Dr Emily Underwood-Lee
PhD (2016) thesis title ‘The Body Exposed: Strategies for confronting objectification in women’s autobiographical performance’, University of South Wales
Emily is Research Fellow at the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling. Her work focuses on amplifying little heard personal stories from people whose voices may have been marginalised or overlooked and from the difference that hearing these stories can make in policy, practice and daily life for both teller and listener. She has a particular interest in stories of the maternal, gender, health/illness and heritage.
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L. (forthcoming – under contract, scheduled for publication 2021) Maternal Performance: Staging Feminist Journeys Through Motherhood. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L (2020) ‘Returning to Ourselves: Medea/Mothers’ Clothes and Patience one decade on’ in Marchevska, E. and Walkerdine, V. (eds) Maternal in creative work: Intergenerational discussions on motherhood and art. Abingdon: Routledge.
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2019) ‘A Cancer Glossary By Emily Underwood Lee’ MIHE Blog Available at https://prometheus.ehaus2.co.uk/macmillanhe/blog/post/cancer-glossary-Emily-Underwood-Lee/.
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Thimbleby, P. (eds) (2019) ‘Storytelling for Health’ Storytelling Self and Society (15.1) including ‘Introduction’.
• Epp Buller, R., Simic, L. and Underwood-Lee, E. (2019) ‘The Body in Letters: Once Again, Through Time and Space’ in Epp Buller, R. and Reeve, C. Inappropriate Bodies: Art, Design, and Maternity Bradford (CA): Demeter.
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2018) ‘On Openings’ Performance Research (23:4/5)
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2018) ‘Blooming flowers and stony stares: negotiating identity through story’ in Willison, C. et al (eds) An Introduction to Storytelling Stroud: The History Press.
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L. (2017) ‘On the Maternal – Editorial’ Performance Research, (22.4).
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L. (2017) ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance’, Performance Research, (22.4).
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2017) ‘Performance and the Maternal: motherhood in the live stage encounter’, MAMSIE blog. Available at http://mamsie.org/mamsieblog/2017/05/performance-and-the-maternal/.
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2017) ‘Titillation Script and Introduction’ in Bleakley, A., Lynch, L. and Whelan, G. (eds) Risk and Regulation at the Interface of Medicine and the Arts Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L. (2016) Live Art and Motherhood: A Study Room Guide on Live Art and the Maternal London: Live Art Development Agency. Available at http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/resources/catalogue/live-art-and-motherhood-a-study-room-guide-on-live-art-and-the-maternal.
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L. (2016) ‘Performance and the Maternal’ Contemporary Theatre Review 26:3.
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2016) ‘‘What the Body Commands: The Imperative Theory of Pain’ reviewed by Emily Underwood-Lee’ Centre for Medical Humanities Available at http://centreformedicalhumanities.org/body-commands-imperative-theory-pain-reviewed-emily-underwood-lee/
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L. (2016) ‘Motherhood and Live Art’ The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home. Available at http://www.twoaddthree.org/motherhood-and-live-art/.
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2015) ‘‘Bangers to Cancer’: Social media, charity fundraising and objectification’, Body Space Technology Available at http://people.brunel.ac.uk/bst/vol14/emilyunderwoodlee/emilyunderwoodlee.html.
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2015) ‘’The Naming of Cancer’ reviewed by Emily Underwood-Lee’ Centre for Medical Humanities Available at http://centreformedicalhumanities.org/the-naming-of-cancer-reviewed-by-emily-underwood-lee/
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2015) ‘Challenging Illness Narratives Through Writing’ Lapidus.
• Underwood-Lee, E. Titillation Extracts and Introduction. Available at http://www.rhul.ac.uk/dramaandtheatre/documents/pdf/whodowe/emilyunderwood-lee-titillation(performanceextracts) (Accessed 28 July 2011).
• Underwood-Lee, E. (2007) ‘Confusing Gender: Strategies for Resisting Objectification in the work of Split Britches’, Platform, 2:1, Spring. Available at https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/dramaandtheatre/documents/pdf/platform/21/confusinggender.pdf.
• Documentation of Titillation held in the Live Art Development Agency archive.
• Underwood-Lee, E. ‘Digital Storytelling: Forty Voices, Forty Years and The Modern Heritage of Orchards and Cider Making in Wales, Beyond the Border: Digital Skills for Storytellers – Practice Sharing Day, University of South Wales, Cardiff, 12th January 2020.
• Underwood-Lee, E. ‘Is my Activism Active Enough? Forty Voices Forty Years’, Activism: The Future for Universities and Museums, St Fagan’s National Museum of History, Cardiff, 13th September 2019
• Underwood-Lee, E and Williams, R.’In Her Shoes: performing autobiography across bodies and language’, Adrodd storïau iechyd Y Gynhadledd Theatr 2019, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Y Theatr, Canolfan Arad Goch, Aberystwyth, 18th March 2019.
• Simic, L. and Underwood-Lee, E. ‘Birth in Contemporary Performance Practice: Cord by Tracy Evans and Partus by Third Angel’ Birth, The Body and Performance, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, 5th June 2018.
• Clod Ensemble Under Glass Post-show discussion, invited chair of the post-show discussion held at the Wales Millennium Centre on 22nd November 2017 with Suzy Willson and Paul Clark of Clod Ensemble.
• Simic, L. and Underwood-Lee, E. ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art), 2016’ ‘On the Maternal’ launch, Live Art Development Agency, London, 14th December 2017
• ‘Generations: Grieving Daughters’ USW Performance and Gender Seminar Group, 29th November 2017.
• Simic, L. and Underwood-Lee, E. ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art), 2016.’ The Mothernists II, Astrid Noacks Ateliers, Copenhagen, 14th Oct 2017. https://www.mothervoices.org/news/2017/9/3/the-mothernists-ii-who-cares-for-the-21st-century.
• Simic, L. and Underwood-Lee, E. ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art), 2016.’ Oxytocin: Birthing the World, Royal college of Art, 3rd June 2017. https://www.oxytocinbirthingtheworld.co.uk/
• Simic, L. and Underwood-Lee, E. ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art), 2016.’ Bringing up the Future, Galerija SC, Zagreb, 24th Feb 2017. Co-written paper presented by Lena Simic http://www.sczg.unizg.hr/kultura/program/odgajanje-buducnosti-izlozba-i-kongres/.
• Underwood-Lee, E. and Simic, L. ‘Performance and the Maternal’, Theorizing Motherhood In The Academy, Museum of Motherhood, New York, May 2016.
• Titillation plus Post Show Discussion, Association of Humanities Conference, 23rd – 25th June 2015, Dartington Hall, Totnes
• Bangers to Cancer, PGR Symposium, 15th June 2015, University of South Wales, Cardiff
• Contributor to Playing Suzi, ‘2 Degrees Festival’, 6th June 2015, Artsadmin, London
• Patience plus post-show discussion, ‘Motherhood and Creative Practice’, 1st and 2nd June 2015, South Bank University, London
• Titillation Grade 3, Connecting Communities of Illness AHRC Connected Communities Festival. University of South Wales, Cardiff, July 2014
• Titillation, Fem Fresh Live Art Development Agency, London, June 2014. Selected performance and discussion on Feminism, Art and Aging.
• Titillation Q + A, Royal Holloway University London, March 2014. Invited performance and discussion.
• Her Touch would be Tender: the performance of Femme in Ode To Morten Harket, PGR Symposium, Atrium, University of Glamorgan, May 2011
• with Karen Lewis. Storyworks Cancer Narratives Training at Velindre Cancer Centre, Narratives of Illness Practices and Practitioners, University of Glamorgan, May 2011.
• Titillation: Post show discussion, Who Do We Think We Are? Representing the Human, Royal Holloway University of London, March 2011.
• Reflections on Performing the Post-Operative Body, Centre for Gender Studies in Wales Research Seminar Series, University of Glamorgan, November 2010.
• Performing the Post-Operative Body, Gobsmacked, Queen Mary University of London, November 2010. (Documentation of Gobsmacked available at both the British Library Sound Archive and the Live Art Development Agency Study Room. A review of Gobsmacked will appear in the Contemporary Theatre Review’s Special issue on Live Art in the U.K.)
• Finding a language for performing the post operative body, PGR Symposium, Atrium, University of Glamorgan, June 2010.
• Confusing Gender: Strategies for resisting objectification in the work of Split Britches, Constructing Identities, Cardiff University, July 2006.
• Exposed, Doctoral Symposium, University of Glamorgan, May 2006.
• Talking in Drag, Arts and Media Post-graduate Symposium, University of Glamorgan, November 2005.
• Joint paper with Jodie Allinson. What is Burst Theatre?, The Articulate Practitioner Magdalena Project Conference, University of Wales Aberystwyth, July 2005.
Selected performance history
• (2017) Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art) 2016! (created and performed by Emily Underwood-Lee and Lena Simic)
• (2011 – 2014) Titillation: Grade 3 (created and performed by Emily Underwood-Lee in collaboration with Sean Tuan John and Kylie Ann Smith) The second instalment in the Titillation series, which continues to explore themes of cancer, desire and the post-operative body.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales.
• (2010 – 2016) Titillation (created and performed by Emily Underwood-Lee, choreographed by Kylie Ann Smith)
Titillation takes a humorous look at the post-operative body and considers who and what can be shown after breast cancer.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales.
Documentation of Titillation is held in the Live Art Development Archive http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/resources/catalogue/titillation-grade-3
• (2008 – 2010, revised 2016) Patience (created and performed by Emily Underwood-Lee)
An autobiographical performance examining cancer and maternity.
• (2007) Ode to Morten Harket (created and performed by Emily Underwood, directed by Jodie Allinson)
A tribute to the pop-star and lead singer with A-Ha and an exploration of sexuality and emerging gender identifications.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales.
Member of the Association of Medical Humanities.
Member of Faculty Research Programmes Committee.
Member of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling Steering Group.
Emily is a member of the Member of the Wales Arts Health and Wellbeing Network (WAHWN) Steering Group.
She has undertaken consultancy for organisations including Mind Cymru, Great Ormund St Hospital Arts and Public Health Wales.
Emily’s research is concerned with the stories we hold in our bodies, how we tell them and how we receive them. In particular she focuses on performance, autobiographical stories and the body in a variety of contexts including feminist performance art, narratives of illness, performance and the maternal, and performance and disability. Her most recent performance ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance (Art) 2016!’, created in collaboration with Lena Simic, has been presented at international venues including SC Gallery, Zagreb, the Royal College of Art, London, Astrid Noacks Atelier, Copenhagen, The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, Liverpool, and the Live Art Development Agency, London. For more information on Emily’s artistic practice visit https://emilyunderwoodlee.wordpress.com/
Emily currently supervises PhD and MA by Research candidates and warmly welcomes applications in relation to any area of her research.
Emily’s funded research projects include:
• Kicking Up Our Heels in partnership with GOSH Arts, Brian Lobel and Emily Speed, funded by Arts Council of England.
• Forty Voices, Forty Years in partnership with Welsh Women’s Aid, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
• Performance and the Maternal in partnership with Dr Lena Simic, Edge Hill University,
• Storytelling and Health in partnership with ABMU Health Board, funded by Arts Council of Wales, ABMU Charitable Trust, USW, LSW.
• The Heritage of Orchards & Cider Making in Wales in partnership with the Welsh Perry and Cider Society, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
She has co-convened conferences including:
- Storytelling for Health 2(in collaboration with Prue Thimbleby, ABMU Health Board), Cardiff and Swansea, 27 – 29 June 2017.
- Maternal Attitude Symposium (in collaboration with Zoe Gingell (Cardiff MADE, the Mothersuckers), and Eve Dent (the Mothersuckers)).
- Storytelling for Health (in collaboration with Prue Thimbleby, ABMU Health Board), Swansea, 15 – 17 June 2017.
- the annual George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling Symposium (2010, 201, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
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