Geographies of Transnational Theatrical Creativity

Project: Research

Description

Geographies of Identity



My research examines the formation and expression of identity through the artistic practices of theatre making. My Ph.D. looked at how Asian American theatre practitioners use performance to challenge conventional expectations surrounding racial identity. This research provided a window onto how multicultural and diasporic geographies of Asian American identity were shaped and re-worked through processes such as acting technique, playwriting, costume, and set design.



The British Academy funded project I am currently undertaking on ‘Geographies of Transnational Creativity’ extends my interests in performance and identity by analysing the transnational connections between Asian American, British Asian, and Singaporean theatres. In this research I will examine how ‘Asian’ identities are produced and configured across different locations, paying particular attention to the politics of transnationalism, postcolonialism, and multiculturalism.


Transnational Cultures of Creativity


My second area of interest lies in transnational cultures of artistic practice, influence, and exchange. Through my British Academy research I hope to move discussions of creativity and the transnational beyond a consideration of creativity’s economic value. Although economic and political relationships are central to the development of theatrical production, I am concerned with how theatrical creativity, as a set of cultural and artistic skills, is constituted across multiple translocalities. There has been a long history of traffic between the three theatrical spheres outlined and I am exploring the factors that lead practitioners to create this movement. My research further examines how specific geographical locations influence the circulation and reception of theatrical production, thereby also developing personal and professional networks for artists.


Geographies of Performance


My research works at the intersection of various perspectives on performance - from performance as a socialized identity-forming practice, to performance as an embodied, affective act that encompasses a range of sensate, intuitive, and spontaneous dynamics. I explore these perspectives simultaneously in theatrical performance because theatre is a creative medium where circuits of culture, politics, and economy become articulated on live bodies. As a result, performance draws attention to the embodied politics of identity and difference whilst creating emotional, empathetic relationships to audiences that can challenge and redefine social expectations.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/09/0931/08/12

Funding

British Academy: £257,928

ID: 21697694