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10th Anniversary Lecture

6-7 June

¡Presente! The Politics of Presence
Diana Taylor

Professor Diana Taylor (New York University)

President, Modern Language Association (MLA)
University Professor
Professor, Performance Studies and Spanish
Director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
New York University

Tuesday 6 June

18:00 Lecture & Wine Reception

Main Hall, International Politics Building

Wednesday 7 June


Parry Williams Seminar Room




Upcoming Events


Tuesday 9 May

Distinguished Speaker Series

Catherine Flood (Victoria and Albert Museum) [TBC] as part of the textiles exhibition Stitched Voices of Resistance on Conflict Textiles.

6pm-7.30pm, Location TBC


Wednesday 10 May

Distinguished Speaker Seminar with Catherine

9.30am-12noon, Location TBC


Past Events



Tuesday 18 October

Distinguished Speaker Series

Professor Naeem Inayatullah (Ithaca) & Professor Himadeep Muppidi (Vassar)

Workshop: "The Miracle is What I am Trying to Understand": Science, Biography and Intimacy in International POlitics

6pm-7.30pm, The Foundry Studio TFTS


Wednesday 19 October

Distinguished Speaker Seminar with Naeem and Himadeep

9.30am-12noon, ILLCA Meeting Room Hugh Owen Building Level D




Tuesday November 22

Distinguished Speaker Series

Dr Simon Bayly (Roehampton)

Lecture: Carry on Camping?: spectacle and concealment in the performance of politics

6.15pm-7.30pm, Main Hall International Politics Building


Wednesday November 23

Distinguished Speaker Seminar with Simon

10am-12pm, Main Hall International Politics Building


Wednesday 7 December

Distinguished Speaker Series

Nikolaus Müller-Schöll (University of Frankfurt)

Post-Traumatic Theatre: The Question of the Other in Works by Laurent Chétouane and Rabih Mroué


6.15pm-7.45pm, Location TBC


Thursday 8 December

Distinguished Speaker Seminar with Nikolaus

9.30am-12pm, Location TBC


Tuesday 28 February

Distinguished Speaker Series

Dr Jenny Hughes (Manchester)

6pm-7.30pm, Location TBC


Wednesday 1 March

Distinguished Speaker Seminar with Jenny

9.30am-12noon, Location TBC


Tuesday 14 March

Distinguished Speaker Series: Lecutre and wine reception

Prof Chris Balme (LMU München)

The theatrical public sphere in the age of post-truth politics

18:30 Main Hall, International Politics Building


Wednesday 15 March

Research Seminar with Prof Chris Balme

14:30—16:30 Seminar Room, TFTS (Parry Williams Building)


Tuesday 28 March

Distinguished Speaker Series

Dr Karen Tucker (Bristol) & Dr Matthew Brown (Bristol)

on The Quipu Project (Lecture/Workshop)

6pm-7.30pm, Main Hall International Politics Building


Wednesday 29 March

Distinguished Speaker Seminar with Karen and Matthew

9.30am-12noon, South Seminar Room International Politics Building


2-7 April 2016

Exhibition Huellas de la Memoria (Footprints of Memory)

Arts House, Laura Place (opposite Old College)


6-8 April 2016
Symposium: ‘Absence, presence, embodiment
This major symposium will include keynote presentations and workshops, as well as guided visits to the Stitched Voices and Footprints of Memory exhibitions. Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Vikki Bell, Goldsmiths.


Aberystwyth, 6-8 April 2017


In this three-day symposium we reflect on the politics of disappearance, investigating how aesthetic practices of representing absence and materialising presence engage with the embodied experience of those facing the trauma of disappearance. How does artistic practice make manifest what happens when someone is missing, relating the responses of relatives to the event of disappearance, and exposing how those responsible are called to account.


People who are disappeared leave traces behind: traces of presence, photographs and personal possessions. Though the demand is “We want them back alive!’ in the end it is often only human remains—skeletal traces—that are recovered and identified. The relatives of the disappeared also make traces of their own: their shoes wear out as they walk from office to office demanding action, as they march in protest, and as they search for the bodies of their missing relatives. They trace the names of their sons or daughters in thread, embroidering handkerchiefs or headscarves in their honour, and keeping the possibility of their return alive.


We explore how these material traces made by relatives form an embodied challenge to absence, one that can be animated and set to work, and we look at the spread of the search for and forensic identification of remains beyond ‘experts’. The symposium takes place alongside two exhibitions: Footprints of Memory: Searching for Mexico’s Disappeared, by Mexican artist Alfredo Lopez Casanova, and Stitched Voices, an exhibition including textiles marking disappearance. Speakers include:


  • Vikki Bell, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths
  • Arely Cruz-Santiago, Research Postgraduate, Department of Geography, Durham
  • Jill Greenhalgh, Theatre Maker, Artistic Director of The Magdalena Project
  • Eileen Harrisson, Postgraduate Researcher, School of Art, Aberystwyth
  • Danielle House, ESRC Doctoral Candidate, International Politics, Aberystwyth
  • Adrian Kear, Professor of Theatre and Performance, Aberystwyth
  • Becky Knight, Textile Artist
  • Alfredo López Casanova, Plastic Artist, Mexico City
  • Mike Pearson, Emeritus Professor, Aberystwyth
  • María de Jesús Tlatempa Bello, Mother of one of the 43 Ayotzinapa Students


Registration:  Attendance is free and open to all. To register, and for more details, go to the Eventbrite page here

All welcome!

Provisional Programme

Coffees/teas and lunches are included


Thursday 6 April 2017

Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Parry-Williams Building, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth


15.30-17.00         Registration and coffee, Gallery 1, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Penglais, Aberystwyth

16.00-17.00         Guided exhibition visit: Stitched Voices, Gallery 1, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Penglais, Aberystwyth

17.00-18.30         Wine Reception and Session (1) Rehearsal Room 1, Parry Williams Building

Workshops: Embroidery for Peace (Danielle House) / Arpillera (Becky Knight)

19.00                     Dinner

Friday 7 April 2017

Seddon Room, Old College, King Street, Aberystwyth


10.30-11.00         Registration and Coffee

11.00-12.00         Session (2): “The Missing Actor: Traces of Presence and the Aesthetics of Absence,” Adrian Kear, Professor of Theatre and Performance, Aberystwyth (Chair and introductory remarks: Jenny Edkins, Professor of International Politics, Aberystwyth)

12.00-13.00         Lunch

13.00-14.00         Exhibition visit: Footprints of Memory: Searching for Mexico’s Disappeared, Ty Celf/The Art House, Maes Lowri /Laura Place, Aberystwyth

14.00-15.30         Session (3): Footprints of Memory Workshop and discussion of exhibition: Alfredo López Casanova, Artist, Mexico City; María de Jesús Tlatempa Bello, Mother of one of the 43 Ayotzinapa Students (Chair: Danielle House)

15.30-16.30         Session (4): “The Acts – Vigia,” A presentation of the performance  work The Acts - Vigia - an attempt to respond to the brutality of the feminicide perpetrated on the Mexico/US border. Jill Greenhalgh, Theatre Maker, Artistic Director of The Magdalena Project (Chair: Jenny Edkins)

16.30-17.00         Coffee

17.00-18.30         Session (5): “Citizen-led Forensics: Searching for Disappeared Persons in Mexico,” Arely Cruz-Santiago, Geography Department, Durham / “Of Grief and Reconciliation: Reflections on conflict embodied in the symbiotic relationship between stitch, sound and word, voiced through the prism of the Troubles in Northern Ireland,” Eileen Harrisson, School of Art, Aberystwyth (Chair: Adrian Kear)

19.00                     Dinner

Saturday 8 April 2017

Seddon Room, Old College, King Street, Aberystwyth


10.30-11.00         Registration and coffee

11.00--12.00       Session (6): “Ghosts in the city: on appearances and disappearances within the urban milieu,” Mike Pearson, Emeritus Professor, Aberystwyth (Chair: Danielle House)

12.00-12.30         Film showing: Absences / Ausencias Tatiana Huezo, Mexico/El Salvador, 2015

12.30-13.30         Lunch

13.30-15.00         Session (7): Keynote: “Bringing the Past to Presence: Creative Memory and the Trace of the Creaturely,” Vikki Bell, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths (Chair: Adrian Kear)

15.00-16.00         Coffee and revisit exhibitions: Footprints of Memory / Stitched Voices

16.00                     Close





29-30 September 2016

The human life that’s here: A Symposium investigating Quarantine’s Quartet

Our fourth Symposium discusses Quarantine's Quartet, a major international performance event that took place in Manchester in 2016. Comprised of four pieces of work, together the four pieces constitute a sustained enquiry into the performance of ‘life’ – individual and collective, conceived through the passing of ‘seasons’ – and the ‘life’ made manifest in and through performance. 
This Symposium, drawing on contributions from the Quarantine creative team (Richard Gregory/Simon Banham), performers (Leentje Van de Cruys/Cristina Delgado-García) and spectators (Joslin McKinney/ Adrian Kear), seeks to examine how the work functioned from a variety of perspectives, and to re-stage some of its essential questions. It will be opened with a lecture by Prof Adrian Kear (Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University) with the title Staging the People: Performance, Presence and Representation

27 October 2015

Half-Day Symposium on National Theatre Wales' Production of ILIAD

The third PPi Symposium was a successful and engaging afternoon dedicated to celebrating and critically interrogating Pearson/Brookes’ remarkable ILIAD, made for National Theatre Wales. It counted with the presence of 30 participants.

The Symposium included contributions by ILIAD's producers and directors, as well as from a performer and audience perspective. Speakers included Prof Emeritus Mike Pearson (Director), Dr Mike Brookes (Director), Dr Ffion Jones (Performer), Dr Andrew Filmer (Spectator), Dr Gareth Evans (Spectator) and Margaret Ames (Spectator). 

ILIAD provided a unique opportunity to reflect on and explore the connections and points of separation between performance and politics. As such, the Symposium tackled some of the underlying questions with which the PPi is concerned from a variety of positions and perspectives.


27 May 2014

Decolonizing the Academy/Reanimating Collaboration 

This second PPi Symposium was an intervention on the current conjunction in which intellectual activity is increasingly circumscribed, instrumentalised and depoliticised. 

The one-day symposium explored how models of collaboration, exemplified in the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) from 1964 to 2002 and evident in creative practices such as devised performance as well as in the project of decolonizing the academy, might be reanimated and repoliticised. The day ended with the question "Where do we go from here?", in which future collaborations were discussed and defined.

The organisers were Prof. Jenny EdkinsProf. Adrian KearProf. Mustapha Pasha and Prof. Mike Pearson

Speakers included Tim Edkins (QMUL, School of Business and Management), Chris Weedon (Cardiff, Head of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory), Mitch Rose (Aberystwyth, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences), Meera Sabaratnam (SOAS London, Politics and International Studies), Lucy Taylor (Aberystwyth, International Politics) and Mike Pearson (Aberystwyth, TFTS). 

The day finished with an inspiring Lecture in Memory of Stuart Hall by Dr Glenn Jordan, Reader in Cultural Studies and Creative Practice at the University of South Wales and Director of Butetown History & Arts Centre. 


26 September 2012 


This first one-day PPi Symposium was an opportunity to hear those involved with the innovative and exciting production of Coriolan/us by National Theatre Wales, and those who have written on it, speak about the production. It included recorded extracts of the performance.

Presenters and speakers included: Professor Mike Pearson (TFTS), the director of the production; Prof. Adrian Kear (TFTS), Prof. Patrick Primavesi (Universität Leipzig) and Dr Andrew Filmer (TFTS). 




(From top to bottom: Prof. Michael J Shapiro, Prof. Naeem Inavatullah and Prof. Costas Douzinas)


Our speakers have included:

Dr Paul Dwyer, Head of Performance Studies, University of Sydney;

Professor Martin Puchner, H. Gordon Garbedian Chair in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University;

Costas Douzinas, Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities;

Hans-Thies Lehman, Professor of Theatre Studies at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main;

Michael J Shapiro, Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa;

Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor of Theater and English and director of the World Performance Project, Yale University; 

Christine Sylvester, Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies, University of Connecticut;

Alan Read, Professor of Theatre, King’s College London;

Naeem Inayatullah, Professor and Chair, Department of Politics, Ithaca College, former President and Program Chair for the Global Development section of the International Studies Association;

Diana Taylor, University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish and Portuguese at New York University and founding Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics;

Rebecca Schneider, Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies,Brown University;

Joe Kelleher, Professor of Theatre and Performance, Roehampton University; 

Nicholas Ridout, Professor of Theatre, Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Maaike Bleeker, Chair of Theatre Studies, Utrecht University.

Professor Vivienne Jabri, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London.


Past Events Programme for 2014-15

Past Events: 2013-2014

Past events: 2012-2013

Past events: 2011-2012

Past events 2010-2011

Past events 2009-2010