Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Performance and Politics

Theatre and Peformance has joined with Politics to establish an interdisciplinary research collaboration. Professors Janelle Reinelt (Theatre and Performamce) and Shirin Rai (Politics) convene the Warwick Performance and Politics Network (WPPN) For more details, see the main website at:

We are an interdisciplinary network based at the University of Warwick comprising of members from across the disciplinary spectrum. We are interested in exploring the intersections between politics and performance. The network seeks to create research cultures that are interdisciplinary, innovative and rigorous, and bringing together different approaches on performance and politics.

Through the work of WPPN, we wish to:

  • Promote research collaborations across boundaries of disciplines, departments and universities
  • Organise seminars and workshops, conferences and lectures on topics of relevance and interest to our members
  • Publish and disseminate excellent research outputs in different outlets – journal articles, books, working papers and blogs on theoretical, empirical and methodological issues concerning performance and politics.

The foci of our research is varied, ranging over complex issues, methodologies and theoretical frameworks, but we are all interested in working across disciplinary boundaries to study the performative in politics and the politics of performance.

We are particularly keen to encourage students – postgraduate and doctoral – to become active members of the network.While based at Warwick, WPPN is open to members from other institutions.

We are an interdisciplinary network comprising colleagues from Politics, Theatre Studies, Law, and Philosophy, Sociology, English, and History. The initiative was established in 2011 with two small grants from the Warwick Social Sciences Research Forum and RCUK Roberts Funding.

Inaugural Event:

In 2011 we held six small conferences with invited and local speakers under the banner of 'Performance and Politics' exploring four central themes:
1) The Politics of Disruption and Deliberation; 2)The Politics of Violence; 3)Political Space; 4)The Grammar of Politics and Performance.


From the initial discussions and reflections, we have developed an ongoing set of Working Papers archived at Warwick, edited by Claire Blencowe (Anthropology) and a collection of essays forthcoming from Routledge in 2014 entitled The Grammar of Politics and Performance, edited by Shirin Rai (Politics) and Janelle Reinelt (Theatre and Performance)

Shirin Rai's five-year Leverhulme project, Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament culminated in 2011 with a conference that was co-sponsored by WPPN and culminated in a book published by Routledge in 2013.