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In Memoriam - Professor Jim Davis

Prof Jim DavisIt is with a very heavy heart that we write to let you know that Professor Jim Davis passed away on Saturday 4th November following a stroke. Everyone who had the pleasure of encountering Jim will appreciate that this is a huge loss for his family, friends, colleagues, collaborators and the wider research community. He was a fantastic scholar and unwavering champion for the discipline and theatre historiography. He was such an important part of the Theatre and Performance family at the University of Warwick and will be missed for his leadership, mentorship, friendship and unfailing sense of fun and mischief.

Jim Davis joined Warwick in 2004 as Head of Department (2004-2009) after eighteen years teaching Theatre Studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, where he was latterly Head of the School of Theatre, Film and Dance. In Australia he was also President of the Australasian Drama Studies Association and member of the Board of Studies of the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Prior to leaving for Australia he spent ten years teaching in London at what is now Roehampton University. He co-organised many conferences including for the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) in New South Wales and at Warwick. He convened Historiography Working Groups for both IFTR and for TaPRA. He served as an editor for the journal Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film.

He published widely and with considerable critical acclaim in the area of nineteenth-century British theatre. His most recent bookComic Acting and Portraiture in Late-Georgian and Regency England (2015) won the TaPRA David Bradby Prize for Research in International Theatre and Performance in 2017 and was shortlisted for the 2015 TLA George Freedley Memorial Award. His other publications include Theatre & Entertainment (2016), Dickensian Dramas: Plays from Charles Dickens Volume II (2017) and European Theatre Performance Practice Vol 3 1750-1900 (editor, 2014). He was also joint author of a study of London theatre audiences in the nineteenth century Reflecting the Audience: London 1840-1880 (2001), which was awarded the 2001 Theatre Book Prize. He contributed numerous chapters including essays on nineteenth-century acting to the Cambridge History of British Theatre and on audiences to the Cambridge Companion to Victorian and Edwardian Theatre. He also published many articles in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Theatre Notebook, Essays in Theatre, Themes in Drama, New Theatre Quarterly, Nineteenth Century Theatre, Theatre Research International and The Dickensian. He was also responsible for many of the theatrical entries in The Oxford Readers' Companion to Dickens and contributed to the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Theatre and Performance, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Stage Actors and Acting and the New Dictionary of National Biography. For several years he wrote an annual review of publications on nineteenth-century English Drama and Theatre for The Year's Work in English Studies.

An event to celebrate Jim’s life and work was held on 6 January 2024 12pm-4pm in the Studios in the Faculty of Arts Building on the University of Warwick's campus.

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SCAPVC PGRs appointed Fellows of Warwick Institute of Engagement (WIE)

WIE encourages people inside universities to interact with those outside universities to share knowledge and research, collaborate on ideas, co-produce new approaches and enable curiosity, exploration and conversation. Theatre & Performance Studies, PGR student, Alison Porter was appointed a Fellow in the most recent recruitment round. She saw WIE as the perfect opportunity to continue her work engaging audiences in the debate about complex social issues through activities like the showing of her film, The Boyfriend Trick, about human trafficking from Albania, at Warwick Arts Centre. The film, which was part of the Resonate Festival, was made in collaboration with three charities, a professional dancer and a filmmaker from the Department of Film & Television Studies. Alison said: ‘I’m hoping to use my governance skills, creative tendencies and experience of producing in exciting new contexts with WIE.  

Alison joins fellow TPS PGR student Mark Scott who was appointed as a Fellow of the Institute in February 2022. Within the Institute, he has been part of the Evaluation Learning Circle looking at Evaluation Practice across the university, in addition he supported the Institute with the evaluation of the Resonate Festival in 2022 which coincided with the final part of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture 2021. In late 2022, he was awarded funding from the Collaboration and Co-Production Fund where he worked with the Belgrade Theatre on developing accessible tools and toolkits relating to evaluation for local artists in Coventry and Warwickshire. More about the work of the institute and details of the application process is available at

Wed 07 Feb 2024, 10:00 | Tags: Student Postgraduate