Professor Joanne Tompkins

Executive Director (ARC)

School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview

Professor Joanne Tompkins is currently seconded to the Australian Research Council as Executive Director of the Humanities and Creative Arts panel, for a period of three years (until 2019).

Her research interests include spatial theories and virtual reality; post-colonial, intercultural, and multicultural drama, literature, and theory; performance theories; and feminist performance.

Her current research includes 3D visualisation and modelling of theatre spaces; the spatial theory of heterotopia; space in Australian and Canadian theatre; database of Australian performance; multicultural theories and drama, and intercultural performance.

She is the author of articles on: Spatial theory and virtual reality; post-colonial, multicultural, and intercultural drama and theory; Australian drama and literature and Canadian drama;

She is author of: Theatre’s Heterotopias: Space and the Analysis of Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014; and Unsettling Space: Contestations in Contemporary Australian Theatre. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2006.

She is co-author of: A Global Doll's House: Ibsen and Distant Visions. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016 (with Julie Holledge, Frode Helland and Jonathan Bollen); Women's Intercultural Performance, Routledge, 2000 (with Julie Holledge); and Post-colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics, Routledge, 1996 (with Helen Gilbert).

She is editor of: Theatre Journal, "Space and the Geographics of Theatre," a special issue of Modern Drama, 2004; "Theatre and the Canadian Imaginary," a special issue of Australasian Drama Studies, 1996.

She is co-editor of: Performing Site-Specific Theatre: Politics, Place, Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012 (with Anna Birch); Site-Specificity and Mobility, a Special Issue of Contemporary Theatre Review 2012 (with Anna Birch); Performance and Design, a special issue of Australasian Drama Studies (with Andrew Filmer and Miranda Heckenberg) 2012;Modern Drama: Defining the Field, University of Toronto Press, 2003 (with Ric Knowles and WB Worthen); Modern Drama 1999-2005; Performing Women / Performing Feminisms: Interviews with International Women Playwrights (with Julie Holledge).

Research Interests

  • Theatre and Spatiality
    I am interested in the creation and manipulation of imaginative space/locations on stage, and the ways in which architecture contributes to imaginative stage space. I am also interested in the relationship between space on stage and space in the cultural context outside a theatre venue. I describe this through the concept of heterotopia, a development of Kevin Hetherington's formulation of Foucault's version of the term.
  • Theatre and Virtual Reality
    I research the ways in which theatre might engage with virtual reality. I explore this primarily through the redevelopment of historical theatre venues, virtually. These venues are useful to explore architectural structure, how special effects worked, how actors moved and performed on such stages, and how stage properties functioned then.

Research Impacts

Professor Tompkins has made a research impact in terms of the development of cultural spaces for theatres, galleries, and museums. Through the Ortelia project (www.ortelia.com), she, in conjunction with two Virtual Reality modellers, has developed tools for managing contemporary cultural venues. There is also the capacity for curating and archiving gallery and museum exhibitions and designing theatre productions. There is also a historical component to the theatre projects: this aspect of Ortelia models early modern theatres from London to investigate how performance was staged then. Ortelia has also developed the capacity to provide the curation of 3D mobile objects for museum exhibitions and for greater investigation by the museum community and by the cultural community from which the objects have emerged.

She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Queen Mary, University of London (2015).

Qualifications

  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, Queen Mary University of London
  • Master of Arts, Wat.
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Toronto

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • Among the topics I could supervise are theatre history, theatre theory, and cultural, national, spatial approaches to theatre. I am particularly interested in Australian and Canadian theatre.

  • I am interested in topics relating to digital humanities and theatre and VR theatre.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

  • Tompkins, J. E. (2002) James Reaney in New, William H. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. 1st Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Among the topics I could supervise are theatre history, theatre theory, and cultural, national, spatial approaches to theatre. I am particularly interested in Australian and Canadian theatre.

  • I am interested in topics relating to digital humanities and theatre and VR theatre.