Dr Prarthana Purkayastha

Personal profile

I joined Royal Holloway’s Department of Drama and Theatre in September 2015 to co-write University of London’s first BA Single Honours Dance provision, which launched in September 2017. I have a PhD in Dance Studies from University of Roehampton (2008) and have previously worked as a lecturer at Plymouth University and De Montfort University in the UK.

My monograph Indian Modern Dance, Feminism and Transnationalism was published in the Palgrave Macmillan New World Choreographies Series in 2014. It subsequently won two of the most prestigious awards in the field: the 2015 de la Torre Bueno Prize from the Society of Dance History Scholars, and the 2015 Outstanding Publication Award from the Congress on Research in Dance. Articles have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals such as Dance Research Journal, Performance Research, Asian Theatre Journal, South Asia ResearchStudies in South Asian Film and Media and CLIO:Women, Gender, History. 

Prior to my doctoral studies and academic career in the United Kingdom, I studied for a BA Honours and an MA in English Literature in India, at the Universities of Calcutta and Jadavpur respectively, and also completed a Research Training Programme in Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC). My academic background is interdisciplinary and my teaching and research thrives on the intersections of dance studies, performance studies and critical, feminist and postcolonial theories. 

My research specialisms include: contemporary dance and dance theatre, feminist performance practices, South Asian and British Asian dance and theatre, identity and corporeality (specifically in relation to race, gender and sexuality), and embodied colonial and postcolonial histories.   

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