Dr Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca

Research Interests

Performance Philosophy; 20th and 21st century experimental theatre and performance - especially Artaud, the Living Theatre, Allan Kaprow, Lygia Clark, Carmelo Bene, Hijikata Tatsumi, Marcus Coates & Goat Island; relationship between performance and Continental philosophy - especially Deleuze and Guattari, Bergson & Laruelle; concepts of authorship, collaboration, collective creation & audience participation in performance; affect; time and duration; nonhuman animals in performance; manifestos; relationship between performance and mental health - particularly schizophrenia.

Research Collaborations

Core Convener of the Performance Philosophy network

Joint editor of Performance Philosophy book series, Palgrave Macmillan

Secretary of Performance Studies international (PSi)

Member of Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA)

Contact Me

Phone: 01483 68 6451

Find me on campus
Room: 04 NC 00


Journal articles

  • Cull LK. (2015) 'Editorial'. Performance Philosophy, 1 Article number 1 , pp. 1-3.
  • Cull LK. (2014) 'Performance Philosophy: Staging a New Field'. New Arts - Journal of the National Academy of Art, 34 (6)
    [ Status: Submitted ]
  • Cull LK. (2013) '‘Philosophy as Drama: Deleuze and dramatization in the context of Performance Philosophy’'. Modern Drama: world drama from 1850 to the present, 56 (4), pp. 498-520.
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'Philosophy as Drama: Deleuze and dramatization in the context of Performance Philosophy'. Special Issue on Drama and Philosophy (Winter 2013) Edition. Modern Drama: world drama from 1850 to the present, 56 (4), pp. 498-520.
  • Cull LK. (2013) ''A Response to Martin Puchner’s Drama of Ideas', in Forum on Martin Puchner, "The drama of ideas", ed. by C. Rozzoni, with M. Puchner, D. Kornhaber, L. Cull, T. Stern, M. Harries'. Lebenswelt: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Experience, (3), pp. 116-124.
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'Guattari, Deleuze, performance et « folie »'. Chimères, (80) Article number 6
  • Cull LK. (2012) 'Affect in Deleuze, Hijikata, and Coates: The Politics of Becoming-Animal in Performance'. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 26 (2), pp. 189-203.
  • Cull LK. (2012) 'Performance as Philosophy: Responding to the Problem of ‘Application’'. Cambridge University Press Theatre Research International, 37 (1), pp. 20-27.


    This article begins from the premise that a ‘critical turning point’ has been reached in terms of the relationship between performance and philosophy. Theatre and performance scholars are becoming increasingly engaged in philosophical discourse and there are growing amounts of work that take philosophy – from the work of Plato to Heidegger and Deleuze – as their guiding methodology for performance analysis. However, this article argues that we need to go further in questioning how we use philosophy in relation to performance, and that theatre and performance scholarship should attempt to go beyond merely applying philosophical concepts to performance ‘examples’. One way to do this, the article suggests, is by questioning the very distinction between performance and philosophy, for instance by exploring the idea of performance as philosophy. The article concludes by drawing from the work of figures such as Allan Kaprow, Henri Bergson, François Laruelle and John Mullarkey to argue that philosophers and performance scholars alike might extend their conception of what counts as thinking to include not only activities like performance, but embodied experiences and material processes of all kinds.

  • Cull LK, Gritzner K. (2011) 'On Participation. Editorial to the Special Issue.'. Taylor & Francis Performance Research: a journal of the performing arts, 16 (4), pp. 1-6.
  • Cull LK. (2011) 'Attention-training: Immanence and ontological participation in Kaprow, Deleuze & Bergson'. Taylor & Francis Performance Research: a journal of the performing arts, 16 (4), pp. 80-91.


    In this essay I want to look at the works that the American artist Allan Kaprow (1927–2006) referred to as ‘Activities’, alongside the philosophy of immanence propounded by Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995) and with reference to the notion of ‘attention’ developed by Henri Bergson (1859–1941).

  • Cull LK. (2009) 'How Do You Make Yourself a Theatre without Organs? Deleuze, Artaud and the Concept of Differential Presence'. Cambridge University Press Theatre Research International, 34 (3), pp. 243-255.


    This article provides an exposition of four key concepts emerging in the encounter between the philosophical man of the theatre, Antonin Artaud, and the theatrical philosopher, Gilles Deleuze: the body without organs, the theatre without organs, the destratified voice and differential presence. The article proposes that Artaud’s 1947 censored radio play To Have Done with the Judgment of God constitutes an instance of a theatre without organs that uses the destratified voice in a pursuit of differential presence – as a nonrepresentative encounter with difference that forces new thoughts upon us. Drawing from various works by Deleuze, including Difference and Repetition, The Logic of Sense, A Thousand Plateaus and ‘One LessManifesto’, I conceive differential presence as an encounter with difference, or perpetual variation, as that which exceeds the representational consciousness of a subject, forcing thought through rupture rather than communicating meanings through sameness. Contra the dismissal of Artaud’s project as paradoxical or impossible, the article suggests that his nonrepresentational theatre seeks to affirm a new kind of presence as difference, rather than aiming to transcend difference in order to reach the self-identical presence of Western metaphysics.

Conference papers

  • Cull LK. (2015) '‘Doing Performance Philosophy: attention, collaboration and the missing “&”’'. University of Malta: Performing Interdisciplinarity
  • Cull LK. (2013) '‘Performance Philosophy: The “Mind the Gap” and/or “Performance as Philosophy” debate’'. Senate House, London: London Theatre Seminar
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'What is Performance Philosophy?'. Institute of the Philosophy of Language, New University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal: Conference Drama and Philosophy
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'What is Performance Philosophy?'. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance – Research Seminar Series
  • Cull LK. (2012) 'Schizo-theatre: Guattari, Deleuze, performance and “madness”'. Northumbria University: Situating and Interpreting States of Mind
    [ Status: Unpublished ]
  • Cull LK. (2012) 'Each one is already several… Collaboration in the context of the differential self. Notes on Goat Island & Deleuze & Guattari'. Middlesex University: On Collaboration
  • Cull LK. (2012) 'Performance-Philosophy: A ‘philosophical turn’ in Performance Studies (and a non-philosophical turn in Philosophy)'. Central School of Speech and Drama: Performing Research: Creative Exchanges
    [ Status: Unpublished ]


  • Cull LK, Lagaay A. (2014) Encounters in Performance Philosophy. London and New York : Palgrave Macmillan
  • Cull LK, Daddario W. (2013) Manifesto Now! Instructions for Performance, Philosophy, Politics. Intellect
  • Cull LK. (2012) Theatres of Immanence: Deleuze and the Ethics of Performance. Palgrave Macmillan , pp. viii-291.
  • Cull LK. (2009) Deleuze and Performance. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press


    Was performance important to Deleuze? Is Deleuze important to performance; to its practical, as well as theoretical, research? What are the implications of Deleuze's philosophy of difference, process and becoming, for Performance Studies, a field in which many continue to privilege the notion of performance as representation, as anchored by its imitation of an identity: 'the world', 'the play', 'the self'? Deleuze and Performance is a collection of new essays dedicated to Deleuze's writing on theatre and to the productivity of his philosophy for (re)thinking performance. This book provides rigorous analyses of Deleuze's writings on theatre practitioners such as Artaud, Beckett and Carmelo Bene, as well as offering innovative readings of historical and contemporary performance including performance art, dance, new media performance, theatre and opera, which use Deleuze's concepts in exciting new ways. Can philosophy follow Deleuze in overcoming the antitheatrical tradition embedded in its history, perhaps even reconsidering what it means to think in the light of the embodied insights of performance's practitioners? Experts from the fields of Performance Studies and Deleuze Studies come together in this volume and strive to examine these and other issues in a manner that will be challenging, yet accessible to students and established scholars alike.

Book chapters

  • Cull LK. (2015) 'Since Each of Us Was Several: Collaboration in the Context of the Differential Self'. in Colin N, Sachsenmeier S (eds.) Collaboration in Performance Practice: Premises, Workings and Failures London : Palgrave Macmillan Article number 7
    [ Status: Submitted ]
  • Cull LK. (2015) 'From Homo Performans to Interspecies Collaboration: Expanding the concept of performance to include animals'. in Orozco L, Parker-Starbuck J (eds.) Performing Animality: Animals in Performance Practice Basingstoke / New York : Palgrave Macmillan Article number 1 , pp. 19-36.
  • Cull LK. (2014) '‘Performance Philosophy’'. in Reynolds B (ed.) Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts, and Theories Palgrave Macmillan , pp. 91-100.
    [ Status: Submitted ]
  • Cull LK. (2014) 'Deleuze’s bodies, philosophical diseases and the thought of illness'. in (ed.) Wissen wir, was ein Körper vermag? Rhizomatische Körper in Religion, Kunst, Philosophie Germany : transcript Verlag Article number 12 , pp. 185-198.
  • Cull LK. (2014) 'Performance Philosophy: Staging a New Field'. in Cull L, Lagaay A (eds.) Encounters in Performance Philosophy London and New York : Palgrave Macmillan Article number 1 , pp. 15-38.
  • Cull LK. (2014) 'From Homo Performans to Interspecies Collaboration: Broadening the Spectrum to include Nonhuman Performance'. in Parker-Starbuck J, Orozco L (eds.) Performing Animality: Animals in Performance Practices Palgrave Macmillan
    [ Status: Submitted ]
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'Schizo-theatre: Guattari, Deleuze, performance and “madness”'. in Garcin-Marrou F, Querrien A (eds.) Schizodrames 80 Edition. Paris : Erès
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'An education of attention: The perception of change in Bergson and performance'. in Benedek A, Nyiri K (eds.) How to Do Things with Pictures: Skill, Practice, Performance Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Brussels, New York, Oxford and Vienna : Peter Lang
  • Cull LK. (2013) '(One Less) Manifesto for a Theatre of Immanence'. in Cull LK, Daddario W (eds.) Manifesto Now! Instructions for Performance, Philosophy, Politics Bristol : Intellect , pp. 145-158.
  • Cull LK, Daddario W. (2013) 'Analogue 0: Manifesto Now! (Again!)'. in Cull LK, Daddario W (eds.) Manifesto Now! Instructions for Performance, Philosophy, Politics Bristol and Chicago : Intellect , pp. 3-20.
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'Performance Studies'. in Leonard A, Shephard T (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture London and New York : Routledge , pp. 59-66.
  • Cull LK. (2013) 'Collective Creation as a Theatre of Immanence: Deleuze and The Living Theatre'. in Mederos Syssoyeva K, Proudfit S (eds.) A History of Collective Creation Palgrave Macmillan Article number 7 , pp. 129-144.
  • Cull LK, Goulish M, Hixson L. (2013) 'A Diluted Manifesto'. in Walsh F, Causey M (eds.) Performance, Identity and the Neo-Political Subject Routledge Article number 7 , pp. 119-137.
  • Cull LK. (2011) 'While remaining on the shore: Ethics in Deleuze’s encounter with Antonin Artaud'. in Jun N, Smith DW (eds.) Deleuze and Ethics Edinburgh University Press , pp. 44-62.
  • Cull LK. (2011) 'Performing presence, affirming difference: Deleuze and the minor theatre of Georges Lavaudant and Carmelo Bene'. in Lavery C, Finburgh C (eds.) Contemporary French Theatre and Performance Palgrave Macmillan , pp. 99-110.
  • Goulish M, Cull LK. (2009) 'sub specie durationis'. in Cull L (ed.) Deleuze and Performance Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press Article number 7 , pp. 126-146.
  • Cull LK. (2009) 'Introduction'. in Cull LK (ed.) Deleuze and Performance Edinburgh University Press

Other publications

  • Cull L. (2015) Performance Philosophy. UK : Open Access / OASPA Performance Philosophy, 1, pp. 1-281.
  • Cull L. (2011) On Philosophy and Participation. London : Routledge Performance Research: a journal of the performing arts, 16 (4), pp. 1-142.

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