Dr Tiffany Watt-Smith (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011-present) works on the intellectual and cultural history of emotions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Alongside work on a monograph on flinching and a book on emotions, she is currently working on a research project entitled ‘The “Human Copying Machine"’, which explores the way our compulsion to imitate one another’s facial expressions, gestures, and postures emerged as an important site of scientific enquiry and cultural fascination in the late nineteenth century.
Dr Keren Zaiontz (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-present) explores contemporary theatre and performance in cities through critical theory, cultural policy, and performance ethnography. She is currently completing a project entitled 'Casting the Nation' which focuses on the 2012 London Games and Cultural Olympiad and seeks to understand how locals and tourists are called upon to act as ‘place patriots’ for Olympic host cities.
Dr Siddhartha Bose (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, 2011-2013) is a poet, playwright, performer, and academic. His research explores, amongst other topics, continental philosophy, comparative poetics, Shakespeare, contemporary performance, and theatre and the grotesque. He is currently working on a project called ‘Practising the Grotesque: The Artist-Critic and the Global City’, which combines performance, practice-based research, and theory.
Dr Margherita Laera (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, 2011-2012) explores adaptation, appropriation, and cultural translation in contemporary theatre. During her time at Queen Mary, she pursued a project on transnational, multilingual, and culturally hybrid theatre productions. She also convened the Leverhulme Talks on Adaptation, which ran from April to November 2012. From September 2013, Margherita will be a Lecturer in the School of Arts at the University of Kent.
Kira O’Reilly (AHRC Creative Research Fellow, 2010-2013) is a UK based artist whose practice employs performance, biotechnical practices, and writing to consider speculative reconfigurations around the body. She is currently working on a project called 'Thresholds of Performance: Between Body, Laboratory and Text', in which she continues her explorations across the biological arts, develops her explicitly embodied performative articulations in relation to biomedia, and explores the entwining and entanglements of material and language.
Oreet Ashery (AHRC Creative Research Fellow, 2007-2010) is a London based visual artist working in live art (interventions, interactions, events), performance, images, digital media, writing, and objects. Her work looks at personal politics and its complex relationship to social and political realities. During her time at Queen Mary she produced a range of works including The Great Recession, a site-specific 'soup kitchen' intervention, and The Saint/s of Whitstable, a commission which included a daily play reading and a residency in a derelict fisherman's hut. She also published Dancing with Men (Live Art Development Agency, 2009), The Novel of Nonel and Vovel (with Larissa Sansour, 2009) and Staying: Dream, Bin, Soft Stud and Other Stories (an Artangel interaction project, 2010).
Bobby Baker (AHRC Creative Fellow, 2005-2011) is an artist whose work explores gender, social relations, and mental health in everyday life through visual art and performance. In her forty-year career, she has, amongst other things, made a life-size edible and tasty cake version of her family; opened her kitchen to the public; and driven around the streets of London strapped to the back of a truck instructing passers-by through a megaphone to ‘pull yourselves together’. During her time at Queen Mary, a retrospective of her career, Bobby Baker: Redeeming Features of Daily Life (edited by Michèle Barrett and Bobby Baker) was published by Routledge. She also pursued research into a major new performance entitled A Model Family in 2010. In 2009, she exhibited her Diary Drawings or her experience of mental illness at London's Wellcome Collection. Her book, Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me (2010), won the Mind Book of the Year Award, 2011. Bobby Baker was made an honorary fellow of Queen Mary in 2011.
Ron Athey (Leverhulme Artist in Residence, 2011) is an influential American artist who uses body art and live performance to tackle taboo subjects like sexuality, the politics of HIV and AIDS, and body modification. As an artist in residence at Queen Mary, Athey gave public lectures on his artistic career, collaborated with staff in Drama to produce workshops and performances, and researched new materials towards a book (edited by Dominic Johnson) published by Intellect Books and the Live Art Development Agency.