I am an Associate Professor in Human Geography and the Geohumanities at Swansea University. My research focuses on the intersections between geography and the performing arts (especially theatre and dance), though like most geographers working in a creative field, my interests extend into other domains, including the visual and literary arts.
My main research focuses on dance in contemporary Cambodia. I've been working on this formally since 2013, but first became interested when watching contemporary Cambodian dance whilst living in Singapore in 2008/2010. I'm interested in how the legacies of war and genocide shape creative practice today, but also in how artists use dance to explore social issues and expand the sphere of civil society. I currently hold a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship to conduct more research and write a monograph on this topic. This is provisionally entitled Choreographing Cambodia: Exploring geopolitical imaginaries of nationality and identity in contemporary dance and will be published by Bloomsbury. I have also been researching the geopolitics surrounding first Cambodian dance tour to the West after the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979) and Vietnamese occupation (1979-1989) which was in 1990 to the UK. This research was funded through a British Academy-Leverhulme Trust small grant. My website is here.
I am one of the Reviews Editors for cultural geographies and in 2017 was awarded the Dillwyn Medal by the Learned Society of Wales for the Creative Arts and Humanities. I am the Research Secretary for the Association of South East Asian Studies (UK). I also sit on the board of Papertrail Theatre Company in Cardiff and recently collaborated with Bridget Keehan on a soundscape entitled ‘Our Place’ through a Leverhulme Trust Artist-in-Residence grant. I previously worked in theatre in the U.S. and have been a creative consultant on short films such as The Orphan of Zhao Redux (dir: Daniel York) and commissioned pieces such as Cell by the dancer Ka Kou.
I am currently learning Khmer, but I have also learned Japanese, Mandarin, French and German.