Giacomo Belloli, Queens'

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Prof S Connor
Dissertation Title:

Constructions of skill in experimental theatre since Beckett

Biographical Information

I studied BA English at Christ's College, Cambridge from 2009-12. After graduating, I spent a year at Harvard University as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar, taking courses in a range of humanities disciplines (including comparative literature, history of art, film studies and anthropology of religion). From 2013-14, I took the MA in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I was funded by the AHRC and wrote a dissertation on John Ashbery's long poems.

Research Interests

My PhD project investigates the importance of skill - the embodied, repeatable, perfectible, but often inarticulable processes through which we negotiate our lived environment - to contemporary theatre. Why have theatremakers become increasingly invested in telegraphing performers' and audiences' (in)capacity to get better at the practices they are involved in? Does this concern constitute a new model for theatrical politics, or a new way of understanding how performances influence or allude to each other?

My areas of particular interest are: Samuel Beckett in performance; the use of post-dramatic techniques by recent British playwrights (Martin Crimp, Tim Crouch, David Greig); Forced Entertainment, and their influence; the rise and critique of "immersive theatre" as a genre. My approach is informed by (among others) Tim Ingold's notion of the "taskscape", Richard Sennett's work on the craftsman, and Peter Sloterdijk's "anthropotechnics". 

I am a co-convenor of the CRASSH Interdisciplinary Performance Network, and of the Materials in Practice study group, an initiative funded by the AHRC doctoral training partnership which will be releasing a series of podcasts in 2016-17.

Areas of Supervision

I have received supervision training from the Research Development Programme and the Faculty. I have experience of supervising for Part I Paper 1 (Practical Criticism and Critical Practice), Part II Paper 2 (Tragedy), Part II Paper 12 (Contemporary Writing) and Part II Paper 17 (Shakespeare in Performance). I am happy to supervise disserations on contemporary performance, as well as on comparative historical/theoretical approaches to theatre and on contemporary literature more generally.


Selected Publications


"Tim Crouch's transferable skills: textual revision as distributed determination in My Arm and The Author." Platform 10.1 (Spring 2016). 10-28.

Review essays

"So smart and tight: a review of R.F. Langley's Complete Poems." 3:AM Magazine (August 2016).

"New Each Day." The Cambridge Humanities Review 10 (Winter 2015). [a review of D.N. Rodowick, Philosophy's Artful Conversation.