Dr Caroline Wake

Senior Lecturer
BA(Hons) PhD (UNSW) Grad. Cert. University Learning and Teaching
Forced Migration Research Network, School of the Arts & Media


+ 61 2 9385 0720
246E, Level 2 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Migration, Performing Arts and Creative Writing, Performance and Installation Art, Migrant Cultural Studies
Tags: Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage, The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)

Caroline Wake is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance in the School of the Arts and Media. In broad terms, she researches the relationship between politics and performance and within that she has several interests. Firstly, in theatre and migration, including the participation, representation and self-determination of refugees and asylum seekers in contemporary performance and visual art. Secondly, documentary theatres including autobiography and performed oral history. Thirdly, in the cultural afterlives of performance, including reviews, photographic and filmic documentation, archives, and representations of performance in other media. This work has been published in her edited book, Visions and Revisions: Performance, Memory, Trauma (2013, with Bryoni Trezise) as well as in journals such as Theatre Research International, Text & Performance Quarterly, New Theatre Quarterly, Modern Drama, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, and History & Memory.

Caroline is a Board Member (Awards Officer) of Performance Studies international (PSi), the discipline’s peak body. She is Editor of Performance Paradigm, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal devoted to contemporary theatre, performance and visual art in the Asia-Pacific. She is Associate Editor of Performance Research and recent Guest Editor, with Dr Emma Cox (Royal Holloway), of Research in Drama Education's special issue "Envisioning Asylum/Engendering Crisis".

Outside the university, Caroline serves as Board Member for PACT Centre for Emerging Artists and as the Chair of the RealTime Guardians Committee for RealTime arts magazine, where she has previously worked as online producer. In 2015, she wrote the UNSW submission to, and then appeared in person at, the Senate Inquiry into the Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget on the Arts. The submission was cited in the final report.

Caroline welcomes supervisions in any of the above areas or contemporary performance more broadly.

Research Interests

Contemporary theatre, performance, and visual art; visual culture; migration and migrant cultural studies; Australian studies; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies; critical legal studies

Current Research Grants

2018-22. Australian Research Council Linkage Project. iDesign: Reformulating Set Design Aesthetics via a Dialogical Model of Interactivity. CIs: Prof Dennis Del Favero, Prof, Maurice Pagnucco, Dr Caroline Wake, Dr Susanne Thurow, Prof, Dr Lawrence Wallen; Prof Maria Malvina Borgherini, Mr Kip Williams, Mr Michael Scott-Mitchell. ($542,916)

2017. Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities. AusStage Phase 6: Researching Australian Live Performance: Venues, Visualisation, and Internationalisation. CIs: Prof Julian Meyrick, Prof Joanne Tompkins, Prof Rachel Fensham, A/Prof Maryrose Casey, Dr Glenn D'Cruz, Dr Gillian Arrighi, Dr Jonathan Marshall, Prof John O'Toole, Dr Bree Hadley, A/Prof Ian Maxwell, Dr Caroline Wake, Prof Peta Tait, Dr Margaret Hamilton, Ms Janine Barrand. ($465,000)

2016-18. Australian Research Council Discovery Project. Power and Performance: Revaluing Theatre in the 21st Century. CIs: Prof Helena Grehan, Prof Edward Scheer, Dr Eddie Paterson, Dr Caroline Wake. PIs: Prof Peter Eckersall, Prof Janelle Reinelt. ($137,455)

2015-17. Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellowship 2015. Restoring the Contemporary: Remembering Live Art at The Performance Space. CI: Dr Caroline Wake ($327,849)


Teaching and Supervision

Caroline teaches across theatre, performance, and media studies. In Semester 2 2018, she is convening ARTS3131 Playing Australia.

In theatre and performance studies, she has previously taught in ARTS1120 Introduction to Theatre and Performance; ARTS1121 Reading Performance; ARTS2120 Writing for Performance; ARTS2121 Theatre and Current Events; ARTS3124 Collaborative Making; and ARTS3132 Based on a True Story: Theatres of the Real.

In media studies, she has previously taught in ARTS2091 Mobile Cultures; ARTS2090 Publics and Publishing in Transition; and ARTS3091 Advanced Media Issues: New Media, Cultural and Social Change.

She has also given guest lectures and seminars in: ARTS3120 Studies in World Performance; ARTS3289 Documentary Film and History; ARTS4100 Research Methods and Thesis Writing; and ARTS4201 Uses of Theory.

Caroline completed her Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching in 2017.

Honours and prizes

Caroline is the recipient of the 2014Marlis Thiersch Prizefor excellencein English-language articles anywhere in the world in the broad field of drama, theatre and performance studies. The article is "Between Repetition and Oblivion: Performance, Testimony, and Ontology in the Refugee Determination Process." Text & Performance Quarterly 33.4 (2013): 326-343and is available hereor here. The judges' comments are available here.

Engagement and Professional contributions

Board Member
PSi (Performance Studies international) Awards Officer (2016-)
PACT Centre for Emerging Artists (2017-)

ADSA (Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies)
ASTR (American Society for Theater Research)
ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education)
FIRT (International Federation for Theatre Research)
MLA (Modern Language Association)

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