My second research portfolio is collaborative academia. Here, I focus on the development of a critical praxis for collaborative teaching and research in theatre and performance studies, and I am an activator of teams that work on different angles of this topic. The impulse of this research portfolio stems from the arguments I made in Planetary Performance Studies, where I elaborated on a disciplinary critique to performance studies, arguing that the narrative of origins in and of the field needs to be revised in planetary terms. That is, performance studies ought to relinquish the narrative that grants a specific disciplinary genealogy the authorship to what performance studies is or does. More recently, and building on that same argument, Eero Laine and I ‘The Planet, Everyday: Towards Collaborative Performance Studies’, where we make the case for a perceptible shift towards collaboration as an ethos of labour and research in performance studies. In that logic, I am an activator of teams that are dedicated to researching collaboration in itself as a methodology for critical praxis in teaching and research. Working mostly through digital platforms as central tools, these teams are spread around the planet, and we publish, teach, curate and organise conferences together.
Currently, this area of my research is generously supported by my home institution, LASALLE College of the Arts, with a two-year grant to support an umbrella platform titled Digital Collaborations in Teaching and Research that allows me to explore collaborative academia in more variables. Below is more information on active and past collaborative projects.
After Performance Research Ensemble
After Performance was founded in January 2015 as a graduate reading group at the National University of Singapore. Throughout three years of constant and consistent interaction, the reading group has evolved into a working group, and then into an ensemble research group, where members continue to develop a collective professional scholarly practice. We experiment with collaborative techniques for thinking and writing together, as a research ensemble. Members also include: Ella Parry-Davies, Alvin Lim, and Matt Yoxall.
After Performance has organised workshops in Singapore, Manila, London, Melbourne and Hamburg. We have also published the following pieces:
1. After Performance: On Transauthorship, in Performance Research, 21.5, pp.35-6, 2016.
2. Vulnerability and The Lonely Scholar, in Contemporary Theatre Review Interventions, 2017.
For more about our work, you can visit After Performance page here.
Collaborative remote/mobile teaching and training in the performing arts
Since 2018, I have been collaboration with Hannah Schwadron (Florida State University) and Theron Schmidt (University of New South Wales) that focuses on remote, mobile, and telematic teaching in the performing arts. Since October 2018, we have been teaching each others’ classes remotely and through mobile applications, testing the limits of ”live” teaching in studio settings, and exploring larger questions about knowledge making and transfer in and through performance. We recently ended teaching the spring term in myPractice Research class in Singapore, and are currently preparing to teach Theron’s class during UNSW’s summer term. In Autumn, we will be teaching Hannah’s class. We are hoping to be able to publish an initial analysis of our research by mid-2020.
Performance Studies international 2020 Conference
In 2019, I was invited to be part of the organising committee of PSi #26. The conference will be collaboratively curated by close to 30 people distributed into different teams. Each team will curate and organise a section of the conference. I am part of the team that will be curating a section titled Digital Ends, and my collaborators for that include Eero Laine (SUNY, Buffalo), Kristoff van Baarle (University of Ghent), Rayya El Zein (University of Pennsylvania), and Kyoko Iwaki (Waseda University).
More news on this project coming soon.
PSi Future Advisory Board
From 2015 to 2018 I was a founding member of The Future Advisory Board (FAB). FAB is a PSi initiative that aims to bring together graduate students and early career scholars and artists worldwide. FAB advises the PSi board with regard to the future of the field as new generations see this. To this end, the FAB initiates projects (both online and at conferences) that demonstrate this diversity and contribute to the further development of Performance Studies in ways that acknowledge this diversity. We bring together perspectives, strategies, tactics, provocations, ideas, visions, hopes and dreams from our various practices of theory and performance.
FAB continues with new members.
During my time with the group, we published the following work in GPS: Global Performance Studies:
2. Syllabi for the Future: A Playlist (eds.)
For more on FAB, you can visit their webpage page here.