Mathew Kieran Holland
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Running and Performance: An embodied and performative examination of recreational distance running.

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Filmer and Professor Adrian Kear


This Aber Doc funded thesis examines the narratives and experiences in recreational distance running from theatrical and performative perspectives. Analysing running from spectator and performer viewpoints the project seeks to uncover and analyse aesthetic, embodied, material and performative aspects of running, which have received limited reflection in arts, humanities and social science disciplines (Bale 2004: 1). Exploring running through theatrical and performative lenses, the thesis also seeks to develop discourses on theatricality and performativity at a time where researchers are calling for research to explore these terms as adjoining concepts rather than opposing ones (Dolan 2001; Féral 2002; Paavolainen 2017).

The thesis overall aims to contribute towards a clearer understanding of running experiences and highlight the opportunity theatre and performance studies have at producing insight into cultural activities such as running, at a time when 'performance-oriented studies of sport remain relatively rare' (Bicknell 2012: 21).