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Wallace McDowell
TOP STORY: Dr Wallace McDowell's Retirement

After 17 years connected to the department, 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 department 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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Book Chapter Published and Book Launch: Dr Yvette Hutchison

Yvette Hutchison has a chapter entitled 'Calling everything into question: articulations of black women in post-1994 South African commemoration' in Gender, Transitional Justice and Memorial Arts Global Perspectives on Commemoration and Mobilization, edited by Jelke Boesten and Helen Scanlon, published by Routledge. This book comes out of an AHRC funded project in the Department of International Development, King’s College London & Politics at University of Capetown, SA, for which Yvette was an advisor. The project looked at the role of post-conflict memorial arts in bringing about gender justice in transitional societies, modelling examples in the UK, Chile and SA. It brings together transitional justice, memory studies, post-conflict peacebuilding, human rights and gender studies.

The book will be launched on Thursday 27 May at 1pm GMT, from Lima, London, Cape Town, and Nairobi with Nompilo Ndlovu, Pena Brock, Alex Hibbett, Rachel Kerr & Ester Muinjangue on the panel. Contact Yvette if you want to join the launch.

Fri 21 May 2021, 12:14 | Tags: Publications Events Dr Yvette Hutchison

Modern Visuality and Nineteenth-Century Performance: Conference Call for Papers


Modern Visuality and Nineteenth-Century Performance

Theatre and Visual Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century AHRC-Project

Conference at Exeter University, 31 August – 3 September 2021


This event is organised as part of the three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project, Theatre and Visual Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century, for which Prof Jim Davis (University of Warwick) is the Principal Investigator.

Keynote speakers:  

Michael Gamer, University of Pennsylvania

David Taylor, Oxford University

The nineteenth century is associated with the transformation of traditional ways of life, rapid technological advances, radical changes to the environment, and the emergence of new conceptions of subjectivity. Theatre was central to the culture of this period, so how far did it reflect or shape the experience of modernity? The Modernist experiments of the latter part of the century used to take centre stage in discussions about modernity, but how far can the popular, commercial theatrical culture of this period be seen as the locus of an emergent modern aesthetic?

This is the third and final conference of our project investigating nineteenth-century stage spectacle, the viewing practices associated with it, and its relationship to the wider visual culture of this period. With this event, we return to one of our core concerns: to consider nineteenth-century spectacle as a new and experimental form and as both a facet and product of modernity. We welcome ideas for papers on all aspects of the visual culture of theatre, from theatrical ephemera to links with the world of ‘high’ art, to new spectacular and immersive technologies. We particularly welcome submissions that bring questions of methodology to the fore, offering new contexts through which we may understand the theatrical spectacle of this period.

To read the full call for papers, submit an abstract, join our mailing list, and find out more about the project, please visit our website For queries, please contact Patricia Smyth,

Careers Event: Careers in Producing

12-1pm Wednesday 26 May.  

Book your place on My Advantage: 

Producers oversee the creative process of film/TV/theatre from conception to completion, working closely with directors to make artistic and technical decisions - but how do you develop a career in this role? In this Q&A event industry professionals will describe how they have achieved success, offering advice & information to help you plan your career.

The panel will feature:

  • Pauline Mason a producer and director at the BBC with 25 years of experience in TV, radio and digital content. She has produced documentaries and live programmes on four continents on subjects ranging from the global financial crisis to climate change. She specialises in stories about innovation and social enterprise and is a diversity and inclusion champion at the BBC. She started her journalistic career on the Warwick Boar
  • Suzie Samant Suzie is a freelance Creative Consultant on primetime TV shows. She previously produced and directed documentaries for Channel 4, BBC, ITV1 and Discovery. Credits range from 'The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft' and 'The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes', to 'Kara Tointon: Don't Call Me Stupid' and 'Dispatches'. She has served as a Royal Television Society Judge and BAFTA Guru Panellist
  • Diandra McCalla Beginning her career as a Secondary Music Teacher, Diandra is a Birmingham-based Arts Producer who is passionate about creating provocative and engaging participatory arts experiences especially for young people and socially disadvantaged communities. Diandra’s producing credits include Project SoundLounge Festival 2017 with Town Hall Symphony Hall as well as the Culture Catwalk Stage for the Birmingham Weekender 2017, with Southside Producers. More recently, Diandra was Community Project Producer for Imagineer’s Bridge producing Foleshill Weaving Together, where Foleshill’s interfaith community collaborated on a woven artwork made from images that represent their rich cultural diversity. She also was part of the producing team for West Midlands Weekender- Democratising Creativity and Culture 2020. Diandra currently works for Birmingham REP Theatre in the Creative Learning team and also with China Plate Theatre as Associate Producer developing a co-designed arts programme with Caribbean and South Asian community groups in North Birmingham.
  • CJ Lloyd Webley majored in Theatre and Performance and received a Master of Arts in Creative Writing. He wrote and produced his first play, Shadows received 4 & 5 star reviews and was regarded “smart as hell” by London City Nights. CJ has written and produced plays at esteemed theatre venues like, Soho, Leicester Square, Birmingham Rep and The Brockley Jack. He is part of the Tamasha Playwrights alumni, shortlisted for the Adopt a playwright Award; selected for Criterion Theatre’s New Writing Programme; nominated for the Acumen Global Leaders Fellowship and awarded a place on the SSE Social Entrepreneurs Futures programme. As the Founder of Sorrel Park Theatrical Limited, CJ has delivered staff training, creative writing workshops and created showcase events for pupils with learning and behavioural difficulties. CJ has completed the prestigious Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme and the Common Purpose leadership programme. CJ is the Lead Artist for Lightpost Theatre Company at the Birmingham Rep which supports the well-being of young black men who according to the Centre for Mental Health (CFMH) report are, “at greater risk of experiencing mental health issues during lockdown”.
Tue 11 May 2021, 15:45 | Tags: Events

SCUDD Conference 2021 hosted by Warwick

SCUDD 2021: Beyond Inclusion

 The annual SCUDD conference will take place online on Thursday 24th and Friday 25thJune 2021.

The aim of this conference is to bring together artists, academics, and students to think together about the politics of inclusion: its opportunities, challenges, and limits. The conference begins with a sense that institutional work on diversity and inclusion has tended to rearrange the deckchairs but leave the ship intact and on course for disaster. This conference seeks to identify and interrogate inequalities of access, safety, and opportunity across experiences of exclusion. The purpose here is to identify both the specificities of lived experiences of structural and systemic exclusion but also to look across exclusory practices and phenomena to build resistive solidarities. Moreover, the conference will debate what it might mean to shift the conversation away from inclusion, which retains a sense of the centre enveloping the margin, and instead think through the possibilities for our campuses and our industry to become sites of anti-exclusion.  

The Standing Conference of University Drama Departments (SCUDD) represents the interests of Drama, Theatre and Performance in the Higher Education sector in the UK. SCUDD acts as a mediator with bodies such as funding councils, the AHRC and the Arts Councils and is consulted by such organisations when matters of future policy are discussed and decided. Its annual conference concerns topics, issues and debates relevant to those working in drama, theatre and performance in HE. This year’s conference will make space for reflections on working in our field during covid-19 and will continue discussions around advocacy for - and threats to - the discipline. As part of the conference, SCUDD’s AGM will take place. The conference will be free to attend.  

Hosts: This year’s conference will be hosted online by the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures at the University of Warwick. The conference organisers working in partnership with the SCUDD Exec are Dr Anna Harpin, Dr David Coates and Dr Tim White.  

Programme and Registration: Details about how to register for the conference and a full programme of panels and events will be released closer to the conference.

Queries: If you have any questions or queries about the conference at this stage, please don’t hesitate to get in touch off list using  

Tue 11 May 2021, 13:58 | Tags: Conference Events Dr Anna Harpin Dr David Coates

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