Dr Elena Marchevska
Associate Professor in Performance Studies
Telephone:020 7815 5823
School/Division:Arts and Creative Industries / Arts and Performance
I joined LSBU in 2012, where I am Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the School of Arts and Creative Industries, and the School’s Director of Postgraduate Research. I work on performance and migration as researcher and performance practitioner. I am predominantly interested in a the relationship between performance, politics of migration and environmental cultural studies. At LSBU, I am Course Director of the MA in Creative Performance Practice. My approach to teaching, research and work prioritises an ethos that is collaborative and feminist.
In my role at LSBU, I lead practical modules in devised theatre; engage with critical theories of performance and teach on research methods modules. I regularly teach across PGT and UG programmes in the school.
I cover the following areas of studies:
- 20th and 21st century experimental theatre and performance – especially from East Europe
- the relationship between performance, maternal and feminist philosophy – especially Irigaray, Kristeva and Ettinger
- concepts of collaboration, collective creation and audience participation in performance
- radical performance practices-especially political street performance, protest as performance and tactical media
- the relationship between performance and the Other - particularly concepts of (im)migrant , foreign and foreignness
I am Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and I have supervised to completion two PhD and two MRes students. I am currently supervising 5 PhD students,
doing research in the areas of community theatre, socially engaged practices, autobiographical performance and memory, and decolonial performance praxis.
My main research interest is the relationship between performance, migration and environmental issues. I have published widely on the issues of belonging, the female body, the border and intergenerational trauma. I retrospectively and selectively write about events that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a particular cultural identity. My academic work is rooted in my lived experience and I often use auto-ethnography and practice as research methodologies as part of my writing and teaching.
Co-Creation: I recently finished the project ‘Finding Home’ (2018-2020), an interdisciplinary research creation project in which international collaboration and knowledge exchange are critical in answering its research questions. As a team of scholars from Canada,UK and Australia – countries with the some of the strictest migration policies in the world – we came together to explore how local practices can generate a wider cross border discussion on notion of home. The project is quite unique in that it involves researchers, community based partner organizations, and artists working together. This means that all the project participants are engaged in the knowledge mobilization from the very beginning. We are driven by the following question: How can the practice as research approach to migration and artmaking enhance, contradict, complement, or reinvent the official process of crossing a border, home-making, and striving for citizenship?
For over a decade, I am working on researching maternal performance and children in performance. In relation to motherhood, I co-edited, with Valerie Walkerdine, The Maternal in Creative Work: Intergenerational Discussions on Motherhood and Art, Routledge, 2020.
This edited collection is a result of two international conferences I co-organised:
- Motherhood and Creative Practice, held at LSBU in June 2015 and
- Gender Generation, co-hosted between Royal College of Art and LSBU in September 2016.
Practice as research: In the past several years I've developed practice-led research in migration, displacement and art. My most recent practice as research project is the digital conversation piece ‘Third nature’ (2020) commissioned by performing.borders and Live Art Development Agency. The Third Nature digital conversation commission, consists of a film and the ongoing digital discussion board that you can access through this link. Third Nature is an open-ended series of digital discussions: a riot of short reflections on lived, precarious, migrant experience patched onto bigger discussions on feminism and care. Our approach to the project felt borderless – without boundaries, In a creatively nurturing way.
I am an academic link with Lyric Hammersmith and Southwark Playhouse.
I was Deputy Research officer of the Theatre & Performance Research Association (2017-2020) and am a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research Intermediality Working Group. I am also member of the Advisory Board of the Transart Institute for Creative Research.
I advice and monitor the evaluation process on Lambeth Council's project ELEVATE (2019-2021), which aimes to open up creative industries professions in the Borough to underrepresented groups (BAME, women, disabled, low socio-economic backgrounds).
I also act as a PhD supervisor for Transart Institute for Creative Research.