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Wallace McDowell
TOP STORY: Dr Wallace McDowell's Retirement

After 17 years, we're saying goodbye to Wallace McDowell this summer. Students and staff are very sad to see him go. Wallace has given a huge amount to Theatre and Performance Studies over the years and has inspired and supported generations of students. All of us wish him all the very best for the next adventure in retirement!

Wallace has written the following:

"It was 17 years ago that I, as a 25-year veteran practitioner in the professional theatre industry, arrived to start my Ph.D at Warwick under the supervision of Nadine Holdsworth. I had assumed that I would pursue a lonely research furrow for 3-4 years to complete my project. Instead, the academic equivalent of a CS Lewis wardrobe gave me access to a world that I did not know existed: an unbelievably collegiate department under the then leadership of Jim Davis; a vibrant research community of fellow Ph.D students; opportunities to go to conferences – Helsinki, Stellenbosch, Barcelona; and, above all the opportunity to teach which was not something I had even thought about when I started.

I discovered it was what I loved doing and got the opportunity to develop my own teaching areas – 20th Century Irish Theatre, and Performing masculinities. This served as the basis for my teaching and convening of work when I became a full member of the department. In doing so I met cohort after cohort of talented and bright students who had a huge impact on my life. You know who you are. That is what has made the last 17 years so worthwhile.

I am sorry to be leaving but sometimes the time is just right. In so many ways, academic life is another planet from 2004. In some ways, however, many fundamental values remain – and they continue to remain in the TPS of 2021 led by Anna Harpin.

Over the years, the work and subsequent lives of students have been life affirming and I know that this will continue. This is something that gives me immense pleasure

For me, let us see what happens. I take great comfort in the words of Homer – Simpson that is – ‘I have enough money now to last me for the rest of my life – as long as I die by next Tuesday'.

Farewell and keep the faith. Fly strong and fly high


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A welcome to Leverhulme Early Career Fellow Dr Julia Peetz

We are delighted to Welcome Dr Julia Peetz to the department who has been awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.


Dr Julia Peetz completed a PhD on the US presidency, political representation, and performance at the University of Surrey in January 2019, as part of which she interviewed presidential speechwriters spanning administrations and campaigns from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. She has lectured at Goldsmiths, University of London, the University of Surrey, and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her work is published in Contemporary Theatre Review, Performance Research, and in development as a monograph. She is a past editor (2017-2019) of the peer-reviewed early-career journal Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts, published out of Royal Holloway, University of London, and a recipient of the James Thomas Memorial Prize (Political Studies Association).


Through a focus on political oratory, 'Performing Anglo-American Relations: Exceptionalism, Myth, Identity’ offers the first major study of the performative dimension of Anglo-American relations. Examining how key events in US-UK relations—from the American Revolutionary War to the Suez Crisis and beyond—have been staged in political oratory, the project seeks to capture how performance has helped construct a political imaginary of Western exceptionalism that has shaped the order of the modern world. This research introduces an interdisciplinary methodology that combines archival research and performance analysis, thereby opening up a new approach and an international relations perspective for the emerging field of politics and performance research.

Mon 30 Sep 2019, 16:00 | Tags: Research Dr Julia Peetz Awards