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1997 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I am a Professor in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance. My research focuses broadly on performance as socially, culturally, and politically resistive and transformative activity. Over the course of a 22-year career, I have developed an international reputation for leading the development of performance studies, particularly in the area of feminist and queer theory and new materialst and affect studies-based research. I am a recognised leader in the development of innovative and critical arts-based methodologies. My performance-based and narrative research spans cultural critique and social inclusion, education and resilience building, and enhancing health and well-being among minoritarian cultures and communities. I am recognized for a collaborative and impact-focused research program that integrates theory and creative practice as a means of critique and transforming lives, relationships, ways of living, and communities.  

I have has published or have in press more than 100 articles, book chapters, reviews, and editorials and has authored, co-authored and edited 14 books: Kaleidoscope Notes: Writing Women’s Music and Organizational Culture(1998, AltaMira), Torch Singing: Performing Resistance and Desire from Edith Piaf to Billie Holiday(2007, AltaMira), Handbook of Autoethnography (2013, Left Coast Press, co-edited with Tony E. Adams and Carolyn Ellis) Autoethnography(2015, Oxford University Press, co-authored with Tony E. Adams and Carolyn Ellis), Identity, Place, Exile: Storying Home(2015, Lexington, co-edited with Devika Chawla), Writing for Performance(2016, Sense, co-authored with Anne M. Harris), Queering Families, Schooling Publics: Keywords(2017, Routledge, co-authored with Anne M. Harris, Sandra L. Faulkner and Eloise Brook), Creative Selves/Creative Cultures: Critical Autoethnography, Performance, and Pedagogy(2017, Palgrave MacMillan co-edited with Marc Pruyn) Queering Autoethnography(2018, Routledge, co-authored with Anne Harris), The Queer Life of Things: Performance, Affect, and the More-Than-Human(2019, Lexington, co-authored with Anne M. Harris), Wayfaring and/as Critical Autoethnography (2020, Routledge, co-edited with Fetaui Iosefo and Anne Harris)The Handbook of Autoethnography, 2ndedition (2021, Routledge, co-edited with Tony E. Adams and Carolyn Ellis), and Autoethnography, Autofiction and Autotheory: Writing Relationships, Everyday Realities and Social Justice (forthcoming Routledge 2024).

I am the founding editor of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, a journal dedicated to publishing innovative, experimental, aesthetic, and provocative works on the theories, practices, and possibilities of critical qualitative research. My writing, directing and performance work has been featured at international events including FEAST Festival in Adelaide, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in the US, and in performance and conference venues in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Scotland. I have been part of 3 successful ARC applications totalling $1,353,604 including:

  • DP200102876 Staging Australian Women’s Lives: Theatre, Feminism and Socially Engaged art (DP200102875, 2020-2023) (Lead CI)
  • LP190100247 Borderline Personality Disorder as Social Phenomena (LP190100247, 2020-2023) (Co-CI)
  • AusStage LIEF 7: The International Breakthrough (LO20110007, 2021-2024)

I am the recipient of several research and teaching/mentoring awards, including the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry's Special Career Award, National Communication Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Performance Studies, the Janice Hocker Rushing Early Career Research Award and the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender Feminist Teacher/Mentor Award.

Supervision interests

My supvervision interests include theatre and performance studies, social change and social justice and critical communication research projects. In particular, I am invested in supervising research that focuses on or involves:

  • The role of performance in identity politics, efforts to effect social change, and improve individual and community health and well being
  • Feminist and queer theory analyses of cultural phenomena including performance
  • New materialist and affect studies in/as performance
  • Research involving critical and performance ethnography and autoethnography
  • Innovative critical qualitative methods including performative writing and non-representational modes of reserach creation 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Communication/Performance Studies, PhD, Music For Torching , University of Texas at Austin

Aug 1996Dec 2001

Award Date: 22 Dec 2001

Communication, MA, Kaleidoscope Notes: An Ethnography, California State University Sacramento

Aug 1993May 1996

Award Date: 20 May 1996

Humanities, BA

Aug 1984May 1988

Award Date: 20 May 1988

Research area keywords

  • Theatre and performance studies
  • Critical qualitative methods
  • Queer theory
  • Gender and sexualities studies
  • New materialisms
  • Affect studies
  • Critical autoethnography
  • Health and wellbeing of minoritarian communities

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or