Fine & Performing Arts Research

The School of Fine & Performing Arts has a vibrant and active research culture, engaging with a variety of performance-related fields of research. Our research clusters meet regularly and share research through our series of platforms and seminars, Critical Encounters.

Our research is grouped into five key areas of scholarship:

National Theatre Connections 2012Contemporary Playwriting‌ 

The school’s long-term interest in contemporary playwriting, its context, development and ecology has been explored in part through the forum of the University’s 21st Century research centre, and celebrated in three international symposia, on the work of Caryl Churchill (2011), Sarah Kane (2012) and Mark Ravenhill (2013). Members of the school have published widely on the work of contemporary and recent British and international playwrights, theatre companies and organizations including Richard Bean, Edward Bond, Howard Brenton, Carl Djerassi, David Edgar, David Grieg, Sarah Kane, Anthony Nielson, Mark Ravenhill, Samir Yazbeck, Simon Stephens, Arnold Wesker, Joint Stock and the Royal Court Theatre.

Book cover to Madahavan, Theatre and the Actor's Consciousness (Rodopi, 2010)Theatre, Consciousness & Asian Performance 

The study of Asian Theatre has formed a central part of SFPA’s research culture since 2005, and combined with the study of Theatre and Consciousness from 2007. The area’s working group, Theatre, Consciousness&Asian Performance meets regularly and welcomes invited speakers. The biannual conference Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts has been held at the University of Lincoln since 2009, and the conference 'Women in Asian Theatre' was held in 2013. SFPA is also host to the associated online journal, edited by Professor Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe



The Body in Performance

The study of the body in performance within SFPA explores interactions between body, space, technology and identity. Researchers have particular interest in the way in which new technologies can be incorporated into choreography and dance, in the expression of sexuality and the body, and in the way that dance can benefit diverse communities. The research forum Critical Encounters and the festival of Live Art and Choreography, Gnarl Fest, have both emerged from this area of the school's research.

‌Popular Performances

The study of popular performances in SFPA covers many performance forms from musical theatre to wrestling to street art. Central to our work is the understanding that performance encompasses a diverse range of practices that often fall outside the coverage given to more conventional practices. We recognise ‘popular performance’ not only as mass or popular culture, where it is situated within economic dynamics, but also as something that gives voice to communities who might otherwise be marginalized, where it offers interesting and individual ways for people to express themselves, through graffiti, street art or protest.

Programme cover to Michael Pinchbeck's Practice as Research Project 'The Beginning' (2012)Applied Practice as Research‌

The School of Fine & Performing Arts is home to a number of key researchers in the field of Practice as Research, operating through the Centre for Performance. Themes explored include the development of personal testimony as performance of the self, the archiving of memory in site-specific environments, the interaction between technology and intimacy in performance, the practice of translation as adaptation for the stage, the explicit body in performance, the practice and economies of collaborative processes, and the performance of protest in mass demonstration.