Sophie Swoffer

Dr Sophie Swoffer

Lecturer in Acting and Performance


I am a performance artist and scholar. Both my research and performance art practice is interdisciplinary and draws on both Performance and Film Studies in order to re-envisage the male gaze. I am particularly interested in alternative and monstrous femininities that subvert traditional and heteronormative depictions of the feminine.
I have taught on devised theatre and performance, live art, acting technique and new media in performance among other topic areas related to both film and theatre.


Through my research I re-envisage Laura Mulvey’s thoughts on the male gaze expressed in her 1975 essay ‘Visual and Narrative Cinema’ by pushing against and expanding the theory. My work draws upon feminist performance art, film archetypes, digital performance and activism and experimental art. My research investigates the potential of alternative and monstrous femininity that deconstructs women’s relationship to the masculinised gaze. I am particularly interested in work that challenges the idea of the female body as consumable spectacle. My feminist performance art practice uncovers new ways of resisting, reclaiming, and deconstructing the male gaze, in order to produce and celebrate innovative alternatives to heteronormative femininity.
My research investigates hyper-femininities and monstrosities and how intermedial technology can be used to expand and heighten the presence of a performer. Moreover, I am interested in notions of feminine multiplicity, excess and embodied challenge.
I have guest edited The International Journal of Creative Media Research’s special edition of Exploring Creative Methodologies (June 2020) and have also published to the international Body, Space, Technology journal (2021) and Makings journal (2022). I was also the conference committee chair for the M4C-funded and De Montfort University-supported 2019 practice-based conference, Cracking the Established Order: Practice-Based Research in Academia.
Before working at SHU I completed my PhD at De Montfort University and taught there as a lecturer on the Drama course.


Department of Humanities

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Stage and screen

BA Acting and Performance


• Swoffer, S (2022) It’s Us!: Embracing Disruption through Feminist Approaches to Video Editing, Makings: A Journal Researching the Creative Industries, 3 (1).
• Swoffer, S., 2021. It’s Big Mouth!. Body, Space & Technology, 20(1), pp.116–118. DOI:
• Swoffer, S (2020) Exploring Creative Methodologies, The International Journal of Creative Media Research, 1 (4)


Cancel event

Are you sure you want to cancel your place on Saturday 12 November?