Research

Academics in the Department of Theatre have expertise in theatre history, dance, contemporary performance, and adaptation and translation.

We disseminate our research through publications, performances, and papers delivered at national and international conferences, and we also engage the general public in many of our activities.

Strengths

Individual strengths are enhanced by specialist knowledge shared between members of the department in areas such as:

Performance practice

As artistic directors of their own theatre companies, Simon Jones of Bodies in Flight and Paul Clarke of Uninvited Guests bring practical, industry-based knowledge to bear on their scholarship. Other members of the department use their experience as dancers, dramaturgs, and directors to conduct their research.

History

Performance historians Kate Elswit, Catherine Hindson, Katja Krebs, and Eleanor Rycroft research the field from the medieval period through to the twentieth century, investigating the politics of dance and musicals, the social histories of theatre, intercultural and cross-cultural theatrical exchanges, and practice-based research into the early English drama.

Archives

All members of the department trace the remains of the drama through archival research, work that is enriched by the University of Bristol Theatre Collection and its extensive archive of letters, photographs, designs and artworks, alongside multimedia and digital material, and costumes and objects.

Adaptation and Translation

Katja Krebs is the co-founder of the first academic journal, the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, to investigate the phenomena of adaptation and translation in performance and film. We work across the university in this area and collaborations have included, for example, Modern Languages and the Department of Religion and Theology.

Clusters and collaborations

We collaborate on projects with practitioners, venues, heritage organisations and film-makers, as well as other academics, and have relationships with organisations such as Battersea Arts Centre, Bristol Old Vic, Arnolfini, InBetween Time Festival, and Mayfest.

We also actively participate in research clusters and centres across the University including Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, Transnational Modernisms, Political Cultures, and BIRTHA.

Projects

Here is a selection of current and recent funded projects led by our academics:

Research events

We run a regular research seminar series and are frequently involved with one-off research events.

Our postgraduate community runs an additional colloquium alongside, including reading groups, talks, and a biennial conference.

Research in the Faculty

Our research forms part of the overall research activities and strategies of the Faculty of Arts.

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