Dr Bryony White
Assistant Professor in Theatre and Performance Studies
Director of Graduate Studies (Department of Theatre and Performance Studies)
Editor, Studies in Theatre and Performance
Office Hours (Terms 1 & 2, 2023/24)
I am a scholar of performance and visual art from 1960 to the present, with research and teaching interests in performance studies, live art, queer, trans*, and feminist theory and Black studies. My research and teaching draw on an interdisciplinary framework to highlight the work of marginalised artists who challenge hegemonic institutions of power—in the case of my forthcoming monograph, the law and the criminal justice system, and in my next research project, the US military and nation-state.
I have held positions in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, where I worked on the AHRC-funded project ‘Live Art in Scotland’. I have also taught in the Drama department at Queen Mary University of London, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and in the English department at King’s College London, where I received my PhD in 2020, and an Elsevier Outstanding Thesis Prize in 2021. In 2019, I was a Visiting International Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and have collaborated with cultural institutions and galleries such as Tate, the Women of the World Foundation, Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts and London’s Institute of Contemporary Art to run public programmes and seminar series for artists and the general public. I regularly write reviews and essays about art and culture for publications such as frieze, ArtReviw, the Times Literary Supplement, and LA Review of Books, and in 2020, I wrote a monthly column for Elephant magazine about sex and desire.
I am currently working on a monograph project, titled Legal Forms: Queer and Minoritarian Intimacies and Bodies in Performance, which investigates the visual and formal strategies that artists use to theorise how the law and legal structures regulate the bodies and intimacies of queer, gendered, racialised and minoritarian subjects, primarily in North America from 1960 to the present. The project argues that artists use performance and visual media in perverse and ironic ways to engage, cite or actively employ legal principles to draw critical attention to the way the law functions, and specifically how ‘justice’ is distributed unevenly. This is formulated through the key contribution of this study: the notion that the rearticulation of legal aesthetics provides a crucial method for understanding the law as a biopolitical formation, and specifically as one that undermines, overdetermines, and so undoes specific categories of subjects, especially those marked as non-normative in gendered, sexed, or raced terms.
More broadly, my research interests include:
- Gender and sexuality in contemporary performance, politics and culture
- Queer, trans* and feminist theory
- Performance and the law
- US Minoritarian art and performance
- Contemporary visual art
- Violence, endurance, and pain in performance
- The politics and ethics of theatre and performance practices
- Histories of live art in the UK
- (In preparation) Legal Forms: Queer and Minoritarian Intimacies and Bodies in Performance
- (Forthcoming) White, Bryony, ‘Returning to The Scene of the Crime: Trauma, Gendered and Racialized Violence in Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Rape Scene) (1973)’, Art Journal (Spring 2023).
- (Forthcoming) White, Bryony, ‘Traumatic Wounds: Blood and the Medico-Legal Management of Bodies in the Works of Teresa Margolles’, Performance Research, 27.8 (2022).
- White, Bryony, ‘The Star of the Show: Trademark, Theatricality and “The Grandmother of Performance Art”’, Performance Research, 24.4 (2019), 53–62. https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2019.1641324
- White, Bryony, ‘Film Still: The Artistic Impulse to Document in Tacita Dean’s Craneway Event’, Studies in Theatre and Performance, 36.1 (2016), 35–47. https://doi.org/10.1080/14682761.2015.1132898
- White, Bryony, ‘Theatre, Exhibition, and Curation: Displayed & Performed by Georgina Guy (review)’, Theatre Journal, 69.3 (2017), 436–437. https://doi:10.1353/tj.2017.0057
- White, Bryony, ‘Sharon Hayes and Speaking Through Love’, (essay), Tate Etc, Issue 55, Summer 2022.
- White, Bryony, ‘Come as Softy’, monthly column for online and print magazine Elephant on visual art and pleasure, September 2020–December 2021.
- White, Bryony, ‘Cleaning Up Their Act: Are Beauty Products Sanitising Radical Art?’ (essay), Elephant, 20th August 2021.
- White, Bryony, ‘The Untold Queer History of California’ (exhibition review), frieze, 24th June 2019.
- White, Bryony, ‘Performance Anxiety’ (essay), Art Monthly, Issue 426, May 2019.
- White, Bryony, ‘Queering the Rural’ (essay), Hazlitt, July 26th
- White, Bryony, ‘Cloud with its Shadow: Marina Abramovic’s Walk Through Walls’, (book review), Los Angeles Review of Books, 7th December 2016.
- White, Bryony and Greer, Stephen (eds), Now / Not Now (Live Art in Scotland, University of Glasgow, June 2022)
- White, Bryony and Greer, Steve, Live Art Scotland Practitioner Directory, Finding Aid (Live Art in Scotland, University of Glasgow, February 2022) https://doi.org/pubs.265874
- 2017–2021: White, Bryony and Jones, Eleanor, close, an online newsletter featuring writing from Helen Charman, Nina Mingya Powles, Lola Olufemi, Nisha Ramayya, Jesse Darling and Bridget Minamore. With an audience of over 2,500 people and features in Vice and the New Statesman, the project had great success and impact in engaging public audiences.