Picture of Beth Roberts.

Beth Roberts

Postgraduate Research Student

Academic and research departments

School of Literature and Languages.


My research project



Beth Roberts (2023) Using Haraway’s Split Researcher in the Context of Theatre: A Case Study of Subject/Object in Romantic Love

Donna Haraway’s 1988 article ‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective’ attempts to outline a loose methodology for objective feminist research. One of the key concepts in Haraway’s argument is the ‘split’ researcher; through the process of ‘splitting’, a researcher can see from a multitude of perspectives and shift away from centring their own subjective experiences. Lauren Gunderson’s 2010 play Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight likewise ‘splits’ the character of Emilie du Châtelet, which involves two actresses playing different versions of Emilie. This means that one version of Emilie, the leading Emilie, can observe the events of her life from a distance and can therefore move into a more objective sphere to come to her own conclusions. Leading Emilie must observe and sometimes enact memories from her life that lean into subjective and emotional experiences of romantic love. This article argues that despite the relative subjectivity and emotionality associated with romantic love, leading Emilie is able to make astute and helpful deductions about her romantic relationships. This suggests that the feminist researcher need not fully push aside their subjective experiences in order to come to beneficial conclusions.