Dr Mark Edward, Reader in Dance

Edge Hill’s Reader in Dance, Dr Mark Edward, has authored a new book and two high profile book chapters exploring various aspects of performance including drag, contemporary dance and queer art making.

The book Mesearch and the Performing Body, an anthology of Mark’s work, is published by Palgrave MacMillan on 29th December 2017. Detailing his creative practice-led projects, it transmits and communicates his research through varied artistic means, primarily contemporary dance, immersive art installation, drag performance and photography. It delves into performance making, ageing and performance, fat and body visibility, queer art making, ‘mesearching’ and shifts in identity.

Mark said: “My research, which I like to call ‘mesearch’, is quite unusual because as the author I am of course the theoriser but in my case I am also the theorised. This study delivers a personal, creative narration, combining reflections and emotions in relation to self and performance. Instead of being an attempt to undervalue or challenge the accepted notions of style within academic research, it promotes a freedom of expression which allows greater fluidity between the researcher, the performer, and the writer.”

Mark will also have a chapter in The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research Ethics, published in March 2018. As part of this in-depth review of the ethical considerations which accompany qualitative research, he will explore ethical dilemmas in improvisational site performance making, drawing on his own ‘mesearching’.

He said: “Collaborative improvisational performance is, by nature. constantly evolving, so the ethics around it don’t always fit into a neat box. I explore such risky ethics within this chapter. People taking part in this sort of performance have a duty of care both to themselves and others.”

Mark also has a recently published chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Dance & Wellbeing (co-edited by Edge Hill’s Professor Vicky Karkou). In the chapter that Mark co-authors with Dr Fiona Bannon (University of Leeds), they discuss the fluidity of identity, performance making and mental health through performance.

Mark’s book Mesearch and the Performing Body can be accessed via the Palgrave Macmillan or Springer websites.