Dr Katie Beswick
Programme Director Acting and Performance
University of the Arts London
BiographyKatie Beswick is a writer and academic. She joined University of the Arts London as Programme Director Acting and Performance at Wimbledon College of Arts in January 2022. Prior to this she worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Drama Department at the University of Exeter from 2015-2022, and has also worked at Queen Mary University of London and at the University of Leeds.
Katie's academic writing is embedded in concerns of class and politics, with numerous publications on a diverse range of subjects including housing, hip hop, performer training and street performance forms. She is interested in the ways arts practices both shape and respond to social, economic and political realities, and with the ways working-class people and communities make and receive art (particularly theatre and performance). She works closely with a number of artists to document and respond to their practice — recently this has included work with the Women Working Class artist collective, with Kelly Green and with the beatbox theatre practitioner Conrad Murray. She also writes arts journalism, and is a regular contributor to the music magazine Loud and Quiet.
Born and raised in South London, Katie trained as performer, working as an actor, community theatre practitioner and a facilitator of applied theatre before undertaking a PhD that explored the representation of social housing in British theatre practices. She has also worked a social housing officer, education mentor and as a waitress, barmaid, shop assistant and finance administrator.
She is currently working on a monograph, 'SIags on Stage' (Routledge 2023), which explores representations of women's interventions into class, sex and desire in art and performance in the UK from the 1970s to the present day, melding performance analysis, personal reflections and data from ethnographic research to build a picture of the way the word 'slag' works through art and culture.