PhD Researcher in Performance and Politics, University of Surrey

My doctoral research examines performances of populism in the United States, focusing in particular on presidential speeches and the ways in which these are performed. I am interested in the extent to which representative democracies function through politicians' performances and voter-audiences' suspension of disbelief in the credibility of such performances as well as the tension between the necessity to suspend disbelief and the widespread (and growing) distrust of politicians and political institutions.

As part of this research, I have been interviewing more than a dozen US speechwriters across the political spectrum (most of whom have been presidential speechwriters or speechwriters on presidential campaigns, working for presidents/presidential candidates spanning from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama).

My research is situated between the Guildford School of Acting's Institute of Performance and the Department of Politics, both at the University of Surrey.

Experience

  • –present
    PhD Researcher in Performance and Politics, University of Surrey