James Woolley

Queer[y]ing the Archive: Unveiling the Invisible in Performance Art Documentation

Supervisors: and Dr Karoline Gritzner 

This interdisciplinary PhD sees the convergence of three scholarly areas: performance studies, queer theory and archival science. Through establishing a queer model of arrangement for an archive of performance, this study seeks to assess the efficacy and limitations of a queer methodology, whilst also tackling issues such as legacy, collaborative performance practice and a dislocated archive. By archiving Eddie Ladd’s collection, James intends to provide empirical evidence for the process of creating an archive, reaffirming the constructedness of the archive and testing performance theories relating to archival practice.

The role of the archival document is scrutinized by considering different typologies of item (such as costume and found objects used in Ladd’s practice) in order to assess their ability to give an account of past events. Additionally, the notion of dormancy in relation to archival objects is offered as a way to think about the relationality of the past event to that of the present archival encounter.

James has a BA in Performance and Theatre Studies (University of Wales, Aberystwyth) and a MA in Practicing Performance (Aberystwyth University).

James can be contacted on jbw@aber.ac.uk