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Professor Geraldine Harris


The LICA Building



Tel: +44 1524 594153

PhD supervision

Gerry would be happy to supervise postgraduate students interested in any issues related to contemporary theatre, performance and television drama, particularly focused around aesthetics and politics, including feminism, queer and issues relating to racism. She has in the past supervised to successful completion PhD students on experimental site specific and multi-media performance, circus, and applied theatre practice, considering issues of citizenship and education, affect, audience participation and democracy, narrative and masculinity. These include PhDs with practice as research elements.

Current Teaching

At present at undergraduate level Gerry teaches Devising and Television Drama

Research Interests


Geraldine (Gerry) Harris has a BA and an MA in Drama from Manchester and a PhD from Lancaster. Before coming to focus on contemporary theatre and performance, Gerry's early research was into women performers in 19th Century French popular theatre, specifically the Café-Concert and the Music Hall. She published on this area in New Theatre Quarterly, The Drama Review (TDR) and in The New Woman and Her Sisters, edited by Viv Gardner and Susan Rutherford ( London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992).

Since the early 1980s, she has also worked as a devisor, writer, adapter and director both inside and outside H.E. This includes works with Insomniac Productions, such as her rewriting and redirecting of the show Clare De Luz for the Munich Spielart Festival in 1995, and her writing of the text for With The Light On, a short film by Third Angel, nominated for best script at the British short film festival in 1996.

While at Lancaster, Gerry helped set up PALATINE and for much of its life (2001-2011) acted as either Director or Co-Director of this organisation.

Between 2003 and 2006 Gerry was a member of research panel 7 (performing arts) for the AHRC, and from 2006 a member of the AHRC peer review panel. She is a member of the editorial board of Studies in Theatre and Performance and alsofor Arts and Humanities in Higher Education.


Gerry's move into focussing on the politics of subjectivity and identity in contemporary theatre and performance in the 1990s was reflected in articles for The Contemporary Theatre Review, New Theatre Quarterly and Studies in Theatre Production and in her 1999 monograph Staging Feminities Performance and Performativity (Manchester University Press), which considers performances by Rose English, Bobby Baker and Annie Sprinkle. This was followed by a period of consolidating her research into the aesthetics and politics of television drama, which resulted in her monograph Beyond Representation: Television Drama and the Politics and Aesthetics of Identity, Manchester University Press (2006).

In 2003, with Professor Elaine Aston, she was awarded a large grant by the AHRC for a three year research project entitled Women's Writing for Performance (project website ). This included workshops with Jenny Éclair, Bobby Baker, Vayu Naidu, Curious, Jackie Kay, Sarah Daniels, Rebecca Prichard, SuAndi Gilly Adams and Geddy Anskil and Marisa Carnesky. The project culminated in an International Symposium held at Lancaster University in April 2006 and an 'Artist's Forum at the Theatre Museum in London in November 2006. This project resulted in two book publications, Feminist Futures? Theatre, Theory, Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Process and Practice: Contemporary [Women] Practitioners: (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Since then Gerry has been publishing articles and chapters on theatre, performance and television bringing together these interests in her contribution to her latest book (also co-authored book with Elaine Aston) A Good Night Out for The Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance, Palgrave, 2013. With Elaine Aston she also publishes a blog on these topics http://dramaqueensreview

Additional Information

Publications since 2001


 A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance, co-authored with Elaine Aston, Palgrave Macmillan: 2012

Beyond Representation: Television Drama and the Politics and Aesthetics of Identity, Manchester University Press: 2006.

Practice and Process: Contemporary [Women] Practitioners, co -authored with Elaine Aston, Palgrave Macmillan: 2007.

Feminist Futures? Theatre, Theory, Performance co-edited with Elaine Aston (eds.), Palgrave Macmillan: 2007. Includes co-authored introduction and chapter.

Chapters in books

Apres toutes ces Elles/After all this Else: ‘New’ French Feminisms Translated to the British Scene’, inClare Finburgh and Carl Lavery (eds) Contemporary French Theatre and Performance, Palgrave Macmillan.

'How to Shop' and 'Integrity the Essential Ingredient' in Bobby Baker: Redeeming Features of Daily Life, Bobby Baker and Michele Barrett (eds.), Routledge: 2007.

'It's Good To Look at One's Own Shadow: A Women's International Festival and Questions For International Feminism', co-authored with Elaine Aston and Lena Simic Anderson in Feminist Futures? Theatre, Theory, Performance, Elaine Aston and Geraldine Harris (eds.), Palgrave Macmillan: 2006, pp.169-189.

'Turing Test: doo-cot's Frankenstein the Final Blasphemy' in Performing Nature: Explorations in Ecology and the Arts, Gabriella Giannachi and Nigel Stewart (eds.), Berne: Peter Lang: 2006, pp.133-46.


'A Return to Form? Postmasculine Television Drama in the Wake of The Sopranos, The New Review of Film and Televsion Studies 10:4, 2012, pp.443-463.

'Aging Provocateurs and Spect(er)actular Pub(l)ic Performances', co-authored with Erica Stevens Abbitt, Johanna Frank and Roberta Mock, Performance Research 16:2, 2011, pp. 50-6.

 'Watching Whoopi: The Politics and Ethics of the Ethics of Witnessing', Performance Paradigm, 5:1, 2009 (on-line journal) http://performanceparadigm.net/

'Susan and Darren : The Appearance of Authenticity', Performance Research, 13:4, 2008, pp.4-15

 'Foreshadowings and After Blows: Fiona Templeton's The Medead', Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2004: pp. 165-177. Also available on line at Foreshadowings and After Blows, as part of AHRC funded Presence Project' based at University of Exeter UK and Stanford University US.

'Double Acts, Theatrical Couples in Split Britches Double Agency', New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 18, Part 3, August 2002, pp. 211-222. Also available on line via Double Acts


2006 Dramaturg on the show Crowhurst for Benchtours Theatre.

2006, Co-Producer with Elaine Aston and Suzi Wood on Split Britches edited video documentation of practice as research, a workshop ledby Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw.

2004 Co-Producer with Elaine Aston and Lena Simic, Performing Words, edited video documentation of practice as research, a workshop led by Gilly Adams and Geddy Anskil.

Selected Conference and Seminar Papers

2012 'Feminist Futures and Legacies’ Opening Plenary Panel with Bobby Baker (and others), Performance Studies International Leeds (also presented on two other panels at this event).

2011 'Once More with Feeling’, Annual Conference, the Association for Research in Theatre and Performance (TAPRA), Kingston University London

2010 'Aging Provocateurs and Spect(er)actular Pub(l)ic Performances’, Performance Studies International, Toronto.

2010 'The Ghosts of New Burlesque (2)’ Research Seminar, Central School of Speech and Drama, London.

2010 'The Ghosts of New Burlesque (1)’, Research Seminar, Drama Department, Exeter University.

2009 Study day on Jacques Ranciere and the politics of performance, the Association for Research in Theatre and Performance, Royal Holloway, London.

2008 Key Issues for Practice as Research, Symposium, Anglia Ruskin College Cambridge.

2008 'Roaring Women’, Annual Conference, the Association for Research in Theatre and Performance, University of Leeds.

2008 'Good Nights In and Out for the Girls (On TV and Theatre)’ Postgraduate Research Seminar (Theatre, Film Television) Glasgow University.

2007 'Susan and Darren: Authenticity’, Performance Studies International, New York.

2006 'Embodied Knowledges, The Women's Writing For Performance Project' at the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales.

2006 'Embodied Knowlegdes', Opening paper at the International Symposium on Women's Writing for Performance., Lancaster April 2006. This paper was also webcast.

2005 'Self Conscious Interventions', for Mapping Performance, international seminar, University of Leeds.

2005 'Beyond Performativity' for research seminar at Central School of Speech and Drama, London.

2003 'Roots in Transit', an international feminist theatre Festival and Questions for International feminism, with Elaine Aston presented to the Feminist Working Group at the International Federation for Theatre Research Conference, St Petersburg.

2002 Panel discussion with Annie Sprinkle at the Centre for Contemporary Arts as part of Glasgay International Theatre Festival.

2002 'Fiona Templeton's The Medead (In Progress)', for International Federation for Theatre Research, World Congress, Amsterdam.

2001 'Between Fantasy and The Possible in the Work of Split Britches', presented to seminar group at American Association for Theatre Research, University of San Diego, California.

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