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PhD (2016) thesis title ‘The Body Exposed: Strategies for confronting objectification in women’s autobiographical performance’, University of South Wales
Diploma in Arts Management (2004), Columbia College, Chicago
BA Hons Theatre and Media Drama (1997), University of Glamorgan


Emily is Research Fellow at the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling. Her research 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. For more information on Emily’s artistic practice visit


• (2017) ‘Performance and the Maternal: motherhood in the live stage encounter’, MAMSIE blog. Available at
• With Lena Simic. (scheduled for publication October 2017) ‘On the Maternal’ special edition of Performance Research, (22.5). This will include a joint authored article (with Simic) ‘Manifesto for Maternal Performance’.
• (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.
• with Lena Simic (2016) Live Art and Motherhood: A Study Room Guide on Live Art and the Maternal London: Live Art Development Agency. Available at
• with Lena Simic (2016) ‘Performance and the Maternal’ Contemporary Theatre Review 26:3.
• (2016) ‘‘What the Body Commands: The Imperative Theory of Pain’ reviewed by Emily Underwood-Lee’ Centre for Medical Humanities Available at
• with Lena Simic (2016) ‘Motherhood and Live Art’ The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home. Available at
• (2015) ‘‘Bangers to Cancer’: Social media, charity fundraising and objectification’, Body Space Technology Available at
• (2015) ‘’The Naming of Cancer’ reviewed by Emily Underwood-Lee’ Centre for Medical Humanities Available at
• (2015) ‘Challenging Illness Narratives Through Writing’ Lapidus.
• Titillation Extracts and Introduction. Available at (Accessed 28 July 2011).
• (2007) ‘Confusing Gender: Strategies for Resisting Objectification in the work of Split Britches’, Platform, 2:1, Spring. Available at

• Documentation of Titillation held in the Live Art Development Agency archive.

Conference Papers
• 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
• 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:

• 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.
July 2014. University of South Wales, Cardiff.
September 2011. Atrium, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff.
July 2011. Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales.
• 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 sexy after breast cancer.
October 2015. Morriston Hospital, Swansea. Invited performance at ‘Reconstructing Ourselves’ conference.
June 2014. Live Art Development Agency, London (shown as part of ‘Fem Fresh’).
March 2014. Royal Holloway University London. Invited performance and Q+A.
March 2011. Royal Holloway University London. (Shown as part of the Who Do We Think We Are? Representing the Human conference.)
February 2011. Queen Mary University London. (Shown as part of the ‘Tits and Balls: Performance and Cancer’ artists exchange programme.)
November 2010. Unity Theatre, Liverpool. (Shown as part of Factory Floor at the Homotopia Festival.)
November 2010. University of Glamorgan, Cardiff. (Shown as part of the Centre for Gender Studies in Wales seminar series.)
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales.
Documentation of Titillation is held in the Live Art Development Archive
• Patience (created and performed by Emily Underwood-Lee)
An autobiographical performance examining cancer and maternity.
May 2010. University of Glamorgan, Cardiff. (Shown as part of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling Symposium.)
November 2009. Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool.
October 2009. Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
October 2009 and ongoing. Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff. (Series of rehearsed readings given as part of the Storyworks cancer narratives training programme.)
• 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.
September 2007. Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales.


Chair of the Storytelling in Wales Group.
Member of the Association of Medical Humanities.


Emily is currently leading on research projects including
The Heritage of Orchards & Cider Making in Wales,
Storytelling and Health,
Performance and the Maternal.

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