Dr Katherine Johnson

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Dr Katherine Marie Johnson

Lecturer In Performance Studies


I am a Maltese-Australian researcher, lecturer and practitioner. I completed a PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies, funded by an Australian Federal Government Postgraduate Award, and a 4-year BA (Hons) majoring in Performance Studies & History, at the University of Sydney.


My interdisciplinary research reflects my liberal arts education, interweaving Performance, History, Anthropology and Philosophy to explore a range of related topics, including applied theatre, participatory arts, cultural heritage, public history, historiography and re-enactment. My research areas are unified by a focus on embodiment and performativity in and as epistemology, pedagoy, (trans)cultural community and archive. 
Ethnographic and archival research across Australia, Scotland and England led to me being a Visiting Researcher at the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Before this, I taught at the University of Sydney and wrote theatre criticism for digital culture magazine M/C Reviews (a sister-project of academic journal Media & Culture). I have presented papers at conferences in the USA, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Malta, the UK and the Czech Republic and published with Palgrave Macmillan and Taylor and Francis, among others.
I have a passion for applied theatre and writing and directing contemporary feminist reinterpretations of classic texts.

Topics and methodologies: 
•        performance analysis & theory
•        bodily and performance-based epistemologies and pedagogies 
•        material and intangible culture
•        ethnography
•        historiography

•        embodiment 
•        performativity
•        affect
•        the inter- and trans-cultural 
•        heritage
•        nostalgia 
•        community
•        gender
•        temporality 
•        space and place


Subject area



Applied Theatre 
Communities of Practice 
Ensembles Practices 
Honours Projects
Performance & Spectatorship
Professional Development
(Re)interpreting Performance
Researching Performance
Spaces & Places
Studying Stage & Screen


Key Publications

Johnson, K.M. (2015). Rethinking (re)doing: historical re-enactment and/as historiography. Rethinking History, 19 (2), 193-206. http://doi.org/10.1080/13642529.2014.973709

Book chapters

Johnson, K. (2019). Performance and performativity. In Agnew, V., Lamb, J., & Tomann, J. (Eds.) The Routledge handbook of reenactment studies. Key terms in the field. (pp. 169-172). Abingdon: Routledge: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780429445637

Johnson, K. (2018). Literary Heritage Writ Large at the Jane Austen Festival, Bath. In Hopkins, L. (Ed.) After Austen. Reinventions, rewritings, revisitings. (pp. 267-285). London: Palgrave Macmillan: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95894-1

Johnson, K. (2015). Performing pasts for present purposes: reenactment as embodied, performative history. In Dean, D., Meerzon, Y., & Prince, K. (Eds.) History, memory, performance. (pp. 36-52). London: Palgrave Macmillan: http://doi.org/10.1057/9781137393890

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