Performance and State Violence

15-16 June 2022 at Queen Mary University of London and Online

The discipline of theatre and performance studies has approached issues of state violence in myriad ways – prison drama projects, the performativity of military displays, and theatrical protests against certain laws, to name a few examples. While these topics come up frequently, the actual role of the state, and how its involvement in questions of performance and theatricality relate to its broader aims, interests, constitution, and reproduction, are often overlooked, sidestepped, and under-theorised. This conference invites responses which contextualise performance analysis within broader critical theories of the state.

This conference will be held in a mixed capacity both online and in-person. Conference tickets are free but RSVP is essential.
For in-person tickets, visit
For online tickets, visit


Day 1

15 June

9:50Welcome and Opening Remarks
Panel 1: Interpolation
Staging subjection: theatricality and concealment in the bourgeois courtroom – Lucy Freedman
Theatre of War: Rehearsal, Pedagogy and Space – Emilia Weber
Staged Trails: Egyptian Subjects and the performative nature of Colonial Violence – Ahmed Abozaid
11:30Panel 2: Gendered Violence
Returning to The Scene of the Crime, Trauma, Gendered and Racialized Violence in Ana  Mendieta’s Untitled (Rape Scene) (1973) – Bryony White
The Nordic model, state protection, and sex work as work: Maïa Izzo-Foulquier’s Curriculum Vitæ Pute et Peintre (2017) – Savannah Whaley
Lastesis: Chilean Viral Performance – Micaela Signorelli
13:00Lunch break
14:00Keynote Presentation by Jennifer Doyle
15:00Coffee Break
15:30Performance Work by Lucy Beynon and Lisa Jeschke

Day 2

16 June

Panel 3: (After) Colonialism
Landscaping Dispossession: Settler Outposts and Palestinian Real Estate in Jonah’s Whale – Shane Boyle
(In)Security Theatre: Protest and the Performance of Institutional Authority – Carla Lever
Policing of Immigration in 1920s Britain: Questioning Racial and Colonial Structures of State Violence in Performance – Mridula Sharma
11:30Panel 4: Policing
CopWatching, or, Spectatorship and the Police
– Martin Young
Call To Arms (2021)
by PentHouss
Performance Lecture
by Vanessa Macaulay
13:30Lunch break
14:30Panel 5: Performance and Authoritarianism
Antigone, the Strong Female Leader and the Indian Nation State – Souradeep Roy
Eva’s Wedding (1972): Socialist Agonism in the work of Alex Mlynarčík – Sam Čermák
Unsettling the Complacency of the Present: Cordelia Lynn’s Love and Other Acts of Violence and Lene Therese Teigen’s Time Without Books – Alex Watson
16:00Coffee Break
16:15Performance Presentation with Sebastian Mylly
16:30Keynote presentation by Aylwyn Walsh
17:30Closing remarks by Swati Arora
18:00Wine reception
The conference schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Financially supported by:

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