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Research degrees in Drama


Programme description

Research students in the Department of Drama study in one of the United Kingdom's leading centres for performance research. We welcome graduate students and visiting postgraduate research associate students who research in any of our areas of expertise.

Research students are a central part of intellectual life in Drama. They contribute significantly to our research culture and to the discipline more widely. Research students also play an important part in Drama's collaborations with leading arts organisations, including the BarbicanShakespeare's GlobeGran Teatre del Liceu BarcelonaActors' Touring Company, the London Film FestivalLIFT, and AfroReggae.

Students are supported through individual supervision and an extensive programme of research training.

Drama at Queen Mary aims to provide financial support to outstanding applicants. We offer three forms of studentship (subject to availability and academic merit): Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Awards, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards, and Queen Mary Principal's Studentships. We welcome applications from prospective Commonwealth Scholars and applicants seeking other externally-funded awards.

See also: the website for the Department of Drama. Ourpostgraduate pages contain further details about our course, funding and how to apply.

Research areas

Academic staff in Drama possess a wide range of expertise and contribute to a graduate research culture where interdisciplinary work thrives, especially with GeographyFilmBusiness and ManagementEnglishLanguages, and History.

Within our four main - but overlapping - strands of research, on cultural histories of performance, transnational performance, live art, and applied performance, we offer supervision across topics including, but by no means limited to:

  • Performance and the city
  • Site-specific performance and installation art
  • Space and place
  • Applied and socially engaged theatre and performance, especially in relation to young people, older people, prisons, Brazil, development, democracy and human rights
  • Theatre in Education
  • National, intercultural, and transnational performance, especially in relation to the UK, Europe (particularly Ireland, Spain, Italy), South Africa, Canada, USA, Latin America (particularly Argentina and Brazil), and New Zealand
  • Cultural identities
  • Globalisation
  • Tourism
  • Cultural economics of performance
  • Cultural value and cultural policy
  • Labour
  • Democracy
  • Community
  • Theatre and political economy
  • Live Art and Performance Art
  • Subcultural histories
  • Gender and sexuality, especially feminist, gay, lesbian, and queer performance histories and practices
  • Early modern drama in performance, especially early modern and contemporary contexts
  • Directing and directors' theatre
  • Theories and histories of actor training
  • Contemporary performance-making processes and practitioners
  • Translation
  • Dramaturgy
  • Theatricality
  • Audience and spectatorship
  • Affect
  • Senses in performances
  • 'The body' and embodiment
  • Tragedy
  • Opera and music theatre
  • Dance theatre and physical theatre
  • Cultural performance history and historiography

Further Information

Prospective applicants are encouraged to read Applying for a PhD.

For informal enquiries and academic advice, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies in Drama:

Dr Dominic Johnson
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8567 

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