Miss Eve Smith

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Personal profile

I am an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) holder working with the Victoria and Albert Museum and Royal Holloway, University of London, supervised by Professor Gilli Bush-Bailey and Doctor Kate Dorney. The CDA was inspired by Royal Holloway’s acquisition of the Roy Waters Theatre Collection and I am the first doctoral researcher to have access to the collection.

My research interrogates the formation, the function, and the significance of the theatre collection and archive, with an emphasis on the idiosyncratic relationship between the collector and their collection. I am interested in investigating the transition of a theatre collection from a private to a public space; in questioning notions of privacy and the public; in considering how a theatre collection bestows cultural significance or capital onto the institution that houses it; in researching the social, intellectual and artistic realms to which the collectors of theatre ephemera belong and the impact of sexuality and gender on collector and collection; in mapping the hidden networks between collectors and members of theatrical society; and in the extent to which theatrical ephemera forms and informs national and cultural understandings of theatrical narratives and histories. I am influenced by readings in theatre history and historiography, archive theory, museum theory, and material culture.

I received a BA (Hons.) First Class in Drama from the University of Manchester in 2010 and my thesis concentrated on the theatre of the Weimar Republic, in particular its portrayal of changing gender roles following the First World War. I was awarded AHRC funding to continue in Manchester and study for an MA in Theatre Studies, for which I received a Distinction in 2011. My MA thesis explored the life and work of the Polish playwright Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and considered the potential of his plays to reflect the turmoil of Polish society in the interwar period.

I was awarded a three month fellowship at the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin under the AHRC’s International Placement Scheme. Starting in September 2014 I had access to the collections of Edward Gordon Craig, Radclyffe Hall and Edith Evans as well as gaining an overview of the three theatre collections that form the cornerstone of the theatre archives at the Ransom Center. This research enriches my current work on the Gabrielle Enthoven Collection and the Roy Waters Theatre Collection, providing international comparisons between theatre collections and collectors, and the potential to uncover further links and social networks occupied by the collector. It also provided me with an opportunity to share and publicise my research with international scholars.

I have presented conference papers at the TaPRA Postgraduate Symposium, the Society for Theatre Research's New Researchers Network Symposium, and the IFTR World Congress 2014.

I am also the author of the Wikipedia page on Gabrielle Enthoven.

This is located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_Enthoven

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