About Me

My work revolves around four themes:

Geographies of Performance

My research and teaching is underpinned by a concern with the theory and practice of the performing arts, particularly theatre. I examine how performance produces different geographical formations and enlivens our everyday worlds. I take an interdisciplinary approach to my analysis, drawing on non-representational theory alongside literatures from theatre and performance studies.

Creativity and Creative Practice

Relatedly, I am interested in how the performing arts are valued as part of the creative economy. I am concerned with how theatrical creativity as a set of cultural and artistic skills is constituted across space and how these relate to economic and political understandings of creative practice.

Transnational Mobility

My current research examines the transnational mobility of Asian performances and practitioners, specifically between the UK, the USA and South East Asia (primarily Singapore). I analyse the different geographies that their mobilities create and the effect of such circulation on the development of creative practice and identity. I am therefore concerned with how performance can illuminate questions of migration, diaspora and globalisation. This research will be published as a monograph in 2014

Identity and Culture

I am also attuned to geographies of race, multiculturalism and postcolonialism. Performance can express and re-work geographies of race through embodied practice and attended to the ethical issues surrounding cultural representation and exchange. I am concerned with the political potentials of performance and help develop diversity initiatives in the arts.

Areas of Expertise

  • Geographies of performance
  • Geography and art
  • Geographies of race

Publications

  1. Asian Mutations: Yellowface from More Light to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Orphan of Zhao. Contemporary Theatre Review 24(4), 452-466.
  2. British Chinese Performance in Transnational Perspective. In Contesting British Chinese Cultures by Thorpe A and Yeh D (eds). Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. Advancing the Geographies of the Performing Arts: Intercultural aesthetics, migratory mobility and geopolitics. Progress in Human Geography
  4. & A Controversial Company: Debating the Casting of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Orphan of Zhao. Contemporary Theatre Review 24(4), 428-435.
  5. & Interview with Daniel York (actor, writer and director) and Anna Chen (broadcaster, journalist, poet and performer).. Contemporary Theatre Review 24(4), 496-503.

See more...

Teaching

  • GEC333 Ffiniau Ymchwil Daearyddol

    This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence as a Geographer by undertaking a critical analysis of a wide variety of literature-based sources in order to develop a cogent, substantial, and persuasive argument. While the Dissertation in Geography normally focuses on the design and execution of an evidenced-based research project that assesses the capacity of students to undertake effective data analysis and interpretation, the purpose of this module is to assess the extent to which students are capable of engaging with the academic literature at the frontier of a particular part of Geography. Students select from a wide range of research frontiers in Human and Physical Geography that have been identified by the academic staff within the Department. Given that this module emphasizes student-centred learning, none of the frontiers will have been covered in other modules, although in many cases modules will have taken students up to some of these frontiers. However, to orientate students and provide them with suitable points of departure and way-stations, there will be a brief introduction to each frontier and a short list of pivotal references disseminated via Blackboard. (Note: The topic selected by you must not overlap with the subject of your Dissertation. If there is any doubt about potential overlap, this must be discussed with your Dissertation Support Group supervisor and agreed in writing.)

  • GEG217 Creative Geographies

    This module explores different understandings or ‘modes’ of creativity and their relationship to geographical concepts and debates. It examines the productive interchanges between geography (both as a discipline and as a critical practice) and artistic expression to critically assess the myriad ways that creativity saturates our everyday worlds. The module addresses the politics surrounding different valuations of creativity – from a contributor to the UK economy, to an artistic practice with an intrinsic value, to a capacity for combining activities and ideas that we all demonstrate on an everyday basis. In so doing it considers how creativity may reproduce and redefine social spaces. The module is divided into ten geographies through which we might understand creativity and creative practice. These ‘sites’ often work in tandem with one another, but may also create tensions as different values and ideas come into conflict.

  • GEG263A Conducting Social Research - Methods

    The module covers research project design and data collection methods. Students are introduced to the availability of different data sources and to the predominant research methods in human geography and the social sciences, including questionnaire surveys, secondary data sources, focus groups, interviews, participant observation and ethnography, and visual and textual methodologies.

  • GEG333 Geographical Research Frontiers

    This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence as a Geographer by undertaking a critical analysis of a wide variety of literature-based sources in order to develop a cogent, substantial, and persuasive argument. While the Dissertation in Geography normally focuses on the design and execution of an evidenced-based research project that assesses the capacity of students to undertake effective data analysis and interpretation, the purpose of this module is to assess the extent to which students are capable of engaging with the academic literature at the frontier of a particular part of Geography. Students select from a wide range of research frontiers in Human and Physical Geography that have been identified by the academic staff within the Department. Given that this module emphasizes student-centred learning, none of the frontiers will have been covered in other modules, although in many cases modules will have taken students up to some of these frontiers. However, to orientate students and provide them with suitable points of departure and way-stations, there will be a brief introduction to each frontier and a short list of pivotal references disseminated via Blackboard. (Note: The topic selected by you must not overlap with the subject of your Dissertation. If there is any doubt about potential overlap, this must be discussed with your Dissertation Support Group supervisor and agreed in writing.)

Supervision

  • Dramatic creativity and political engagement among young voters in Wales (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David Britton
  • Ethnic Groups and Multi-culturalism in Seoul and London (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David / Dave Clarke
  • Between Culture and Identity: An investigation of the multiple identities of Muslim women living in Swansea (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Keith Halfacree
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David / Dave Clarke
  • ‘An Area the Size of Wales:’ Environmental Attitudes and the Geographical Imagination (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David / Dave Clarke

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2012 Present Lecturer in Human Geography Swansea University
2009 2012 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow Royal Holloway University
2008 2009 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geography Royal Holloway University
2004 2008 Ph.D. Geographies of Identity and Performance Royal Holloway University
2002 2003 MA Cultural Geography (Distinction) Royal Holloway University
1999 2002 BA Geography University of Cambridge

Key Grants and Projects

  • ASEASUK-British Academy-ECAF Fellowship 'Geopolitics and Performance: The role of NGOs in contemporary Cambodian dance' 2014

    , £3,500

  • British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship ‘Geographies of Transnational Theatrical Creativity’ (PDF.2009/429) 2009 - 2012

    , £259, 953

  • Office for World Austronesian Studies, Taiwan. 2009

    , Approx. £1000

  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (PTA 026-27-1668) 2008 - 2009

    , £90,887.45

  • ESRC Doctoral research studentship 2003 - 2006