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Personal profile


I am Academic Lead for Performance in the School of Art, Design and Performance at the University of Portsmouth, where I also serve as Course Leader for the BA (Hons) in Drama and Performance. In autumn 2021 I will become Course Leader for the MA Theatre: Socially Engaged Practice. My global research and creative work sit at the intersection of memory, history, and performance. My projects and publications are focused on two interrelated and international areas: theatre as historiography and theatre as cultural diplomacy. I am the author of Holocaust Memory and Youth Performance, which will be published by Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama in 2022. My scholarship and practice research have been supported by grants from Innovate UK (in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company), the US State Department (in collaboration with Kinnaird College for Women University in Lahore, Pakistan), and fellowships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Free University of Berlin, the University of Bonn, the Technical University of Berlin, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

For the last seven years I have led The Veterans Project and Odyssey Home, international performance-oral history research initiatives that uses performance to foster dialogue among military veterans and the civilian communities in which they live. The Veterans Project and Odyssey Home have been performed multiple times in the US and UK, with veterans from the US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force, Royal Army, and Royal Air Force. The veterans have served in conflicts ranging from Vietnam to Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Falkland Islands. For more information please see http://www.erikaehughes.com/the-veterans-project.html

Prior to joining UP I was Assistant Professor of Theatre for Youth and Communities at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, USA. I earned my PhD in Theatre and Drama from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2009 under the supervision of Robert Skloot and Manon van de Water. My articles and reviews have been published in a number of journals including Theatre Topics, Research in Drama Education, the Journal of European StudiesPerformance Research, Youth Theatre Journal, the Brecht Yearbook, and Theatre Journal, as well as a number of edited volumes. In 2021 I co-edited a special issue of Youth Theatre Journal on sites of intergenerational performance, many of which were impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. I have given keynote addresses at international conferences in the United States, Poland, and Pakistan. An experienced peer reviewer, I regularly referee for academic publishers and journals, and was a research awards juror for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education from 2012-2016.

In addition to traditional scholarship and practice research, I work as a freelance director of theatre. My direction has been seen on stages in Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Pakistan. To see a selection of images and videos of my performance work please see my portfolio at http://www.erikaehughes.com/performance.html

I welcome supervision queries from postrgaduate students who are interested in applied theatre, cultural diplomacy, historiography in/as performance, ethnography, and the relationship between performance and military conflict. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Award Date: 18 Dec 2009


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