Dr Tom Hastings is Lecturer in Dance at The Place. Tom works on contemporary performance at the intersection of politics, and theories of race and gender. He has previously taught at Roehampton University, University of East London, and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Tom completed his PhD in History of Art at University of Leeds in 2018, which focused on the status of props in the work of American choreographer Yvonne Rainer. He completed his MA Critical Theory at University of Sussex in 2014 and BA English Literature at UCL in 2010. Tom co-organised the conferences ‘Speak, Body: Art, the Reproduction of Capital and the Reproduction of Life’ and ‘Performance and Performativity: Actualities and Futures’ at University of Leeds. He regularly writes criticism for magazines including Art Monthly, Frieze, and Texte zur Kunst.

My research broadly concerns the social aspects of performance. I’m working on a book project that excavates the history of the UK culture wars through performance case studies in India, Ghana, Trinidad, and the UK.

The argument for this book project emerged through two recent articles: ‘Shut Up and Dance’ (Performance Research, 2023) and ‘Taking the Knee’ (Platform Journal, 2021). I’m co-editing a volume of essays on Yvonne Rainer. Other recent publications include a commissioned essay on the artist Joe Moran, an essay on ‘figures’ for MA Bibliothèque, an article on the artist Robert Morris for Sculpture Journal that includes a reading of his performance 21.3 (1964), and an essay on the style of the artist’s open letter for Texte zur Kunst.

I teach across BA and MA programmes at The Place. I’m Unit Leader on the MA Expanded Dance Practice, on which I deliver the lecture series and supervise research. I currently lead the final-year BA Negotiated Project module and deliver a lecture course on BA1. In the role of dramaturge, I co-lead the BA1 Protest Project with my colleague, choreographer Eva Recacha. Eva and I are working on an essay about this creative process titled ‘Dance Protest Pedagogy’. I regularly take classes in Bharatanatyam at The Place.

Selected Publications:

“Shut Up and Dance”, Performance Research, 27.4: On Protest, 2023.

“A boundary is more than one thing”, commissioned essay for Joe Moran, 2022.

“Taking a Knee.” Platform: Journal of Theatre and Performing Arts, 14, no. 2: Balancing Acts, 2021

“Robert Morris Between Art Criticism and Object Making (1961-66)”, Sculpture Journal, 30/3, 2021.

“Lines of Descent”, On Figure/s, London: Ma Bibliothèque, 2021.

“Public Speaking. On the Meaning of “I” in the Artist’s Open Letter”, Texte zur Kunst, 2016.

Visit Tom’s website here.