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Personal profile


Eleanor Roberts is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Performance.

In her research Roberts is interested in mapping and developing feminist historiographies of performance, and thinking about new ways of approaching the archive. Her work so far has focused on performance and visual art in the 1960s and 1970s, contemporary feminist live art, and practices of institutional critique.

In 2015 Roberts co-organised Are We There Yet? - A Study Room Guide on Live Art and Feminism, in collaboration with Prof. Lois Weaver and Live Art Development Agency. 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 others 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.

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. Some of this research has been published in Contemporary Theatre Review and Oxford Art Journal.



PhD, Department of Drama, Queen Mary University of London
Queen Mary University of London Studentship

MA Performance and Culture, Distinction, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Goldsmiths Scholarship

BA (Hons) English and Drama, First Class, 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; feminist theory; performance, identity and political movements; 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

Restock, Rethink, Reflect: Live Art, Feminism and the Archive, September 2013 – January 2015. 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.


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 History, Encountering Theatre, Writing in Performance, and Contemporary Professional Practices;
  • special topics including Representing Women, which focused on feminist perspectives on performance, and Performance Countercultures;
  • MA workshop on 'Fiction as/and Methods' and PhD workshop 'Archives and Performance';
  • and other under- and post-graduate modules, dissertation and PhD supervision.

Please see research interests for supervision areas.

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

Charlotte Moorman and Avant-Garde Music: A Feminist History of Performance Experimentation

Roberts, E., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Performance, Subjectivity and Experimentation. Laws, C. (ed.). Leuven University Press, (Orpheus Institute Series).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Performance and Prostitution: The Magazine Actions of Cosey Fanni Tutti

Roberts, E., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Live Art in the UK: Contemporary Performances of Precarity. Chatzichristodoulou, M. (ed.). Methuen Drama: Bloomsbury

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Edge of an Era: Performance Then and Now

Roberts, E., Feb 2019, Live Art Development Agency.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access

Review; 'Aaron Williamson: Retrospective and New Work'

Roberts, E., Sep 2019, In : Art Monthly. 429, p. 34

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


  • 6 Invited talk
  • 4 Participation in conference
  • 1 Types of Award - Fellowship awarded competitively
  • 1 Types of External academic engagement - Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Co-convenor, Documenting Performance Working Group, Theatre and Performance Research Association

Eleanor Roberts (Organiser)
2019 → …

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

‘Stitches in Time: Domestic Handicraft as/and Institutional Critique in the 1970s’

Eleanor Roberts (Invited speaker)
30 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Terra Foundation for American Art Award 2019

Eleanor Roberts (Organiser)

Activity: OtherTypes of Award - Fellowship awarded competitively

TaPRA: Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference (Exeter 2019)

Eleanor Roberts (Speaker)
4 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference