Dr Johanna Linsley

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+44 (0)1382 385149




I am a Lecturer in Creative Practice and Programme Lead for English, Creative Writing and Film. My research interests span contemporary performance and Live Art, sound art, and interdisciplinary writing, and much of my work is practice-led. My work in performance, both solo and with the London-based performance collective I'm With You, has been presented throughout the UK and the USA, and in Brussels, Copenhagen, Zagreb, Bogotà and elsewhere, at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Royal Academy (London), and the Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow). I have published research in Contemporary Theatre Review, Performance Research and Cultural Geographies, and have written critically about a range of artists including Kira O’Reilly, Martin O’Brien, Pope.L, Aaron Williamson, Walid Raad, Stuart Brisley, Fiona Templeton, Ana Mendieta, Mona Hatoum and Rose English.

I am a founding partner of UnionDocs, a centre for documentary arts in Brooklyn, New York. I was a postdoctoral research associate on the Wellcome Trust-funded project Challenging Archives, working with the archive of performance artist Franko B, and research assistant on the AHRC-funded project Performing Documents, both at the University of Bristol. I was a postdoctoral research associate on the Leverhulme-funded project Acts of Assembly at the University of Roehampton. 


There are several current strands I am following in my research. I am interested in sound and listening, and I have an ongoing collaboration with Dr Rebecca Collins (Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh) based on a creative methodology we describe as ‘sonic detection’. We have used this methodology to create site-specific and participatory performance works across the UK. Our first album, Stolen Voices001, was shortlisted for a Scottish Award for New Music in 2021. Our first book, Sonic Detection: A Polygraph, is forthcoming from punctum press. I also make solo audio works, which have been commissioned by a range of cultural institutions including D21 Gallery (Leipzig) and the Centre for Poetic Innovation at University of St Andrews.

I am interested in the documentation of ephemeral and immaterial art works. I am an editor of the book Artists in the Archive: Creative and Curatorial Engagements with the Documents of Art and Performance (Routledge, 2018). From 2016-19, I co-convened a working group on Documenting Performance for the Theatre and Performance Research Association, and as part of this, organised two stand-alone events at Tate Exchange at Tate Modern: a study day on Collecting and Curating Sound, and a symposium titled Hear Tell: Describing, Reporting, Narrating. A special issue on the latter is forthcoming from Contemporary Theatre Review.

I am also working on several projects about the relationship between performance and writing. In 2023, I was commissioned to create a performance text for Ursa-X, a new performance work by Liz Rosenfeld for the Sofiensaele Theatre in Berlin and the Kampnagel Theatre in Hamburg. I’m working on a larger project about form and formlessness in writing for/with the body, drawing on a range of contemporary queer performance art works that use text in challenging and imaginative ways. 

View full research profile and publications


I teach across the Creative Writing programme, including convening the Creative Practice dissertation module for fourth-year students. I also convene a second-year Humanities module on Gender/Sexuality/Culture. At postgraduate level, I have developed and convened modules on Voice & Text, and ‘The Weird’ in Literature and Art. I have also initiated partnership projects for students with cultural institutions including Creative Dundee, and the New Scriptorium (a project of Arbroath 2020+1 and Hospitalfield House).

I am available to supervise PhD projects about contemporary performance, Live Art, sound, the voice, performance writing, and performance archives/documentation.

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Contact Corporate Communications for media enquiries.

Areas of expertise

  • Literature