Laura Bissell


Dr Laura Bissell (she/her) is an Athenaeum Research Fellow and Lecturer in Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Laura is a performance-researcher, writer, and educator and has had her poetry, creative writing and academic writing published in journals and anthologies. She is currently writing a monograph on matrescence and performance (Intellect) and is co-editing the International Journal of Performance Art and Digital Media’s special edition: Matrescence and Media with Jodie Hawkes and Elena Marchevska.

Laura has co-edited and authored three books: Performance in a Pandemic with Dr Lucy Weir (Routledge, 2021), Making Routes: Journeys in Performance 2010-2020 (Triarchy, 2021) with Dr David Overend and Bubbles: Reflections on Becoming Mother, (Luath, 2021). Laura was a visiting lecturer on the MRes in Creative Practices programme at Glasgow School of Art from 2012-18 and has taught on the Transart Institute MFA in Berlin. She worked at the University of Glasgow in the Theatre Studies department as a Lecturer prior to her appointment at RCS and has been External Examiner for the MA in Contemporary Performance Practice at the University of Salford and BA European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College.

Laura has a PhD (The Female Body, Technology and Performance: Performing a Feminist Praxis, University of Glasgow), an MPhil by Research (The Posthuman Body in Performance, University of Glasgow), and a first-class MA (Hons) degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies (University of Glasgow). Laura has a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Arts Education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Teaching commitments

Laura delivers teaching on Performance Research and Artist in Development modules.

Research interests

Laura’s research interests include contemporary performance practices; technology; feminism; matrescence; ecology; interdisciplinarity and performance and journeys. Laura has a longstanding research collaboration with David Overend called Making Routes: a project which connects researchers and artists who are exploring mobilities in creative and challenging ways.

Laura has presented her research on contemporary practices at conferences nationally and internationally and she has had her work published in the International Journal of Performance Art and Digital MediaThe Body, Space Technology Journal, Studies in Theatre and PerformanceThe Scottish Journal of Performance and Contemporary Theatre Review. 

Recent Publications and Current Projects

International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media

Journal of Life Writing, 2023. My Diary Diary

Contemporary Theatre Review, 2023. Performance Portals at COP26

Routledge Companion to Contemporary European Theatre and Performance. 2023. Performance in a Pandemic.

Journal of Mother Studies: Performing Matrescence: Becoming and Unbecoming, 2023.

Performance in a Pandemic 2021. Edited with Lucy Weir.

Making Routes: Journeys in Performance 2010-2020. 2021. Edited with David Overend.

Research Supervision

  • Doctoral supervisor for Fabienne Reichsoellner: Performance and Play: Exploring Lived Experience in Video Games, RCS and University of Abertay.
  • Doctoral supervisor for Isla Cowan: Ecological Consciousness in Contemporary Scottish Theatre (SGSAH studentship with University of Glasgow). 
  • Doctoral supervisor for Maria Braender: Eco-queer world making: sensitizing and performing with (more-than-humxn) multiperspectivity. 
  • Doctoral supervisor for Aby Watson: Disordering Dance: Neuroqueering a Choreographic Practice', RCS. 
  • Doctoral supervisor for Mona Bozdog: Connecting Performance and Play: Establishing Interdisciplinary Design Methods for the Development of Video Games and Performance (Applied Research Collaborative Studentship) with RCS, NTS and University of Abertay (completed June 2018). 
  • Doctoral advisor for PhD by Portfolio candidate Jess Thorpe
  • Doctoral advisor for PhD by Portfolio candidate Gary Gardiner

Professional highlights


  • Co-Chair of RCS Sustainability Committee (2021-24)
  • 2014-present: Member of RCS Research Degrees Committee 
  • 2014-2017: Associate Editor for the Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal 
  • 2015- 2018: Elected staff governor on Board of Governors at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 
  • 2013-14: Arches Creative Learning Board Member 
  • 2011-2016 Board member and Secretary for A Moment’s Peace theatre company 
  • 2011-present: Making Routes (a network for artists working in the field of performance and journeys)

Membership of Professional Bodies/External Posts

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Qualified Hatha Yoga Instructor (Balance, accredited by Yoga Alliance Professionals). 
  • Mental Health First Aid Qualification (MHFA England) 

Supervisor for

Beyond the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland...