramaturg, a teacher and writer.
Her research and teaching in ecologies of performance is informed by two decades' experience of commissioning, developing and curating new work in partnership with community groups, academics, and artists across all forms. She has led workshops and art-science expeditions nationally and internationally. After receiving her PhD from the University of Cambridge, she lectured in English literature at the University of Sydney, and was literary manager at Out of Joint, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court, and artistic associate at the Young Vic.
Ruth is dramaturg for Akram Khan Company (Gnosis, Vertical Road, Desh, iTMOi, Until the Lions), associate director of Cape Farewell London, associate artist at Perth International Arts Festival. She has worked with English National Ballet (Akram Khan: Dust, Giselle), Banff Arts Centre, Sadlers Wells, Spitalfields Festival, Barbican, National Theatre Connections, Fuel, Siobhan Davies Dance, Sheffield Theatres, La Monnaie/De Munt (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Nick Cave: Shell Shock), Northern Ballet (Jonathan Watkins: 1984), Dance Umbrella (Le Patin Libre: Vertical Influences). Publications include The Young Vic Book (Methuen, 2004), The Royal Court Theatre Inside Out (Oberon, 2007), ‘The Slow Art of Contemporary Expedition: Islandings’ (University of the Arts, 2012), ‘Art, Place, Climate: Situated Ethics’ (Springer, 2014). Guest editor, Dance Umbrella ‘Definite Article’ 2015-16.
Winner of 2012 Kenneth Tynan Award for dramaturgy.
Playwright/text-builder, theatre-maker, translator, lyricist, editor, educator
Caridad Svich received a 2012 OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, a 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and NNPN rolling world premiere for Guapa, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based Isabel Allende’s novel. She has won the National Latino Playwriting Award (sponsored by Arizona Theatre Company) twice, including in the year 2013 for her play Spark. She has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama four times, including in the year 2012 for her play Magnificent Waste. Her works in English and Spanish have been seen at venues across the US and abroad, among them Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle Series, Denver Center Theatre, 59E59, The Women’s Project, Woodshed Collective @ McCarren Park Pool, Repertorio Espanol, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Lighthouse Poole UK, Teatro Mori (Chile), Artheater-Cologne (Germany), Ilkhom Theater (Uzbekistan), Teatro Espressivo (Costa Rica), Welsh Fargo Stage (Wales), Homotopia Festival UK, SummerWorks festival in Toronto, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival/UK.
Key works in her repertoire include 12 Ophelias, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart, The Booth Variations, Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues, Any Place But Here, Archipelago, The Way of Water and JARMAN (all this maddening beauty). She has also adapted for the stage novels by Mario Vargas Llosa, Julia Alvarez and Jose Leon Sanchez, and has radically reconfigured works from Wedekind, Euripides, Sophocles, and Shakespeare. Her plays have been directed by Annie Castledine, Maria Irene Fornes, Lisa Peterson, Neel Keller, William Carden, Nick Philippou, Annie Dorsen, Katie Pearl, Stephen Wrentmore, Daniella Topol and Jose Zayas, among many others.
As founder of theatre alliance & press NoPassport her work has intersected with communities of multiple diversities with works responding to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the US Gulf region, veterans and their families, survivors of trauma and those committed to artistic expression of precarity, advocacy for US Latin@ writing voices, and engagement with representations of the “fragile shores” in our lives. She is co-organizer and curator of After Orlando theatre action in response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting with Missing Bolts Productions at DR2 Theatre in New York City, Finborough Theatre in London, Chaskis Theatre in London in association with Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Vaults and over sixty venues across the US; and Climate Change Theatre Action with The Arctic Cycle and Theatre Without Borders. She has also published over twenty titles with NoPassport Press by authors as diverse as Todd London, John Jesurun, David Greenspan, Carson Kreitzer, Rinde Eckert, Lenora Champagne and Octavio Solis.
Her works are published by TCG, Smith & Kraus, Playscripts, Broadway Play Publishing and more. Three collections of her works for live performance are published as follows: JARMAN (all this maddening beauty) and other plays (Intellect UK, 2016); Instructions for Breathing and other plays (Seagull Books UK, 2014); Blasted Heavens (Eyecorner Press, Denmark, 2012). She has edited several books on theatre including Audience Revolution: Dispatches from the Field (TCG, 2016), Innovation in Five Acts (TCG, 2015), Out of Silence: Censorship in Theatre & Performance and Trans-Global Readings: Crossing Theatrical Boundaries and Theatre in Crisis? (the latter two for Manchester University Press, UK). She is currently editing a book on playwriting for Methuen UK. She serves as associate editor at Taylor & Francis’ Contemporary Theatre Review, where she also edits their Backpages section.
She sustains a parallel career as a theatrical translator, chiefly of the dramatic work of Federico Garcia Lorca as well as works by Calderon de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Julio Cortazar, Victor Rascon Banda, Antonio Buero Vallejo and contemporary works from Mexico, Cuba and Spain. She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists. She has received fellowships from Harvard/Radcliffe, NEA/TCG, PEW Charitable Trust, and California Arts Council. She holds an MFA in Theatre-Playwriting from UCSD, and she also trained for four consecutive years with Maria Irene Fornes in INTAR’s legendary HPRL Lab. She teaches creative writing and playwriting at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Primary Stages’ Einhorn School of Performing Arts. She has taught playwriting at Bard, Barnard, Bennington, Denison, Ohio State, ScriptWorks, UCSD, and Yale School of Drama.
Following a period of actor training at Mountview Theatre School, I studied at the universities of Kent, Manchester and Warwick. My first degree in Literature/Philosophy (Kent) was followed by Masters research in Shakespeare and Renaissance Theatre (Manchester) and ultimately doctoral research in TV Drama and postmodern aesthetics (Warwick). My early career involved acting and directing alongside teaching in F/HE.
I joined Central in July 2010 to support research development and was appointed Director of Research in June 2011. Retiring from this role in December 2014 following a highly successful REF result, I have since been engaged in consultancy. My work championing “practice as research” (PaR) is particularly relevant in these contexts but, over a forty-year career, I have taught, and published widely on, theatre, media and arts education topics.
Prior to Central, I held a range of posts in the HE sector. I am an Emeritus Professor of Manchester Metropolitan University where for over a decade I was a member of the Senior Staff, finally involved in research management.
I have been an invited keynote speaker at a range of international conferences and was an invited member of the Drama, Dance & Performing Arts RAE sub-panel in 2007-08 and the Drama, Dance, Performing Arts & Music REF sub-panel 2013-14.
Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a dancer, choreographer and scholar whose research and performance is framed by postmodern sensibilities while grounded in feminist Indian classical performance practices.
Her work brings together live bodily performance with visual art, interactive multimedia and digital technology to think about archives of the body, migration, and female labor from the perspective of art. Her work has been presented in diverse settings in many theatre houses, galleries, universities, museums, and in public spaces such as the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai (China), The Korzo Theatre in The Hague (Netherlands), Folkwang Performing Arts Center in Essen (Germany), The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam (Netherlands), typografia galleria in Bucharest (Romania), Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai (India), Unknown Theatre in California, in international festivals such as AsiaTOPA and Jaipur Literary Festival in Melbourne, Australia, and site specific works at the Irvine Civic Center and Bill Barber Park, in Los Angeles (USA), asiatopa festival, Treasury Building, immigration museum, fed square in Melbourne Australia and the showroom gallery in London. She has presented her performance and academic work at Harvard University (USA), Stanford University (USA), Oxford University (UK) and several other spaces in Switzerland, Sweden, UK, and Austria. She has a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has created the form of "talking dances" based on her award winning book Sweating Saris Indian Dance as Transnational Labor.
Originally from Melbourne Priya was trained in the classical and contemporary Indian and Asian arts by Dr. Chandrabhanu and performed extensively with the Bharatam Dance Company in her early years. After returning recently to Melbourne Priya has created a range of pieces that focus on migration and loss, and make visible minority women's histories offering an alternate feminist aesthetic. She hopes to serve artistic communities in de-centering practices, re-imagining history in the present, develop socio-political critiques, highlighting the importance of migration and movement in these deeply divided critical times in order to enable a better understanding of how art helps communities accept their mutual dependence.