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More in this section Transnational Performance

Transnational Performance

One of the department’s research strengths is international and cross-cultural theatre and performance. The emphasis on international perspectives on performance provides a shared framework for researchers associated with the Transnational Performance research group.

The international aspect operates as a vantage point to assess current pressures on national and regional creative economies and identity brands. Our research and practice examine transnational performances as togetherness-in-difference and privileged modes of creative encounter and negotiation that cross and sometimes undermine political, cultural and linguistic borders.

This work spans a range of global contexts and concerns, both before and after the birth of the modern nation-state. Particular attention is paid to the ethics and politics of cross-cultural contact and conflict, constructions of difference, territoriality and territorial movement, the effects of globalisation and commercialisation, the intersections (and faultlines) of tradition and modernity.

Researchers are currently investigating various ways in which theatre and performance can engage with and/or rehearse ideas relating to:

  • sovereignty
  • nationhood
  • trans- or supra-national identity
  • forced migration and diaspora
  • indigenity
  • colonial modernity
  • citizenship and alienation
  • cross-cultural transmission of theatrical practices.

Theatre and performance examined in these contexts includes large-scale spectacle, professional theatre, itinerant performance as well as site-specific performance and activist enactments.

We've received funding for research on theatre and performance made in response to asylum seekers and refugees in  Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere; the international performance of Javanese and Balinese arts; colonial modernity and Indonesian performing arts; and indigenous performance globally.

Seminars in the academic year 2012-13 included discussions of Sanjay Seth’s important essay ‘Which Past? Whose History’ and Joseph Roach’s seminal monograph Cities of the Dead. We also hosted presentations on the Globe-to-Globe Festival and a Performing Arts Learning and Teaching Innovation Network (PALATINE)- funded project on participatory research and learning as well as on research in progress by current postgraduate students.

Scholars and practitioners in the department maintain working relationships and creative collaborations with researchers and artists in a number of countries, including Indonesia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, Greece and Sweden. We also work closely with Royal Holloway’s Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research (CITPR).

Our research culture is enormously enriched by the postgraduate scholars and practitioners who come to Royal Holloway from around the world, bringing a range of international interests and perspectives on theatre and performance. Recent and current students have undertaken research on:


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