I am Cathy Turner, a researcher and walking artist.
I am a Professor of Drama at the University of Exeter, and one of four artist-researchers in Wrights & Sites, an artists’ organization based in South West England.
My research into the connections between theatre and architecture as ways of re-imagining city space led to my book, Dramaturgy and Architecture: Theatre, Utopia and the Built Environment, Palgrave, 2015.
My current interests are in Indian performance and ritual in its engagement with public space* and gardens for/as/in performance. These represent two projects, largely separate, but not always. A grant from AHRC has supported my research in India collaborating with scholars at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru (2018-19).
I am also researching the potential for reinvention post Covid through open air performance, mindful of its potential exclusions as well as its contribution to a wider engagement with ecology and climate. I’m working with my colleagues, Evelyn O’Malley (PI) and Tim Coles (Business School) and project partner Exeter Culture.
Previous research has included a collaboration with Synne Behrndt in researching contemporary dramaturgy as profession and concept, with a focus on the UK. Our book, Dramaturgy and Performance, came out in a revised edition with Palgrave in 2016.
Wrights & Sites’ work includes a series of ‘Mis-Guides’, which propose ways of walking** that make places strange to us. Our most recent publication is The Architect-Walker: A Mis-Guide (2018).
*We can argue about whether there is such a thing, of course.
**’Walking’ is here understood to include other ways of getting about, including wheelchairs, pushchairs, crawling, or whatever is accessible.