Alyson Campbell

Stephen Farrier



As well as running the Feral Queer Camp, we also research queer performance and queer pedagogies.

Here are some of the research outputs we have produced on Feral Queer Camp so far:

Embracing Feral Pedagogies: Queer Feminist Education through Queer Performance (2022)

Alyson Campbell, Meta Cohen, Stephen Farrier and Hannah McCann
Chapter in Gender in an Era of Post-truth Populism (edited by Penny Jane Burke, Julia Coffey, Rosalind Gill and Akane Kanai)

This chapter explores how a series of strategies we are calling ‘feral pedagogies’ can be deployed as a methodology and means of de-domesticating feminist queer knowledges and rewilding the nexus of academic and queer community practice. Here we enlist the definition of feral as ‘the domesticated gone wild’ to conjure up a way to resist the institutionalization of both queer academics and queer knowledge in the academy and attempt – albeit messily – to take queer ideas back into the streets (Campbell 2018, 2019) . 

Queering Pedagogies

Alyson Campbell
Article in Theatre Topics

Running interference and going feral: twin strategies that work two ways in to and out from the academy.

I am a queer-identifying teacher, artist and activist operating both within and beyond the disciplinary confines of a Theatre department in a conservatoire training environment the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne, Australia. I have been struggling for some time now with the ambivalences and contradictions this throws up, and have been asking: As a queer artist (outside!) turned artist-scholar (inside!) who has been utterly domesticated by being subsumed into the normative institution of academia how [can I] continue to exist within that environment? What inequalities does one have to avert one’s eyes from in order to stay inside, to hold this position?’ (Campbell, 2019: 177)

Going Feral: Queerly de-Domesticating the Institution (and Running Wild)

Alyson Campbell
Chapter in The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics (edited by Peter Eckersall and Helena Grehan) 

This chapter is written from the position of the queer-identifying theatre practitioner-scholar and interrogates their relationship to the institutions of theatre, funding bodies, and the academy.

The queer-identified artist, like the queer-identified researcher, is always functioning in a deeply ambivalent position. What does it mean when one of the fundamental principles of queer is that it sets itself up against what is normative, for this queer-identified person to exist within, be paid or salaried within, or seek approval from, one or more of these institutions? What happens to (their) queerness?

The parallels between theatre and the academy are close and multiple, and I suggest this is particularly so around the field of queer Practice as Research (PaR). The chapter examines a recent example of the author’s PaR work on HIV and AIDS in performance, GL RY/WHoLE (Belfast 2016), to argue that the uncomfortably placed queer artist-scholar might appropriate a ‘feral’ modus operandi in order to radically de-domesticate the domesticating strictures and privileges of these institutions. In other words, to take the money and knowledge and run wild.

GL RY: A (W)Hole Lot of Woman Trouble. HIV Dramaturgies and Feral Pedagogies

Alyson Campbell
Chapter in Viral Dramaturgies: HIV and AIDS in Performance in the Twenty-First Century (edited by Alyson Campbell and Dirk Gindt)

This essay stems from a Practice as Research performance installation, GL RY, led by the author in a public square throughout the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. The essay argues that there is a gaping hole in representation of women living with HIV in contemporary performance in countries like Australia. The essay proposes two main concepts: conversation—in form as well as process—is a key part of a contemporary dramaturgy of HIV; and, building on that, this dramaturgy of conversation might be productively merged with queer ideas of kinship and family to form what I am calling ‘feral pedagogies’: a queerly de-domesticated idea of how we teach and learn, in this case about HIV.



We are working on some exciting new
research outputs – more to be announced soon!

Special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review: What’s Queer about Queer Performance Now?(2022)

Edited by Alyson Campbell, Stephen Farrier and Manola Gayatri Kumarswamy
The roots of queer performance are present in the non-conformist, the antinormative and the anti-institutional. Despite these resistances, queer thought and its corollaries, including queer performance, have found a concentration in the body of the academy and this paradoxical homing is often seen as problematically ‘domesticating’ queer performance. Rather than repeat the position that the continuing voice of queer performance in the academy and in our theatre institutions is the sound of its death knell (queer theory’s death having been announced many times) this special issue of CTR will ask what this continuing presence means for how we think, read, study, make and speak about queer performance. It asks, then: what is queer about queer performance now?
Using the influential 2005 ‘What’s Queer about Queer Studies Now?’ edition of Social Text as inspiration, this special issue of CTR takes the question as impetus to ask the same of queer performance. The edition of Social Text explored how queer studies might function in a specific political climate in response to shifts in identity politics and new approaches to queer epistemologies. Like that collection, this special edition of CTR seeks essays that offer new and diverse perspectives that respond to developments in queer performance and in queer modes of performance-making, asking: what is queer performance now, how do we recognise it, how do we make it, how do we talk about it and how might its current manifestations question or solidify historical visions of what queer performance might do?

The Feral Queer Camp is supported by the Creativity and Wellbeing Research Initiative and The Victorian College of the Arts - The University of Melbourne; and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.