Peter Eckersall, a pioneering researcher in Japanese theatre and dramaturgy and contemporary performance, has joined the Graduate Center as professor of theatre as of Spring 2014. He previously taught at the University of Melbourne and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo, Rikkyo University, and the University of Copenhagen, and he is a visiting fellow in the Centre for Interweaving Performance Cultures, Berlin. Eckersall, who will teach courses on the performing arts in Asia and on theatre theory, is working on a project to theorize the work of Japanese media-performance pioneers Dumb Type, a group that was active in Japan and New York from the 1980s to around 2005.
Eckersall’s recent publications include We’re People Who Do Shows: Back to Back Theatre—Performance, Politics, Visibility (coedited with Helena Grehan, Performance Research Books, 2013); Theatre and Performance in the Asia-Pacific: Regional Modernities in the Global Era (coauthored with Denise Varney, Barbara Hatley, and Chris Hudson, Palgrave, 2013); and Performativity and Event in 1960s Japan: City, Body, Memory (Palgrave, 2013), and his work has appeared in such journals as TDR, Theatre Research International, Japanese Studies and Australasian Drama Studies. His current project New media dramaturgy: How new media transform the composition and reception of live performance is funded by the Australian Research Council. New media dramaturgy describes both the composition of new media performances and their effects on an audience.
Eckersall was the cofounder of Dramaturgies and is the resident dramaturg for Not Yet It’s Difficult, a contemporary performance group based in Melbourne, as well as coconvenor of the Dramaturgy and Performance Studies Working Group at Performance Studies International (PSi). He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian studies from Monash University in Melbourne.