Professor Elizabeth Tomlin
- Professor in Theatre and Performance (Theatre, Film & Television Studies)
I specialise in the analysis of British and European contemporary theatre and performance (post-1990) through the lens of political and cultural theory. My current monograph, Political Dramaturgies and Theatre Spectatorship: Provocations for Change, is due to be published in 2019. Over the coming years I plan to extend this research into political dramaturgies more widely, encompassing an examination of political ‘actors’, ‘audiences’ and narratives in the context of European politics. This research is supported by the School’s Research Hub, Dramaturgy as Critical Practice.
My second field of research concerns the politics of cultural production, with an emphasis on the British theatre industry and British arts funding and policy developments. I am currently leading the AHRC-funded research network, Incubate- Propagate, which seeks, in partnership with Arts funding bodies, emerging artists and independent producers, to explore how platforms for artist development might be extended and diversified to increase access routes into the profession for non-graduate theatre-makers.
Between 1999-2009 I was the writer and co-director of Point Blank Theatre and I continue, on occasion, to develop my research-led practice in writing for performance and contemporary dramaturgies of theatre-making. In 2012, I wrote The Pool Game, inspired by Kafka’s The Trial, and directed by Di Sherlock. This toured a number of sites in the UK that evoked scenes from Kafka’s novel including Sheffield Cathedral and London’s Senate House. I am currently developing The Cassandra Commission, a spoken word solo performance piece in conjunction with my research into politically-engaged theatres and spectatorship.
- 2018, Incubate-Propagate, AHRC Research Network Grant (PI), £36,345
- 2012, The Pool Game, Arts Council England, £17,900
- 2011, Acts and Apparitions, AHRC research fellowship (PI), £33,140
- 2010, The Pool Game, Arts Council England, £5,000
- 2005, Roses & Morphine, Arts Council England, £25,000
- 2004, Operation Wonderland, Arts Council England, £18,000
I welcome PhD and Masters by Research applications from students in the areas of contemporary political theatres and performance and dramaturgical experimentation in new writing and ensemble practice. I have supervised to completion many postgraduate students on MRes (Directing and Dramaturgy), and MPhil programmes, a number of whom went on to complete PhDs, as well as the following doctoral students:
Current doctoral students (at previous institution)
- ‘An Uncanny Aesthetic: Investigating cross-disciplinary performative reality in contemporary theatre’
Graduated doctoral students
- ‘Female Representation in Contemporary Performance’ (practice-based PhD)
- ‘Contemporary Antigones, Medeas and Trojan Women Perform on the World Stage’
- Zhang, Nannan (Translation Studies), 'Theatre Translation under the Social Change: A Study on the Xianfeng Xiju (Avant-garde theatre) in Contemporary China (1980-2016)'
- Shutt, Helen
Play/writing Participation: Textual techniques employed by the playwright to create space for audience participation and co-authorship in performance
- Singh, Kathryn
‘Silent Voices Speak’ Exploring the experiences of South Asian women in Scotland through community engagement and playwriting.
I teach the two following honours courses:
- Advanced Theatre Practice: Writing for Performance
- Performing Character
This year I am also convening all Honours practical options, the MLitt courses Research Methods and Playwriting 1.
I am the Exams officer for Theatre Studies and convenor of Postgraduate Research in Theatre Studies. I also sit on Panel B of the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities.
- Core member of the International Advisory Board for External Monitoring, Malmo Theatre Academy, Lund University
- Member of the AHRC Peer Review College
- Member of the editorial board of Theatre Research International
- Chair of the Editorial Board of Studies in Theatre and Performance
- Member of International Advisory Board for the book series Adaptation in Theatre and Performance (Palgrave Macmillan)
Guest Seminars, Keynotes and Plenaries
- Keynote: ‘The Effect of Affect’. Keynote given at the University of Barcelona, March 2017, to launch the research project: “British Theatre in the Twenty-First Century: Crisis, Affect, Community”, funded by the Spanish government between Jan 2017 and Dec 2020, led by Professor Mireia Aragay
- Keynote: ‘Ordinary Real People Only Please’. Keynote given at the Contemporary Drama in English (CDE) annual conference at the University of Reading, June 2017
- Invited panel speaker, ‘The Future of Research Evaluation: A View from the Humanities’, Arts and Humanities Alliance, Senate House, London, 2016
- Research Seminar, ‘The Promise of the Real’, Malmo Theatre Academy, Sweden, 2016
- Keynote speaker, ‘Publics and politics: the promise of the real’, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2015
- Research Seminar, ‘Questions of agency and effect in contemporary theatres of resistance', Goldsmiths, University of London, 2015
- Chair of panel (public event), Grounded, British Science Festival, Birmingham Rep, 2015
- Chair of panel (public event), Alternatives to Austerity, Sheffield Festival of Debate, 2015
- Invited panel speaker (public event), Is the Playwright Dead, Oxford University, 2015
- Research Seminar, ‘From New Audiences to Audience Participation: Government Intervention and its Unintended Consequences, University of Munich, 2015
- Research Seminar, ‘The Agency of the Spectator’, University of Manchester, 2014
- Research Seminar, ‘I am not We’, University of Exeter, 2014
- Closing keynote (public event), Roar of the Crowd, Senate House, London, 2014
- Closing keynote, Turning the Page, University of Reading, 2013
- Invited speaker, Dealing with Martin Crimp, Royal Court, 2013