Patrick Duggan


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome applications for potential projects in any areas related to my research interests/specialisms, including (but not limited to):
- trauma and performance
- performance in/and contexts of crisis
- urban living
- resilience and the arts
- politics of performance/ political performances
- interdisciplinary research

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Personal profile


Joining Northumbria University in March 2020, Patrick is Associate Professor of Performance and Culture, and Head of Film, Media, Theatre and Performance.

As well as numerous journal articles and book chapters, his publications include a special issue of the international journal Performance Research, entitled On Trauma (2011), a monograph investigating the relationship between contemporary performance and trauma – Trauma-Tragedy: Symptoms of Contemporary Performance (Manchester UP 2012), and an edited volume on the history and politics of small-scale British theatre – Reverberations Across Small-Scale British Theatre: Politics, Aesthetics and Forms (Intellect 2013). More recently he co-edited collection entitled Performing (for) Survival: Theatre, Crisis and Extremity (Palgrave 2016); the book examines performance practices that emerged in and during moments of conflict, crisis and extremity (rather than applied practices or on post fact representations). He is currently working on two monographs: Performance, Place and Crisis (under contract with Palgrave for delivery in 2024) and Rethinking Resilience: Performance Practices of Contemporary New Orleans (under contract with LSU Press for delivery in 2023), both co-authored with Dr. Stuart Andrews. His latest works include a second co-edited special issue of the Performance Research entitled Staging the Wreckage (Vol. 24, Issue 5, 2019), and an ongoing collaborative research project exploring the interrelation of performance and resilience in city contexts (see for more information).

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Duggan was  PI on a rapid-response AHRC/UKRI-funded project: Social Distancing and Reimagining City Life: Performative strategies and practices for response and recovery in and beyond lockdown. Working with Dr Stuart Andrews (Brunel), the project investigated the role the arts have played in the public’s response to Covid-19, and how artistic practice and research could inform hazard mitigation planning in UK cities. Discover about: publications from this project and its significant impact.

Duggan was visiting Professor of Cultural Theory and Performance at the University of Hildesheim in Germany, Aug 2019 – Aug 2020. Before joining Northumbria, he held substantive academic posts at the Universities of Surrey, Exeter and Northampton. He is series editor of Playtext (Intellect) and 'The City' (Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies).

Research interests

Patrick is interested in why we (still) make theatre and performance: what is it for, what does it do culturally, politically, socially, aesthetically? Within this overarching frame, his research interests lie in critical approaches to contemporary performance and the relationship between performance and the wider isocio-cultural and political contexts in which it is made. He is nterested to look not only at contemporary aesthetic practice, but also at events in everyday life that we might analyse as and frame through performance. As such, his research might engage with a protest or a carnival parade, a politician’s speech or an installation hanging of a painting, a theatre play or the representation of a particular event in news-media.

His research is engaged with poststructuralist and political philosophy, is determinedly interdisciplinary in nature and particularly focused on questions of performance in situations of social crisis, spectatorship, witnessing, and trauma and ethics. Within this frame, he explores the socio-political efficacy of theatre, performance and other cultural practices.

Education/Academic qualification

Arts (general), PhD

31 Aug 200931 Dec 2099

Award Date: 31 Aug 2009

External positions

Theatre and Performance Research Association

1 Sept 20181 Sept 2021


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