Histories and Geographies of Practice and Performance

Work in this area by the group extends our theoretical tools for grasping non-representational aspects of everyday life. In particular, the body of research conducted has worked upon the concept of performativity, the history of time-space figurations and the empirical in terms of performance.

Paul Glennie has worked extensively on the historical geographies of time and consciousness, and has written a research monograph with Nigel Thrift on this theme which builds on the conceptual foundations of performativity.

Together with colleagues at Oxford, Durham & Sheffield, JD Dewsbury is at the forefront of geographical scholarship on new approaches to practice. In particular his work has cut across the performing arts and the question of embodiment towards a focus on events and the politics of new formations of subjectivity.

Merle Patchett's research on documenting the craft practice of taxidermy experiments with aligning non-representational and historical approaches within the discipline. For example, Merle placed herself in the position of apprentice to a practicing taxidermist, recognising that the position of learner is a highly instructive context from which to enquire into how present-day practice relates to a representational culture charting the development of the craft in historical ‘how-to-do’ manuals. When juxtaposing contemporary ethnographies of taxidermy practice with descriptions of practice in historical ‘how-to-do’ manuals, Merle shows how certain sets of practices can achieve temporal duration and spatial extension.  Relatedly, in Routledge's  forthcoming Video Methods book Merle emphasises the potential of video-ethnography for witnessing and evoking the sensory, affective and more-than-human registers of taxidermy practice..

Yvonne Sherratt has published extensively on Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno’s cultural analysis of Western society, especially in relation to aesthetics of space, distance and urbanization.

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