Our Research

Aoife McGrath

Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3249

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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Research Interests

Research and Practice

Aoife's research interests include dance and politics, performance and philosophy, collaborative creative processes, and cultural and affect studies. After a professional dance career in Germany and Ireland, Aoife worked as a choreographer, director, critic, and as Dance Advisor for the Irish Arts Council. Before joining Queen's in 2012, Aoife lectured at the School of Drama, Film and Music, Trinity College Dublin and was assistant to the academic director of Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art, the Lir Academy. Aoife has been invited to deliver guest lectures, workshops and master classes in Ireland and internationally.

Recent publications include chapters on dance and affect ('Dancing the Downward Slide', in DeFrantz and Rothfield, Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion, Palgrave, 2016), dance and politics ('Choreographies of Irish Modernity’in Paige Reynolds (ed.), Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture, forthcoming), and the politics of creativity in traditional dance ('Do you want to see my hornpipe' in Sellers-Young and Shay The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity, Oxford University Press, 2016). Aoife's monograph, Dance Theatre in Ireland: Revolutionary Moves (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2012) provides the first critical and contextual study of contemporary and historical dance theatre practice in Ireland. 

Aoife is the Co-Convenor (with Prarthana Purkayastha, Royal Holloway University, London, and Philipa Rothfield, La Trobe University, Australia) of the Choreography and Corporeality Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research. She is also a member of the executive committee of the Irish Society for Theatre Research, a member of the board of directors of Dance Limerick and a performer/choreographer member of Dance Ireland.

Aoife is currently working on a co-edited collection on contemporary dance in Ireland (Dance Matters with Emma Meehan, CDaRe, Coventry University) and a monograph on Dance and Affect. She is also developing a monograph project on Dance and the Maternal.

Aoife is interested in supervising research students working in the areas of dance studies, practice as research, movement practices and performance, and collaborative performance practices. 

Current PhD Students

Argyro Tsampazi, 'The use of Terzopoulos' Method and Greek Rituals in Choreography' (1st supervisor)

Paula Guzzanti, 'Embodied Consciousness and Affect in Movement-based Improvisation Practices' (1st supervisor)

Caitriona Reilly, ‘Postfeminism and British and Irish Theatre’ (2nd supervisor)

Achievements and Distinctions

Selected Awards

Irish Society for Theatre Research New Scholar's Prize (2011)

TaPRA Essay Competition Prizewinner (2010)

Society of Dance History Scholars Travel Award (2009)

IRCHSS (Government of Ireland) Research Scholarship (2008, 2009)

Trinity College Dublin Gold Medal (2007)

Trinity College Dublin Scholar (2005-2010)

DAAD Research Scholarship (Freie Universtaet Berlin) 2004-2005)


DRA3060 Dance Theatre

DRA3025 Dissertation

DRA2005 Introduction to Devising

DRA1003 Introduction to Practical Theatre

DRA3006 Advanced Theatre Practice (mentor for directors)

DRA7024 Contemporary Movement Practices

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Frequent Journals

  • Theatre Research International

    ISSNs: 0307-8833

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1474-0672

    Cambridge University Press

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 0.354 SNIP 1.034


  • Contemporary Theatre Review

    ISSNs: 1048-6801

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1477-2264

    Taylor and Francis Ltd.

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 0.246 SNIP 0.63


  • Dance Research Journal

    ISSNs: 0149-7677

    Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1940-509X

    Cambridge University Press

    Scopus rating (2015): SJR 0.144 SNIP 1.988


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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 60617