In Memoriam - Professor Jim Davis
It 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.
There will be an event to celebrate Jim’s life and work on 6 January 2024 12pm-4pm in the Studios in the Faculty of Arts Building on the University of Warwick's campus. Anyone is welcome (colleagues, friends, alumni etc). This will be a hybrid event, so if you cannot attend in person, but would like to join us online, that's also possible. Please RSVP to Dr David Coates - D.J.Coates@warwick.ac.uk
TOP STORY: Winners of WATE Award
Winners of WATE Award
The Arts Faculty Award recognises the achievements of Warwick's outstanding educators who have enabled excellent learning, creating the conditions within which all students are supported and empowered to succeed and thrive.
Winner - Ian Farnell (Theatre and Performance Studies, School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures)
My experiences as a student continue to inform my teaching practice. Central to this is my reliance on humour as a pedagogical tool – as noted in multiple research papers, laughter can create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere in which students can confidently express themselves and interrogate their own preconceptions. I take my students’ learning seriously while approaching it lightly, and my caring, attentive and fun practice uniquely enables my students to grow as individuals, scholars and artists.
Ian is an IAS Early Career Fellow and tutor in Theatre and Performance Studies. His thesis (completed in 2021 and funded by the Wolfson Foundation) explored British theatre and science fiction. Ian was a finalist for the 2021 WATE PGR and is delighted to be a WATE PGR winner.
Commended - Ronan Hatfull (Theatre and Performance Studies, School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures)
My teaching ethos, methods, and experiences traverse disciplinary boundaries across both Theatre and English. I teach first-year Theatre students and my work on ‘Your Theatre and Performance Toolkit’ has had positive impact upon their learning. My signature pedagogy on the module ‘Remaking Shakespeare’ is open-space learning (OSL), and more recently I have run a collaborative workshop for the Resonate Festival with students and professional theatre-makers.
Ronan teaches at the University of Warwick and NYU London. He is also a theatre-maker and Artistic Director of Partners Rapt. Ronan is currently co-writing Shakespeare and Hip-Hop: Adaptation, Citation, Education, co-editing Shakespeare and Biofiction on the Contemporary Stage and Screen and developing a monograph on the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Winner - David Coates (Theatre and Performance Studies, School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures)
In my teaching I bring both my research interests and industry experience to the table to create engaging, relevant and challenging sessions for my students in modules that have appropriate and authentic assessment methods. I am passionate about developing students who have their fingers on the pulse of current debates, research and the industry. However, I believe that ‘being an ‘excellent teacher’ means more than being effective in the classroom’ (Mortiboys, 136). I hope that I can have a long-term impact on my students and the ethos of my department through championing the importance of the wider university student experience; better embedding wellbeing, careers, industry, employability, and skills within the curriculum; and collaborating with students to foster a meaningful sense of community in Theatre and Performance Studies (TPS).
David is an Assistant Professor in Theatre and Performance Studies. He teaches and researches nineteenth century theatre history, historiography, and queer theatre. As well as teaching core and specialist modules in the department, David has designed a skills-focussed programme for first year undergraduate students and an industry-focussed module in collaboration with Warwick Arts Centre.
More info here WATE Arts Winners (warwick.ac.uk)