Dr Jonathan Bollen

Senior Lecturer
PhD (UWS) 2000, BA Hons (Sydney) 1994
School of the Arts & Media


+ 61 2 9385 0719
+ 61 2 9385 6812
246D, Level 2 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Tags: The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)

I am working on a history of entertainment in Australia between 1946 and 1975, tracking entertainers' movements between theatre, television and night clubs, and analysing evidence of their performance. The research is revealing how practices were transformed, as entertainers adapted acts for presentation on television and international touring. The movement of entertainers between Asia and Australia anticipates government policies promoting Australian artists to the world and cultural diversity at home.

My research on Australian theatre concerns the repertoire of plays in production since the 1950s. In post-doctoral research, I read play scripts, theatre reviews and production archives to understand how productions of new plays transform Australian culture. I am co-author of Men at Play: Masculinities in Australian Theatre since the 1950s, published in Rodopi's Australian Playwrights series. I also have experience in the digital humanities, developing new methodologies for theatre research.



    • Holledge J;Bollen J;Helland F;Tompkins J, 2016, A Global Doll's House: Ibsen and Distant Visions, Palgrave Macmillan UK, http://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137438980
    • Bollen JJ;Kiernander A;Parr B, 2008, Men at Play: Masculinities in Australia Theatre since the 1950s, Australian Playwrights, Rodopi, Amsterdam & New York
    • Kiernander A;Bollen J;Parr B, 2006, What a Man's Gotta Do? Masculinities in Performance, CALLTS, Armidale

    Book Chapters

    • Bollen JJ, 2012, 'From Theatrical Nostalgia to Modernist Design: Nightclubs as Venues for Live Entertainments in Mid-20th-Century Australia', in Arrighi G; Emeljanow V (ed.), A World of Popular Entertainments: An Edited Volume of Critical Essays, pp. 68 - 82
    • Bollen JJ, 2009, 'White men, wet dreams: fishing, fatherhood and finitude in Australian theatre, 1955-2004', in Hosking S; Hosking R; Pannell R; Bierbaum N (ed.), Something Rich and Strange: Sea changes, beaches and the littoral in the Antipodes, Wakefield Press, Adelaide
    • Bollen JJ, 2008, 'Dressing up and growing up: rehearsals on the threshold of intelligibility', in Davies B (ed.), Judith Butler in Conversation, Routledge, pp. 217 - 234
    • Bollen JJ, 2007, 'As Seen On TV: Kinaesthetic cross-over and the animation of social dance pedagogy', in Lyons J; Plunkett J (ed.), Multimedia Histories, pp. 98 - 113
    • Bollen JJ, 2006, 'Boxing the man: fighting the choreography of gender, race and generation in recent Australian theatre', in Kiernander A; Bollen JJ; Bruce P (ed.), What A Man's Gotta Do? Masculinities in Performance, pp. 152 - 169
    • Bollen JJ, 2005, 'How to stand out on a dance floor', in Critical Issues 9: Exploding Dandy, Artspace, Sydney, pp. 51 - 75
    • Bollen JJ, 2001, 'Queer kinaesthesia: Performativity on the dance floor', in Desmond J (ed.), Dancing Desires: Choreographing Sexualities On and Off the Stage, University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 285 - 314
    • Bollen JJ, 2000, 'Animated suspension: Moving bodies and the choreography of community', in Tait P (ed.), Body Show/s, Rodopi, pp. 187 - 198

    Journal articles


Teaching and Supervision

At the University of New South Wales, I teach ARTS1120 Experiencing Theatre,ARTS2123 Musicals, Dance and Popular Cultureand ARTS3131 Playing Australia. I am the convenor for Theatre and Performance Studies in the School of the Arts and Media.

Elsewhere I have taught undergraduate courses in theatre history, performance analysis, dramaturgy, live performance and dance. I have run studio workshops on Meyerhold, Grotowski and ensemble improvisation. And I have led postgraduate seminars on performance research, theatre historiography and visualising cultural data.

Honours and prizes

I have been awarded research fellowships from the Australian Research Council at the University of New England, 2002-2004, and the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, 2008.

My publications on Australian performance have attracted awards from major scholarly associations.

The International Association for Australian Studies awarded the 2010 John Barrett Award for Australian Studies for my article ‘Don’t Give Up the Strip!: Erotic performance as live entertainment in mid-twentieth century Australia’ in theJournal of Australian Studies, 34/2 (2010): 125-140.

The Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies awarded the 2006 Marlis Thiersch Award for Research in Theatre Studies for my article ‘Remembering masculinities in the theatre of war' inAustralasian Drama Studies,46 (2005): 3-19.

An essay from my doctoral research won theThe Drama ReviewStudent Essay Contest and was published as‘Sexing the dance at Sleaze Ball 1994’, TDR, 40/3 (Fall 1996): 166-191.

Engagement and Professional contributions

Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies

  • President, 2006-2008
  • Vice-president, 2005-2006
  • Executive member, 2004-2005

International Federation for Theatre Research

  • Member of the Popular Entertainments working group

I am a member of the Artistic Advisory Committee for Milk Crate Theatre in Sydney. I reviewed contemporary theatre and dance in Adelaide for RealTime from 2006 to 2013.