Mr Alan Duffield

Supervised by

  • Libby Worth First/primary/lead supervisor


Educational background

University of London Goldsmiths College 1966: Teacher's Certificate, Drama

Hatfield Polytechnic 1974: BA English Literature

Essex University 1975: MA Sociology of Literature

Southampton University 1991: MA Post Compulsory and Adult Education

University of London Royal Holloway: 2008: MA Physical Theatre

University of London Royal Holloway: 2016: PhD: Thesis Title: Sense of a Self, Emerging: Nomadic Trajectories in Contemporary Dance

Personal profile

I have worked in education throughout my life, starting as a teacher before full comprehensivisation in 1966. I have made a contribution to the development of Drama/theatre in the curriculum from its relative absence as an organised presence in 1966 to its current position as an independent subject offered for examination at all levels. I have worked in the advisory system and as an art's centre director and completed my working life in post 16 education developing performing arts. I am a wholehearted supporter of the comprehensive system and of all education free at the point of delivery funded fully from taxation. I am equally committed to the value and necessity of Drama/Dance/Performance/Theatre as a strong presence in all phases of education. I am lucky at my age to be able to pursue my research at Royal Holloway into sense of a self in movement in contemporary dance entirely from my love of the area.

Research interests

My research is concerned with examining self/presence/place in UK contemporary dance using Rosemary Lee and Yael Flexer as my main examples of practice, with additional reference to the work of Jonathan Burrows. I have also worked in creative collaboration with dancers and other practitioners to create two new dance pieces, Motion Traces ii (July 2013) and Emerging Never Arriving (July 2014) at Chichester University Dance Department, to advance my research. I would cite Elizabeth Grosz, Tim Ingold, Rosi Braidotti, Antonio Damasio, Giles Deleuze and Moshe Feldenkrais as examples of major influences in my research in addition to material specifically written on dance.

I present the ideas of self/presence/place as plastic, fluid and processual. I am concerned to link my work to ideas of becoming and of the mutuality of mind/body - embodied subjectivity as a socially mediated, non-unitary process. I am concerned, as Grosz and Braidotti advocate, with the breakdown of walls between knowledges and as such am making use of current theories of movement recognition from neuroscience. My research gives voice, wherever possible, to the thoughts and understandings of dancers themselves.

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