Riccardo Bin Wu

Research project: A Dramaturgy of Precarity: Performing Domesticity During the COVID-19 Pandemic in China

Abstract

This PhD project intends to develop a dramaturgy of precarity as an innovative method to critique China's governmental deployment of precarity for marginalisation and exploitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to Ridout and Schneider's call for positively deploying precarity in performance (2012), my dramaturg delves into certain performance techniques, a circularity of temporalities, and digital technologies to reveal how the performativity of socio-political power produces precarity and its affective engagement like fear and anxiety through intermedial performance.

I will collaborate with domestic workers in China, whose labour is considered one of the most precarious, to investigate their sufferings and the expertise developed around how to live with conditions of vulnerability and instability during the quarantine. From both Marxist and feminist perspectives, my project aims to reevaluate reproductive labour in everyday life, helping us reimagine a non-capitalist, inclusive, and more utopian future collectively against precarity.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: A Dramaturgy of Precarity: Performing Domesticity During the COVID-19 Pandemic in China
  • Research supervisor: Dr Caoimhe Mader McGuinness

Biography

I am a playwright, dramaturg, and director with a thematic focus on narratives centred around reproductive labourers in China, specifically delving into the lives of domestic workers and women in factories. My creative works explore their struggles and resilient efforts against oppression and exploitation.

I am a doctoral student at Kingston University now. Prior to this academic pursuit, I served as the Art Director at SITE Contemporary Art Centre in Guangzhou. In this role, I curated site-specific performances, exhibitions, and public events. I have a BA degree in Dramatic Literature at Shanghai Theatre Academy, and a M.Litt. degree in Playwrighting and Dramaturgy at University of Glasgow. 

Areas of research interest

  • dramaturgy
  • social reproduction
  • precarity and precariousness
  • performativity
  • home
  • digital Intimacy

Qualifications

  • M.Litt. in Playwrighting and Dramaturgy, University of Glasgow
  • BA in Dramatic Literature, Shanghai Theatre Academy