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24th January, 2020

Intersections Conference 2020

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama - University of London

Event Details

24th January, 2020
9:30 - 19:00
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

The precarious nature of the new university: the prospects, problems and aspirations of ‘early career’ theatre and performance researchers

Keynote Speakers: Dr Royona Mitra and Dr Broderick Chow


Join us for Intersections, the annual postgraduate conference organised by the Research Community @ Central. This year, the Central PhD and MA cohort is joined by researchers from Canada, Belgium, and the UK, brought together to discuss the ethics, politics, and ambitions of future research.

The new generation of researchers is forming in an environment of increased precarity and instability, contained within academic institutions, and imploding outside of them. The last ten years have fundamentally changed the landscape of higher education: fees have tripled, financial support for students has been obliterated, REF has altered our understanding of what research is and does. The government’s industrial strategy, with its sharp focus on productivity and economic impact, is likely to apply further pressure on the arts and culture sectors, already having to prove their financial and commercial viability. Brexit remains an unknown known: sure to deflate international collaboration, exchange and funding, and unlikely to engender positive changes.

In recognition of the conditions theatre and performance research is happening in, and in anticipation of those that await, the annual Intersections conference, dedicated to the work of post-graduate and early-career researchers, is an opportunity to ask: what will our research have to do, to adapt, to challenge and to counteract the institutional, political, institutional and financial pressures that await or are already here? How effective are the questions we ask, the methods we devise and choose, the curriculum we teach, the collaborations we undertake, in disrupting the existing structural, institutional, and political inequalities? What are we doing – through our research – to protest the academic and/or political cannon? How is our research resisting, rather than conforming to, the pressures to be impactful and economically viable at all cost? What kind of university is the early career theatre and performance research creating?

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