Professor Maria Chatzichristodoulou

About

I joined Kingston University in 2020 as Associate Dean Research & Enterprise following 5 years at London South Bank University (LSBU) as Head of External Development and Enterprise for the School of Arts and Creative Industries. At LSBU I was also co-founder and Director of the Centre for Research in Digital Storymaking and Head of Division of Creative Industries. I was Academic Lead on the part of LSBU on the successful ERDF Priority Axis 1 (Research & Innovation) funded project 'Accelerating the Creative Economy with Immersive Technologies' in partnership with LCC (£1.4 million) and P/I on an Innovate UK and AHRC funded KTP project with Footprint Scenery worth £277K. Before joining LSBU I lectured in Theatre and Performance at the University of Hull (2009-2015), where I was also Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Arts and New Media (2010-2013). While at the University of Hull I received 5 awards for Innovation in Learning & Teaching. I have also taught theatre, performance and new media at the University of London Colleges Goldsmiths, Birkbeck and Queen Mary, and at Richmond (the International American University in the UK).

As a cultural practitioner I have worked as curator, producer, performer and community organiser in the UK, my native Greece and internationally. In Greece, I was co-founder and co-director of the international Art and Technology Festival Medi@terra and co-artistic director of Fournos Centre for Digital Culture (1996-2002). Medi@terra was co-organised with the Hellenic Ministries of Culture and Development and was part of the Cultural Olympiad. In the UK, I worked as Community Participation Officer at The Albany in London (2003-5), and was co-convener of The Thursday Club at Goldsmiths, University of London (2006-2009). I have published and presented my research widely, convened numerous conferences and symposia, and curated festivals and exhibitions.

Academic responsibilities

Associate Dean Research & Enterprise

Qualifications

  • PhD Arts & Computational Technology, Goldsmiths University of London
  • BA (Hons) Theatre Studies, University of Patras (Greece)

Teaching and learning

In the past I have taught both practical and theoretical modules in Theatre and Performance in a range of HE Institutions and some FE Colleges in both UG and PG programmes. I have also taught digital arts as well as creative and cultural entrepreneurship modules. I have delivered PGR seminars on research methods with a particular focus on Practice as Research methodologies. 

I welcome MRes and PhD students who are interested to undertake research in the following areas:

  • Digital and Multimedia Performance /Intermediality in Theatre & Performance
  • Live Art
  • Media /Digital Arts
  • Curating Liveness/Ephemerality
  • The Living Archive
  • Socially Engaged Practices
  • Intimate Performance/Art Practices
  • Immersive Experiences
  • Theory and Policy Issues concerting the Creative and Cultural Industries 

I have supervised to completion three PhD and one MRes students doing research in the areas of networked performance, socially engaged practices, autobiographical performance and memory, and the performance archive. I have also examined PhD theses in the UK (Goldsmiths University of London, University of Brighton, University of Westminster, London South Bank University, University of Hull) and at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

I am currently External Examiner for the MA Contemporary Performance Practice at the University of Salford. I have previously acted as External Examiner for UG and PG programmes at the Universities of Liverpool Hope, Edge Hill, Brunel University London and University of Newcastle. I have also acted as Examiner on validation panels in the UK and in Greece, working for the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Research

Since I undertook a PhD thesis on networked performance practices, awarded in 2010 (University of London), I continue to research the intersections between theatre and performance and digital technologies, studying the transformation of performance once it becomes imbued with mediatisation. I am currently working on a monograph which examines the impact of socio-technical networks upon contemporary performance practices, dissecting different technological paradigms in relation to the social and aesthetic 'promises' those heralded, to ascertain the extent to which those promises were delivered (contracted by Pagrave Macmillan).

Further areas of investigation include:

  • Socially engaged practices in the areas of live art, applied theatre, media art and activism, considering how those engage audiences/participants and examining aspirations of facilitating social change;
  • Intimate (one-to-one and micro-audience) performances, particularly in relation to technology's capacity of facilitating intimate and visceral encounters;
  • The curation of live and unstable media (live art, media arts), as well as policy and funding issues related to those;
  • Immersive experiences;
  • Creative and cultural entrepreneurship in HE sector.

I am Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (Taylor & Francis): https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rpdm20

I sit on the steering groups for the Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts and the Live Interfaces international conferences. I peer review for several academic journals, conferences and research funders. I was co-convener of the Theatre & Performance Research Association Performance & Technologies Working Group (2012-2017) and am a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research Intermediality Working Group. 

At LSBU I co-founded and led on the Centre for Research in Digital Storymaking and the Digital Performance Research Group. I also led as research evaluator on Lambeth Council's project ELEVATE (stage 1, 2019-2020), which aimed to open up creative industries professions in the Borough to underrepresented groups (BAME, women, disabled, low socio-economic backgrounds). 

Areas of specialism

  • Digital & Multimedia Performance
  • Intermediality
  • Socially Engaged Arts
  • Immersive Experiences
  • Media Arts

Scholarly affiliations

  • Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (Taylor & Francis)
  • Steering group, Digital Research in the Humanities & Arts (DRHA) conference
  • Advisory group, Live Interfaces conference

Publications

Business, knowledge transfer and international

As Associate Dean Research and Enterprise I support and lead on both research and enterprise activity within the Faculty of KSA. I am responsible for the Research Excellence Framework and the Knowledge Exchange Framework on the part of KSA. 

As Director of Enterprise and External Development at LSBU I was instrumental in winning the ERDF funded project ACE IT with London College of Communication, for which I acted as Academic Lead on the part of LSBU. ACE IT supports London's startups to conceptualise, research and develop groundbreaking immersive technologies through more than 70 research collaborations with industry partners [https://www.sbi.business/aceit/home]. I was also P/I for an Innovate UK and AHRC funded KTP project with Footprint Scenery [http://footprintscenery.co.uk] which aimed to set up Footprint as an agency for immersive experiences. 

In 2019 I co-founded the TCCE Creative Entrepreneurship Forum with Suzie Leighton and Marcus O'Dair, which wanted to explore the role of entrepreneurship in HE, both in relation to learning and teaching practices (eg. curriculum design) and also in relation to business, innovation and commercialisation. 

My focus on student enterprise led me to innovate in developing modules such as International Live Brief' with FCAD, Ryerson University Canada, whereby students worked in interdisciplinary, international and cross-level teams to deliver on live briefs for clients such as Ontario's Ministry of Education and the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

I collaborate with and contribute as a peer reviewer to numerous conferences and organisations such as SIGGRAPH and Computational Models of Creativity in the Arts.

I has acted as independent reporter for Arts Council London (2006-8).

I have on-going collaborations with a range of cultural organisations such as: Watermans, Furtherfield, Live Art Development Agency and Victoria and Albert Museum.

Leadership and management

As Associate Dean Research and Enterprise for Kingston School of Art, a lead on all matters related to research and enterprise activity within the Faculty. Those include the Faculty's submission to (what currently is) the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and its contribution towards the University's submission to the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). I provide strategic leadership for the development of Research and Innovation in the Faculty, including in relation to all Research Centres, Institutes and research groups that sit within the Faculty of KSA. 

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