Dr Amanda Rogers

Associate Professor, Geography

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 602612

Email address

Research Links

Academic Office - 212
Second Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

About

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 am currently working part-time on a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship to conduct more research and write a monograph on this topic. 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.  

Areas Of Expertise

  • The geographies of the performing arts
  • Space, place and performance
  • The GeoHumanities
  • Identity and multiculturalism
  • Transnational cultures
  • Politics and performance

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

I teach on a variety of courses and topics. Human Geography allows us to critically explore the world around us and to make connections between different processes in ways that few other subjects do. As such, I'm really interested in facilitating this critical, connective perspective among students. I teach on Cities, Creative Geographies, tutorial and dissertation supervision, and qualitative and creative research methods. I am currently setting up a new MSc on Society, Environment and Global Change which I co-direct with my colleague Dr Angharad Closs Stephens. This will explore the key pressing issues facing us in the world today from climate change, to development, to the politics of nationalism. 

Research

I specialise in researching British East Asian, Asian American and South East Asian theatres – but at present am especially concerned with the relationship between theatre/dance, war and geopolitics. In previous research I documented how refugee Lao Americans created theatre that dealt with the consequences of an often forgotten/denied episode of the Vietnam War: the ‘Secret War’ against Laos. More recently, I have been developing this work in relation to the Cambodian civil war and the resulting Khmer Rouge genocide. Here, my research is concerned with how national identities are recovered, reworked and embodied in performance, how war and traumatic events can be represented on stage – particularly in ways that attend to their affective ambiguity, and the politics surrounding this process. This is important in contexts where the neoliberal state is open to transnational forces that promote creative experimentation, resulting in performances that potentially conflict with the agendas and ideologies of authoritarian regimes. I am also interested in the idea that artists can be viewed as geopolitical agents – as Cold War defectors, as cultural intermediaries that facilitate inter-state relations, and as change makers in society.

My previous research was concerned with the politics of diversity in American and British theatre, particularly the erasure of East and South-East Asian minorities. I have written extensively about the politics of yellowface and the representation of racial-ethnic minorities on stage. My work examined how discrimination led artists to try and travel to create opportunities abroad. I particularly explored the movement of practitioners and performances between British East Asian, Asian American, and South East Asian (primarily Singaporean) theatre worlds. This research formed the focus of my monograph: Performing Asian Transnationalisms: theatre, identity and the geographies of performance.

Award Highlights

In 2017 I was awarded the Dillwyn Medal by the Learned Society of Wales for Outstanding Research in the Creative Arts and Humanities.