School of the Arts, English and Drama

School staff

Dr Daniel Watt

Photo of Dr Daniel Watt

Specialism: European Theatre and Theory Specialist

I joined Loughborough in 2006, following two years as a publications and research assistant in Aberystwyth at The Centre for Performance Research. I gained my PhD from Sussex in 2003, my thesis explored fragmentary writing in the work of Maurice Blanchot, Samuel Beckett and J.M. Coetzee. My teaching and research focus on Performance Philosophy, objects and puppets in theory and practice, and the nature of The Weird in fiction and performance. I am currently Programme Director for Drama.

I teach a range of modules including modules ‘Revolt Against Fate’, ‘Brecht: The Critical Stage’, ‘Performing the Absurd’, ‘Performance Philosophy’, and this year will be teaching ‘Theatre of the Fantastic’, the ‘Theatre Practice’ module on Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata, ‘Research Project’ and ‘Performance Philosophy’. I also enjoy teaching sessions on the ‘Weird Tale’ for the English MA and for the Creative Writing programme I deliver sessions on the short story, the horror and supernatural as genre, and on Small Press publishing.

I currently co-supervise four PhD students; Virginie Ganivet, on the English Mr Punch; Phil Emery on ‘Sword and Sorcery’, Peter Griffiths on ‘Fictocriticism’ and Caroline Astell-Burt on Otome-Bunraku. I would welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students looking to work in any area of my research interests but particularly in the areas of Performance Philosophy and Object Theatre.‌

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

My research interests include philosophical and literary influences on theatre and performance in the Twentieth century particularly in the emerging field of Performance Philosophy, and more specifically in the work of Tadeusz Kantor. My other research work is focused on the literary/theatrical fantastic and ‘Weird Fiction’, literary/performance ethics, fragmentary writing, death in performance and culture, and the nature of the puppet, or abject object, in performance.

I was co-investigator on an AHRC Network project, ‘Foundations for Object Theatre’, with Sean Myatt at NTU offering network opportunities for international object theatre practitioners and researchers, the first event was held in December 2011 and the second event in September 2012. 

I was co-convenor of the Theatre, Performance and Philosophy working group at TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association) from 2006-2012. Now I am one of the founding core convenors of the Performance Philosophy Network, which held its inaugural conference ‘What is Performance Philosophy’, with over 130 speakers and 190 delegates, at the University of Surrey, 11-13th April 2013.

Further information about my research can be found at Academia.edu.

Creative research includes writing plays, poetry and fiction. My fiction has appeared in Sein und Werden, Sacrum Regnum, Shadows and Tall Trees, and with Egaeus Press, Gray Friar Press, Megazanthus Press, Side Real Press, Salt Publishing, Dynatox Ministries, Undertow Publications and Ex Occidente/Zagava Press, including three collections of short stories Almost Insentient, Almost Divine, An Emporium of Automata and The Phantasmagorical Imperative and other Fabrications, and three novellas, The Ten Dictates of Alfred Tesseller, Dehiscence and Memorabilia (in The Transfiguration of Mr Punch). My short story ‘Laudate Dominum (for many voices)’ was reprinted in Best British Horror 2014, ed. Johnny Mains, Salt Publishing and my short story ‘Shallabalah’ won The Ghost Story Award 2014. Further details at The Interlude House.

Public lectures and talks

‘The Infectious Legacies of Edgar Allan Poe’, joint paper with Dr Jennifer Cooke and Dr Nick Freeman at Loughborough Town Hall, Sock Gallery, July 2014

‘Objects and Performance’, joint performance paper with Sean Myatt (NTU) at Nottingham Primary, May 2014

Story Reading (‘A Hive of Pain’) at The Broadway, Nottingham, with Comma Press and Nottingham Writers’ Studio, December 2013

Story Reading (‘The Tyrant’) at Love Stories: Unique and Unsettling Tales, Nottingham Festival of Words, February 2013

‘Talking Objects – Introduction’, Object Theatre Symposium, Radar Arts, Loughborough University, March 2012

‘Noli Me Legere - Leading to the Inside’, This is Not a Lecture or a Performance! Symposium: Visual/Performance Interface, RADAR Arts, Loughborough University, June 2011

‘They Do Things Differentl­y There - A Response’ Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Panel Discussion, with Nicholas Oddy and Dr Anne-Marie Kramer, for the exhibition ‘They Do Things Differently There’, June, 2010

‘Let the Artists Die like Dogs!: Performing­ Objects against the World’s Museum’, Sculpture & Performance Conference, Henry Moore Institute & Tate Liverpool, March, 2010

Membership of Editorial Boards

General Co-editor of Performance Philosophy Journal, ISSN: 2057-7176

Editorial Board member for Consciousness, Literature and the Arts journal, ISSN 1470-5648.

Editorial Board member for Performance Research journal, ISSN 1352-8165.

Membership of Societies and Organisations

Co-founder and Core Convenor of ‘Performance Philosophy Network’ September 2012 – present

Co-convenor (with Professor Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe) of the Theatre, Performance and Philosophy research group at TaPRA 2005 - 2012

Plenary Lectures and Conference Papers

‘After The Theatre of Death; Life?’ invited speaker at Kantorbury, Kantorbury, University of Kent, Canterbury, September 2015.

‘How funny is it being a plank of wood?: The terrible comedy of Cricot2 theatre’ invited speaker at Thinking Through Tragedy and Comedy – Performance Philosophy and the Future of Genre, organized in cooperation with the Dahlem Humanities Center, the Center for International Cooperation at the Free University and the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI) Berlin, December 2014.

'If You Go Down in the Mythago Woods Today: A Sinister Excursion', joint performance paper with Dr Nick Freeman at The Fiend in the Furrows, Queen's University Belfast, September 2014 (see picture below)

‘The Consciousness of Objects’, invited speaker at Theatre, Dance, Music and Consciousness Research Seminars, University of Lincoln, May 2013.

‘Making it up: Performance, Things and other Stories’, Keynote speaker at Performing Performance Symposium, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, April 2013.

‘Who Acts?’, Keynote speaker at The Politics of the Psychophysical, Theatre Academy Helsinki, November 2011

‘They Do Things Differentl­y There - A Response’ Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Invited Panel Discussion, with Nicholas Oddy and Dr Anne-Marie Kramer, for the exhibition ‘They Do Things Differently There’, June, 2010

‘Publishing Revolutions: Print on Demand and Academia’ invited lecture and presentation at Atrium, Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, 8th February 2008

External Examining

External Examiner – Performing Arts, University of Northumbria, October 2010 – January 2015

External Examiner: Dr Brent Harris, ‘Figuring Diachrony’, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, April 2013.

Peer Review Work

I have served as an invited reviewer for University of Minnesota Press, Western Journal of Communication, and Palgrave Macmillan.

Invited Referee for AHRC Fellowship proposal (December 2008)

Media Appearances

‘Reading of D. P. Watt’s “The Comrade”’ by Colin Clews at Tales to Terrify, 195, October 2015

‘Interview: D.P.Watt’ at Bibliophage, March 2015.

‘D.P. Watt and the Surreal: “I see fiction as an environment of exploration and experiment”’, at Weird Fiction Review, December 2014.