Performance Network (CIPN)

Alternate Mondays, 17:00-19:00pm during term-time

Seminar room SG1, Alison Richard Building


The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network (CIPN) brings together people from a wide variety of disciplines in Cambridge and beyond who are engaging with performance as a concept, from music and literary studies to anthropology, architecture and medicine. It asks how these varied interests might relate, intersect and interact. Interest in performance reflects a movement away from thinking in terms of immutable objects and singular subjects. It focuses attention on collective contexts. It also models a different way to mean: so performances, theatricality, theatre, and the arts in practice are relevant, too. But the group’s main focus is on the potential of the idea of performance as an umbrella approach to culture: a 'kind of thinking in its own right' (Cull/Minors 2012).

  • What does it mean to frame, stage, display or enact? In what sense might all forms of self-consciously public statements – art, politics, academic discourse – be seen as performance?
  • How is our post-print digital era, with its forces of equivalence and convergence, prompting reconsideration of traditional categories and boundaries – ie of the disciplinary itself?
  • How do we understand objects (fixed, a record) when they cannot exist separate from their experience on the part of somebody or other (time-bound, embodied)?
  • How do we understand the subject when it depends on imagined and actual collectivities to position itself?


Each session will be organized around two short but very different presentations, followed by a discussion. We hope that these discursive encounters might suggest some of the potential benefits of greater dialogue between disciplines, and between the academy and creative practice more generally.


The theme for 2015-2016 is Interactivity: Performing Relations. As an overarching trajectory, this theme emphasises the performative relationship between art objects and events and their contexts, and the extent to which they consist in a reciprocity, or interaction. We will look at how artworks perform questions of sociality, society and identity, and vice versa, drawing from emerging critical dialogue around “relational” or “dialogical” art practices. As RoseLee Goldberg said, ‘Any strict definition *of performance+ would immediately negate the possibility of performance itself’ (Performance Art 2001). This will also be the thematic focus of a conference in late-2016, ‘Performance as Paradigm III: Performing Relations’.

To sign up to the Network’s mailing list click the link on the right hand side of this page or contact Clare Foster ( Jonas Tinius (

To post information about events relating to the idea of performance, email:

Read a feature on the performance network on the interdisciplinary anthropology blog ALLEGRA

CRASSH is not reponsible for the content of external websites


Administrative assistance:



Neylan Bagcioglu (History of Art)
Jack Belloli (Faculty of English)
Michael Byrne (CMPCP, Dance)
Rosa Van Hensberger (Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies)
Emily Wright (Division of Archaelogy)

Previous Conveners

Michael Byrne (CMPCP, Dance)
Dr Clare Foster  (Faculty of Classics/ English/Creative Writing)  
Dr Jonas Tinius (Division of Social Anthropology)
Rin Ushiyama (Department of Sociology)


Clare Foster (Creative Writing, Classics) was a screenwriter based in Los Angeles from 1990-2008, before returning to England to take the MA in Classical Reception Studies at UCL. She just completed an AHRC-funded Phd at Cambridge about Greek drama, theatre history, and the performance of tradition. She is now a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCL (2015-18), looking at the history of current attitudes to ‘adaptation’.


Jonas Tinius (Division of Social Anthropology) is a PhD candidate working on contemporary artistic institutions in Germany with a focus on public theatres. He is editor of Anthropology, Theatre, and Performance: The Transformative Potential of Performance (with Alex Flynn, Palgrave 2015). 

Michael Byrne (CMPCP, Faculty of Music) is a PhD candidate exploring creativity and ageing in the narrative works of The Royal Ballet. Using the reconstruction of Helpmann's Miracle in the Gorbals as a central case study, his research analyses the embodied histories of senior dancers and the intergenerational transmission of knowledge in performance. 

Neylan Bagcioglu (History of Art) is a PhD candidate working on radical and collaborative art practices in Britain during the 1970s, with a special focus on the politics of the artist project. She has been published in the Turkish newspapers Hürriyet and Radikal as an art critic, and has worked for organisations including Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), Istanbul Modern Museum and Apple Inc.


Rachel Stroud (Faculty of Music) is a PhD candidate working on notation and performance in Beethoven's late string quartets, conceiving of the notation not as a codification of the composer's intentions, but as a social artefact. Other research interests include issues of sociality in ensemble playing, such as performing without a conductor. Rachel is also a professional baroque violinist and has performed all over the world in countries ranging from Latvia to Argentina, specialising in particular in the performance of early-nineteenth century repertoire on historical instruments. 


Rin Ushiyama (Department of Sociology) is a PhD candidate working on cultural sociology, collective memory and social performance, with a specific focus on contemporary Japan. His dissertation examines how the Aum Affair, a series of crimes and terrorist attacks committed by the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo in the early 1990s, has been remembered and commemorated.


Jack Belloli (English) is a PhD candidate looking at the relationship between philosophical constructions of skill and experimental theatre practice since Beckett. He also co-convenes the AHRC-funded Materials in Practice reading group, and has wider research interests in how theories of practice and self-fashioning might inform contemporary Anglophone writing in less apparently “performative” genres.


Faculty Advisors

Dr Joel Chalfen (Lecturer in Drama, Faculty of Education)
Dr Clare Foster (UCL)
Dr Renaud Gagné  (Faculty of Classics)
Dr Santinder Gill (Centre for Music and Science, Fac of Music)
Dr Catherine Pickstock (Reader in Philosophy and Theology, Faculty of Divinity)
Dr Alyce Mahon (Department of History of Art)
Dr Marcus Morgan (Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Sociology)
Professor John Rink  (Professor of Musical Performance Studies)
Professor John Robb (Division of Archaelogy)
Dr Lucia Ruprecht  (Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages)
Dr Zoe Svendsen  (Lecturer in Drama, Faculty of English)
Professor Andrew Webber  (Professor of Modern German and Comparative Culture)

Steering Committee (previous)

Dr Michael Hrebeniak  (P:ACE)
Professor Robin Kirkpatrick (P: ACE)
Jenny Judge (Faculty of Music)
Floris Schuiling (Faculty of Music)
Dr Luke Skrebowski (Art History)

Programme 2016-17


Performance network

Past events


Performance network
Performance and Cognition
21 October 2013, CRASSH, Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Peter Meineck (NY), Roger Kneebone (London) with demostrations by Hadas Selbst (London/USA), Chair: Vladimir Mirodan  at Performance Network

Objections to Objects: Live Art and Music
04 November 2013, CRASSH, Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Clare Foster (Cambridge), Daniel Leech-Wilkinson (KCL), John Rink (Cambridge) at Performance Network

The Work of the Audience
18 November 2013, CRASSH, Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Nicholas Ridout (London), Steven Connor (Cambridge) Chair: Zoë Svendsen (Cambridge) at Performance Network

Fourth Walls
02 December 2013, CRASSH, Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Kate Newey (Exeter), Karen Jürs-Munby (Lancaster) Chair: Clare Foster (Cambridge) With: Actress Janie Dee (2 Oliver Awards), at Performance Network

Performing Cities
27 January 2014, CRASSH Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Mehrdad Seyf and 30 Bird, Helen Stratford, Michael Hrebeniak  and David Grundy (Cambridge) at Performance Network

Dance as Ethnography
10 February 2014, CRASSH Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Kate Elswit (Bristol), Lucia Ruprecht (Cambridge), Daniel Siekhaus (Cambridge) at Performance Network  

Improvisation: Live versus Record
24 February 2014, CRASSH Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Simon Jones (Bristol), Floris Schuiling (Cambridge), Luke Skrebowski (Cambridge) at Performance Network

Praxis and Practice: Science as Art
10 March 2014, CRASSH Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Charlotte Tulinius (Copenhagen),Paul McIntosh (QMUL), Olivia Winteringham (Kindle Theatre), Claire Summerfield (Independent Creative Producer) at Performance N.

Movements between Art and Anthropology
28 April 2014, CRASSH Seminar room SG1

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Berlin/Cambridge), Adrien Sina (London), Michael Murawski (Cambridge), Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov (Cambridge) at Performance.

Joint event with Field Note Research Group.

Performance and its Objects: From Collective to Collection
19 May 2014, CRASSH Seminar room SG1

Alan Read, Georgina Guy (KCL), Ellie Lavan (Cambridge) at Performance Network

Performance Philosophy
02 June 2014, CRASSH Seminar room SG1

Laura Cull (Surrey), Eirini Kartsaki (Anglia Ruskin) at Performance Network

Performing the Public Sphere
13 October 2014, Room SG2, Alison Richard Building

Anastasia Piliavsky (Cambridge/UCL), Rafael Schacter (BA Postdoctoral Fellow) at Performance

Creativity and Capitalism: Opponents or Allies?
27 October 2014, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Eleonora Belfiore (Warwick), Susan Bayly and Jonas Tinius (Cambridge) at Performance

Rehearsal: Performing the Everyday
10 November 2014, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Rachel Davies (Kingston), Tracy Davis (Northwestern), Clare Foster (Cambridge) at Performance

Homo Ludens: Parties, Participation, and Play
24 November 2014, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Renaud Gagné, Sir Patrick Bateson, Anthony Pickles (Cambridge) at Performance

Making a Scene! (Symposium)
12 January 2015, King‘s College, Wine Room (NB Different venue*)

A 0ne-Day Simposium - Performance CIPN

Performing Laboratories Workshop (Joint event)
19 January 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Joint event with Civic Matter -Performance

Institutions and the Avant-Garde
02 February 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Gigi Argyropoulou (Birkbeck), Georgina Born (Oxford), Pascal Gielen (Groningen), Jonas Tinius (Cambridge) - Performance CIPN

Truth and Reconciliation Performed
16 February 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Ananda Breed (London), Andrea Grant, Timothy Jenkins, Ariana Philips (Cambridge) -Performance CIPN

The Drama of Ideas: Performing Intellectuals
02 March 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Patrick Baert, Marcus Morgan, Jonas Tinius and Floris Schuiling (Cambridge) -Performance CIPN

Free for All Symposium (Concept of Performance)
23 April 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Performance Network CIPN

What do images do? Picturing Africa and Islam
27 April 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Massimilano Fusari (SOAS), Christos Lynteris and Branwyn Poleykett (Visual Plague, CRASSH) — Performance CIPN

11 May 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Clare Foster (UCL), Sophie Nield (RHUL) — Performance CIPN

POSTPONED: Framing the Future: The impact of the digital era
26 May 2015, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building. NB Different day and time*

Sheila Hayman (Film maker) —Performance CIPN

How art performs society
04 June 2015, Room SG1 & SG2, Alison Richard Building

Roger Sansi (Goldsmiths), Dame Marilyn Strathern (Cambridge) — Performance CIPN

Theatre, Philosophy, Pedagogy / Martin Puchner
05 October 2015, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Special event with Martin Puchner (Harvard) -Performance Network/CIPN

Imagining the Digital Future: A Social Revolution?
12 October 2015, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

John Naughton (CRASSH), Sheila Hayman (Filmmaker BAFTA award-winning)- Performance Network/CIPN

Text and Scores as Spaces of Interaction
26 October 2015, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building *NB Different room*

Margaret Faultless (Cambridge,Royal Academy of Music), Margherita Laera (Kent)-Performance Network/CIPN

Can Performance Teach us about History and Historical Time?
09 November 2015, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Sanja Perovic (KCL), Stuart Brisley (Artist)-Performance Network/CIPN

What’s in a Frame: Art Interacting with Life
23 November 2015, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Victoria Miguel (Writer/Curator), Daniel Brine(The Cambridge Juction)-Performance Network/CIPN

Performing Knowledge: The Mediating Body
18 January 2016, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Satinder P. Gill (CMS,Cambridge), Michael Byrne (CMPCP, Cambridge)-CIPN

Archival Performativity
01 February 2016, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Joanna Melvin (Chelsea), Luke Skrebowski (Cambridge)- CIPN

Performance and Subversion in Public Spaces
15 February 2016, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Dave Beech (Gothenburg), Chloë Alaghband-Zadeh (Cambridge) -CIPN

Agency and Performance: Objects and the Social
29 February 2016, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Rachel Stroud (Music, Cambridge), John Robb (Archaeology, Cambridge)-CIPN

On Detachment and Relations
25 April 2016, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Hallvard Lillehammer (Birkbeck), Matei Candea (Cambridge)-Performance Network-CIPN

Politics, Memory and Performance
09 May 2016, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Paul Connerton (Cambridge), Mischa Twitchin (QMU, London)- Performance Network-CIPN

Training in Theory
23 May 2016, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Tom Cornford (Central School of Speech and Drama), David Winters (Cambridge)-Performance Network-CIPN

Staging radical disobedience: Antigone's revolt, from Brecht to the 1960s and beyond
06 June 2016, Alison Richard Building: Seminar room SG2 1:00pm and SG1 from 5:00pm

Half day Workshop. Registration required- CIPN