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  4. Dr Katherine Johnson

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.

  • About

    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

  • Teaching

    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

  • Publications

    Journal articles

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

    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:

    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:

    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:

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