Dr Erica O'Neill

  • Lecturer in Theatre Studies (Theatre, Film & Television Studies)


I am a lecturer in modern and contemporary performance, specialising in the twentieth-century avant-garde. My interdisciplinary research encompasses theatre and performance studies, art history, French studies, and literature. I gained my PhD in History of Art from the University of Glasgow in 2021. Before being employed full time in the Theatre Studies subject area, I taught across a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the History of Art and Theatre Studies subject areas at the University of Glasgow. I have worked in education for 10 years, primarily managing European Union funded projects. I have worked with several European and international organisations to promote education for disadvantaged and socially excluded communities.

Research interests

I am interested in the relationship between theatre, performance, and the visual arts.  My work is concerned with widening the taxonomy of avant-garde performance beyond performance art, live art, and body art. Notably, the way in which avant-garde performance has contributed to the evolution of modern and contemporary theatre. Recently, I have become interested in applying quantum theory to performance and visual arts practices. The superposition of quantum mechanics describes something that can exist in multiple states at the same time until measured, and feeds into my efforts to critique neat categories applied to avant-garde performance practices.
I am currently working on a monograph titled First Adventure to Final Flight: The Theatre of Tristan Tzara for Peter Lang’s Art and Thought Series. This will be the first scholarly volume devoted to the complete theatrical works of Tristan Tzara and is due for publication in 2024.

With Stephen Forcer, I am co-editor of a special issue of Dada/Surrealism (no.25) on 'Approximate Humanism: Tristan Tzara', due for publication in 2023-2024. For this special issue I am presenting the first English language translation of Tristan Tzara's dramatic poem La Fuite (1947).

I am in the final stages of preparing a special issue celebrating the centenary of Paris Dada, co-edited with Kathryn Brown.  'Attention! Paris Dada', Nottingham French Studies (Summer, 2023) brings together the scholarly papers from an interdisciplinary event of the same title staged at Loughborough University, October 2021.


List by: Type | Date


  • 2021: Erasmus+, Project Funding. €248,960.00 to support project number 2020-1-UK01-KA226-VET-094440: An innovative approach to reduce the Digital divide in Vocational Education and training (ADVANCE). In collaboration with SWAPWest
  • 2019: Association for Art History, Research Grant. £1,000 to support the ‘Attention! Paris Dada’ symposium, October 2021. In collaboration with Kathryn Brown, University of Loughborough
  • 2019: Society for French Studies, Conference Grant and Workshop Awards Scheme. £1,000 to support the ‘Attention! Paris Dada’ symposium, October 2021. In collaboration with Kathryn Brown, University of Loughborough
  • 2019: Collaborations and Cultural Activities Committee, College of Arts, University of Glasgow. £511 to support the ‘Attention! Paris Dada’ symposium, October 2021
  • 2019: Research Training Support Grant, University of Glasgow. £487 to present at the Association for Art History Annual International Conference, Brighton. 4 – 6 April 2019
  • 2017: Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities. £850 to develop and deliver ‘Tristan Tzara and Dada Performance Practice’ workshops delivered at the University of Glasgow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the Tron Theatre, Glasgow


I teach across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses including:

•    Performance Theory Analysis
•    Research Methods
•    Setting the Scene
•    Contemporary Devising Practices
•    Contemporary Dramaturgical Practices
•    Advanced Theatre Making
•    Thinking Though Theatre Histories
•    Thinking Through Theatre Making

Additional information

Selected Conference Papers

  • 2022: ‘An innovative approach to reduce the digital divide in education and training,’ Lifelong Learning for Inclusion and Sustainability Conference, University of Glasgow. June 2022.
  • 2021: ‘Performing the impossible in the theatre of Tristan Tzara,’ Attention! Paris Dada, University of Loughborough. October 2021.
  • 2021: ‘Duchamp’s Quantum Door,’ Rethinking the Histories and Legacies of New York Dada, University of Loughborough. October 2021.
  • 2019: ‘The Body between Text and Performance in the Theatre of Tristan Tzara,’ Association for Art History Annual International Conference, Brighton. April 2019.
  • 2018: ‘Theatrical Surrealisms: Tristan Tzara and Paris Dada performance,’ Realisms of the Avant-Garde, European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies’ 6th International Conference, Münster. September 2018.
  • 2017: ‘Paris Dada: Negligence and the Trial of Maurice Barrès,’ Negligence/Neglection, University of Glasgow College of Arts Multidisciplinary Series, Glasgow. April 2017.
  • 2016: ‘Tristan Tzara and the Manifestations of Paris Dada’ Dada 1916-2016: A Century of Revolt, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. November 2016.