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Personal profile

Biography

Eleanor Roberts is Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts.

In her work so far, Roberts has focused on performance and visual art in the 1960s and 1970s, conceptual and participatory art, contemporary queer and feminist live art, and practices of institutional critique. She considers performance in terms of politically situated creative and critical practices across disciplines, and her research is located at intersections of art history, performance studies, visual culture, and gender and sexuality.

Roberts' PhD (Queen Mary University of London) looked at performance at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts gallery in the 1970s, and involved archive and interview-based methods. Her work has been published in Contemporary Theatre Review, Oxford Art JournalArt Monthly, and the collections Live Art in the UK: Contemporary Performances of Precarity (2020), and Performance, Subjectivity and Experimentation (2020). Her most recent article considers Asian performance art in 1970s London in relation to black radicalism and anti-racist art movements.  

Roberts regularly collaborates with Live Art Development Agency, and in 2015 co-organised Are We There Yet? - A Study Room Guide on Live Art and Feminism with LADA and Prof. Lois Weaver. This project sought to chart histories of live art and feminism in the UK via archival research, interviews, and public talks and events. It involved bringing together a range of women and gender non-conforming artists spanning across generations, and culminated in a print and online publication. Roberts also co-curated Live Art and Feminism in the UK, an online Google Cultural Institute exhibition. 

 

Qualifications

PhD Queen Mary University of London, QMUL Studentship

MA Goldsmiths College, Goldsmiths Scholarship

BA (Hons) University of Bristol

Professional affiliations

Association for Art History, Member

Higher Education Academy, Fellow

Theatre and Performance Research Association (Co-Convenor, Documenting Performance Working Group)

Research interests

performance historiography and documentation; archives; 1960s; 1970s; gender and sexuality; queer and feminist theory; decolonial and anti-racist praxis; performance, identity and radical political movements; crip theory; live art; performance art; countercultures; modernism and the avant-garde; museum studies; contemporary art and visual cultures.

Roberts welcomes enquiries about PhD and Dissertation supervision in any of these areas.

Research projects

Queer Feminist Currents, 2021-23 Techne Conflux research and development series in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Arts and at Royal Holloway University of London. This interdisciplinary initiative seeks to interrogate queer, feminist and decolonial critique as integrated and integral in contemporary creative and critical practice. Queer Feminist Currents provides a framework for exchange between researchers, and is particularly geared towards graduate student research development and interconnection in the arts and humanities. The series was launched in February 2021 with a study day on 'Queer Futurity', and a lecture by Prof. Jack Halberstam (Columbia University). 

Restock, Rethink, Reflect: Live Art, Feminism and the Archive (2013-15) Creative Voucher Scheme partnership between Live Art Development Agency (LADA) and Prof. Lois Weaver, Queen Mary University of London. This research involved an initial survey of LADA’s open access archive of over 6,000 items, focusing on visibility and representation of feminist art, and in collaboration with Prof. Lois Weaver identifying and developing ways in which knowledge of ‘undocumented’ or under-represented practice and dialogue might be disseminated. Outcomes included a booklet and corresponding website, a free Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thon’ where members of the public were trained by Wikimedia UK on how to edit and write Wikipedia articles, and a series of research events and interviews, and public talks.

Teaching

Roberts' teaching covers a wide range of topics and periods, and involves both practical and seminar-based study. Recent teaching includes:

  • undergraduate modules including Performance and HistoryWriting in PerformanceCritical Frameworks, and Contemporary Professional Practices;
  • special topics including Representing Women and Performance Countercultures;
  • MA and PhD workshops on archival research and other topics;
  • Roberts welcomes enquiries about PhD supervision, and is currently supervising PhDs on contemporary queer feminist live art, and Irish live art in the 1980s and 1990s. Please see research interests for supervision areas.
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