Dr. Diana Damian Martin BA, MA, PhD, AFHEA | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Dr Diana Damian Martin, BA, MA, PhD, AFHEA

Job title

Senior Lecturer, Performance Arts


I am a writer, artist and academic working in the fields of contemporary performance and Live Art. My areas of research include experimental criticism and writing as performance; feminist modes of exchange, authorship and collaboration; interventionist and political performance and philosophy; non-sovereign forms of citizenship and commons; and the ecological and (anti)representational poetics of migration, with particular focus on Eastern Europe.

With a background in dramaturgy and theatre-making, I moved from Romania to the UK to study on the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice: Performance Arts course here at Royal Central and completed an MA in Performance and Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives at Goldsmiths. I was a Royal Holloway and Bedford Excellence scholar at Royal Holloway, University of London, where I completed my doctoral project Criticism as a Political Event: the emergence of performance criticism in the UK between 2007-2016 (monograph forthcoming). I have lectured and taught at Royal Holloway, King’s College, Queen Mary, University of Porto, University of Oslo and NYU Tisch School of Arts.  Presentations have included London Theatre Seminar, Live Art Denmark,  FITEI (Porto) and Novi Sad (Serbia). I am currently co-convening the Documenting Performance Working Group of the Theatre and Performance Research Association and am a section editor for Critical Stages and Performance Philosophy Journal. I sit on the editorial board of the Journal for Body, Space and Technology and have peer reviewed for Routledge and Methuen.

As a critic and writer, I have been part of several innovative creative and critical writing collectives, including the critical cooperative Critical Interruptions with Bojana Janković, as well Something Other and The Department of Feminist Conversations with Mary Paterson and Maddy Costa, projects that think politically about performance and performatively about politics. I have collaborated regularly with The Live Art Development Agency, Spill Festival of Performance and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Further collaborations have included Tate Exchange, The Barbican, The Yard, Battersea Arts Centre and ArtsAdmin in the UK, as well as internationally with Bergen International Festival, Stamsund Festival of Theatre, Central Fies-Dro, Theatertreffen Berlin and Cluj International Theatre Festival. These collaborations have included training programmes for young writers, workshops, new writing platforms, experimental writing projects, audience development and curatorial and consultancy work.

Memberships include Performance Studies International, Performance Philosophy, Theatre and Performance Research Association and the International Federation of Theatre Research.


Performance Arts, BA

Drama, Applied Theatre and Education, BA

Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy, MA

Scenography, MA/MFA

Teaching Areas

  • Performance theory
  • Performance writing and criticism
  • Cultural theory
  • Politics of the archive and performance documentation
  • Feminist and Queer Performance
  • Live Art
  • Political theatre
  • Cultural politics of performance and theories of (anti) representation
  • Aesthetic philosophy
  • Interdisciplinary practice

Research Areas

  • Performance criticism and creative critical practices
  • Performance Philosophy
  • Ecology and migration
  • Poetics, art writing and performative writing
  • Live art
  • Eastern Europe
  • Performance Research

Key Publications


2018. Editor (States of) Wake: Dedicating Performance. (Folkestone: performance space)

2018. Co-Editor with Bojana Janković Critical Interruptions Vol 1: Steakhouse LIVE (London: Critical Interruptions)

2018. Co-Editor with Anette Therese Pettersen. Critics in Conversation: a project book (Oslo: Critics in Conversation)  

Book Chapters

2018. ‘Virtual embodiment: critical writing and liveness’ in The Creative CriticWriting as/about Practice, edited by Emily Orley and Katja Hilevaara (London: Intellect).

2018. ‘Between art and criticism: a phenomenological poiesis’ in Performance Phenomenology: The Things Themselves, edited by Matthew Wagner and Jodie McNelly, ( London: Palgrave).

2016. ‘Criticism as a Political Event’ in Theatre Criticism: Changing Landscapes. Edited by Duska Radosavlijevic (London: Bloomsbury).

2016. ‘Community/Resistance: Reflections on discourse and community’ in Audience ( R )evolution: Taking the Stage, edited by Caridad Svitch (New York: Theatre Communications Group).

2015. ‘Riding Romance: Three Brief Scenes on Performance, Aesthetics and Territory’, Nebelmeer: Riding Romance Trilogy, edited by Anette Pettersen. Oslo: BIT. pp.25-30.

2015. ‘Werner Schwab: Poetics of Radical Dramaturgy’ in Dead At Last, At Last No More Air by Werner Schwab, trans. Meredith Oakes. pp 19-36.

2012. ‘The Politics of Difference: Conversation Pieces’ in M21: From Medieval to 21st Century’edited by DASH (London: DASH/Live Art Development Agency), pp 6-10.

Selected articles

2018. 'And the vampires flow towards the West: the ecological poetics of Eastern European migration in the UK' in Global Performance Studies 2:1. 

2017. 'Library of Unfinished Texts' in Performance Research: On Libraries, Eds Meyers, Misa and Heddon, Deirdre 22:1, pp 130-133 

2016. ’Deliberation, embodiment and oral criticism: a case study on Spill Festival of Performance’ in Critical Stages, 13.

2016. ’Unpeeling action: critical writing, training and process’ in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal, Special Issue: Showing and Writing Training.

2015. ‘Theatre Criticism and Digital Poetics: a case study’ in Critical Stages 11.

2015. ‘Towards a poiesis of critical practice: 1000th LIVE and the politics of appearance’ in Performance Research: On Poetics and Performance. 20:1, pp 96-104.

2015. ‘Reflections on Editing and the Digital’ in Contemporary Theatre Review: Interventions25:1.

2014. ‘Tim Crouch’s Adler and Gibb: Dematrialised Theatre in Material Times’ in Svet A DivadloIssue 6:14.

2014. ‘Poetics of discourse: Rajni Shah’s Glorious’ in Klaxon, Issue 1.

2013. ‘Live Art and Criticism’ in A Space for Live Art: 2008-2013, A Space for Live Art.

2012. ‘Three Kingdoms: A pan-European portrait’ in Svet A Divadlo 5:12


My recent projects include: a collaborative, live writing project exploring criticism and Live Art with Steakhouse LIVE (2016, 2018), an experimental writing project in collaboration with Spill Festival of Performance (2012-2017), durational, multi-authored critical writing projects on Forced Entertainment's Quizoola (2014) and On A Thousandth Night (2014). With Something Other, we have curated regular themed-digital publications in the form of Chapters, and host a regular writers gathering at The Live Art Development Agency. The Department of Feminist Conversation also runs a regular Letters to the Future project,  has worked with Camden People's Theatre and Tate Exchange on exploring conversation as a feminist practice, and is developing the relay, a durational converstaion across difference at The Royal Court Theatre (2019). Recent artist commissions include Archives of Now (with Mary Paterson) for Edge of an Era project, a dialouge with an archive of work by female artists in the eighties, and Patrolling (with Bojana Janković) a digital conversation about border patrols of unrecognised states for performing borders LIVE.
I am a founding member of Generative Constraints, a committee that practises open-ended collaborative research into art, politics, and theory. We experiment with processes and structures of criticism, performance, poetics, and writing. Our activities include organising conferences and public dialogues, teaching, making original creative works, as well as digital publishing and exhibition curation. Generative Constraints has received funding from the Faculty Initiative Fund and the Departments of English, Drama & Theatre, Media Arts, and Music at Royal Holloway, University of London; practice research unit at Kingston University; and Heritage Arts Company; and is currently funded by the Creativity Theme Interdisciplinary Initiative at Royal Holloway, University of London. Activities have included organising a conference at the Centre for Creative Collaboration on constraints in artistic practice; a performance at PolyPly 2014; Anti-Body: a series of workshops and a performance at the Vault Festival 2015.

I have worked at the world’s leading art and design museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, most notably in the Department of Theatre and Performance. Other curatorial activities have included the following projects: Lock-in: mpa-Berlin (2015), About the Stand Off (2914) Smash Lab at Book Club (2013), Ghost in the Machine (2012), The Others Live (2010-2011).

I am the co-founder of Writingshop, a collaboration that examines the changing landscapes and languages of contemporary dance and performance criticism through the framework of site-specific projects. Between 2009-2015 I developed the Institute of Critical Practice, a nomadic [non] organisation that explored the ways in which criticism currently manifests itself in contemporary performance as a mode of inquiry and production, strategy for visibility and practice of dissemination.

I also undertake regular dramaturgical work, most recently on There There’s Eastern Europe for Dummies (Bojana Jankovic and Dana Olarescu) and Werner Schwab’s Dead at Last, At Last No More Air (dir. Vanda Butkovic).

PhD Supervision 

I am currently supervising doctoral projects on dance criticism and embedded criticism.

I am especially interested in working with students whose research operates across disciplines, who are concerned with questions of politics, performance and poetics. I am also interested in students whose work is concerned with intersectional feminism, anti-racist and cross-linguistic work.  

Register of Interest

Nothing to declare.