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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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A Window on Applied and Socially Engaged Performance at Warwick – 24th February 5-6pm.

Join us online to find out more about the projects and research we are leading, the kinds of applied and socially engaged work that takes place at Warwick, and the communities we are connected to. We will explore what it means to be involved in social action through theatre and performance today, and what challenges and possibilities we are presented with.

We will begin the event by hearing from a panel of practitioners and academics at Warwick. They will share examples of their recent practice and research. We will then open up for a discussion relating to applied and socially-engaged performance.You will also be able to ask further questions you may have concerning the MA Applied Theatre: Arts, Action, Change.

The panel will include:

Max Dean, a PhD researcher at Warwick and Director at C&T, one of the Associate Companies for the MA. C&T combines applied theatre methodologies with digital technologies to explore and grow creativity with children and adults.

Saul Hewish, one of the country's leading practitioners in the use of drama and theatre with offenders. In 1999 he co-founded RideOut (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation), which develops innovative and experimental arts-based projects within the criminal justice system.

Professor Nadine Holdsworth, whose research spans questions of representation, participation, citizenship, political change and cultural value. She explores how theatre, performance and arts-based methodologies can be used to illuminate pressing social issues and marginalised groups.

Dr Yvette Hutchison, a South African academic whose work focuses on Anglophone African theatre, dance and intercultural performance. She has taught on and worked in various theatre for development and community theatre projects in Africa and the UK.


The session will be chaired by Dr Bobby Smith, a researcher and practitioner whose current work focuses on applied theatre and global development.

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Welcome to Dr Pedzisai Maedza, our Newton International Fellow!

Pedzisai MaedzaWe are happy announce that Dr Pedzisai Maedza will be joining us on 1 January on a 2-year Newton International Fellowship to work on the project 'Chains of Memory in the postcolony: Performing and Remembering the Namibian Genocide'. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of Zimbabwe. He received his PhD from University of Cape-Town, SA, in 2018; with a DAAD scholarship that facilitated his research at Mainz University. Pedzisai is a writer, director, actor as well as someone who has published widely. In 2017 his monograph Performing Asylum: Theatre of Testimony in South Africa was published by the African Studies Centre at University of Leiden, Netherlands. We look forward to working with Dr Maedza in the time he is with us at Warwick.

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 13:45 | Tags: Research Dr Yvette Hutchison

Dr Yvette Hutchison Publication: 'Voicing the Imaginative in Africa: three creatives speak'

Published online on 22 Jun 2020:

Loots, L, Yvette Hutchison & Ongezwa Mbele. Voicing the Imaginative in Africa: three creatives speak. Agenda, special issue on “Cultural Dialogues for Feminist Creatives: Southern Voices”, 2020,

In this article, the authors interview three African women creatives - Tosin Jobi-Tume (Nigeria) about playwriting/theatre, Germaine Acogny (Senegal) about dance and choreography, and Buhlebezwe Siwani (South Africa) about fine art/performance art and photography - asking them how they engage with African feminisms as African women creatives and how this impacts their work.

Sun 06 Sep 2020, 22:43 | Tags: Dr Yvette Hutchison

New Book Chapter: 'African Indigeneity: The Southern African challenge'

Yvette Hutchison has a new chapter, 'African Indigeneity: The Southern African challenge' appearing in Key Concepts in Indigenous Studies, edited by Ganesh Devy (ed.), and published by Routledge. This series was part of Routledge Conversations, celebrating World's Indigenous Peoples' Day on 8 August 2020. A research event was also captured online, and can be viewed here. An outline of the event can be found below:

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed on 9 August each year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population. Taylor & Francis celebrates World's Indigenous Peoples Day with launch of our new series Key Concepts in Indigenous Studies. Watch the conversations & dialogues on Key Concepts in Indigenous Studies by Dr. Shashank Shekhar Sinha Publishing Director; G. N. Devy Series editor and our expert panel includes Dr. Anne Brewster - Associate Professor, School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales ; Dr. Brendon Nicholls - Acting Director, Centre for African Studies University of Leeds ; Dr. Ximena Cordova Oviedo - Assistant Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Zayed University, UAE.

Sun 06 Sep 2020, 22:39 | Tags: Dr Yvette Hutchison

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