PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY is an international research network for the field of Performance Philosophy. The network is open to all researchers concerned with the relationship between performance & philosophy.

PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY was founded by the core convenors in the summer of 2012. The network grew out of the PSi Performance & Philosophy working group which was founded by Laura Cull in 2008. As of the start of 2012, the working group had grown to over 300 international members - hence it was decided that a new association was needed to support the growth of Performance Philosophy as a distinct field.  


Recent years have seen an intensification of research activity examining the relationship between performance and philosophy undertaken by researchers across the disciplines, in academia and in practice, in a number of different countries. The creation of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY responds to this activity with a kind of performative deixis which points to the existence of a new emergent field of Performance Philosophy, at the same time as it calls such a field into existence. That is, the convenors of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY contend that what is at stake is not just a ‘turn’ or trend within the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies – and, as such, a one-way conversation – but the emergence of Performance Philosophy as a new field in its own right involving not just Theatre and Performance researchers but researchers based in Philosophy and a wide range of other disciplines.

And this new field is entirely open. What counts as Performance Philosophy must be ceaselessly subject to redefinition in and as the work of performance philosophers. Performance Philosophy could be: the application of philosophy to the analysis of performance; the philosophy of performance and/or the performance of philosophy; the study of how philosophers and philosophical ideas have been staged in performance or how ideas and images of performance have figured in philosophy; the theoretical or practical exploration of philosophy as performance and/or as performative; and likewise, experiments emerging from the idea that performance is a kind of philosophy or thinking or theorizing in itself. But it could also be much more besides. The ambition of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY is to support the interrogation of this ‘more’, to facilitate researchers to create and question the nature of this open field.



The core aims of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY are: 

  • To nurture and develop the emerging field of Performance Philosophy internationally;
  • To facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices related to Performance Philosophy between international researchers including students, emerging scholars, established scholars and practitioners.



The core activities of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY are: 

  • To establish and maintain an international network of Performance Philosophy researchers 
  • To facilitate communication in the field of Performance Philosophy through a website and mailing list
  • To create and maintain a high-quality peer-reviewed journal with an esteemed publisher and to use the journal as a platform to showcase the best original research in the field of Performance Philosophy, including practice-based research
  • To initiate and develop a high-quality book series with an esteemed publisher and to publish monographs and edited collections that make an original and important contributions to the field of Performance Philosophy
  • To host and to support network members to host high-quality research events on Performance Philosophy, such as symposia, conference, festivals, seminars, and summer schools. 



PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY takes an inclusive, interdisciplinary and pluralist approach to the field. The network welcomes members concerned with any aspect of or tradition within philosophy, whether from the Continental or Analytic traditions, from a focus on Eastern or Western modes of thought, or from other areas including but not limited to Theology, Critical and/or Literary Theory, Cultural Studies, phenomenology, and post/structuralism. In the same way, PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY welcomes members working with any discipline or definition of performance, including but not limited to drama, theatre, performance, dance, performance art, live art, applied theatre, music, film and new media, as well as performativity and performance in/as everyday life. The only criteria for membership and participation are an interest in the field and an openness to the breadth and variety of different approaches to Performance Philosophy that the field encompasses.


PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY also aims to be financially inclusive. It is not a profit-making organization, and it is free to become a member, including access to the network website and mailing list. By the same token, PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY cannot offer funding support to network members or research groups within the network. 



PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY is structured as a network, made up of:

  • self-organizing research groups, and
  • a committee of core convenors.

The research groups within the network can either be geographic or institution based (eg. the Brown group) and/or thematic or based on the work of a particular performance philosopher (eg. the Deleuze and Performance group). Any member or group of members can apply to create a new research group via the website.

The role of the convenors is to oversee the functioning of the network as a whole and to lead on the development of Performance Philosophy projects such as the website, journal, book series and events. Nominations for new convenors will be invited from the membership after 2 years (in 2014).


*Core convenors (2012-2014):

Dr Laura Cull (University of Surrey, UK)

Dr Will Daddario (University of Minnesota, USA)

Dr Kélina Gotman (King's College London, UK)

Dr Karoline Gritzner (Aberystwyth University, UK)

Dr Eve Katsouraki (University of East London, UK)

Prof. Esa Kirkkopelto (Theatre Academy, Finland)

Dr Alice Lagaay (Bremen University, Germany)

Prof. John Mullarkey (Kingston University, UK)

Prof. Freddie Rokem (Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Dr Theron Schmidt (King's College London, UK)

Dr Dan Watt (Loughborough University, UK)


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