Kate Holmes


27th June 2014:

The Stories We Tell Ourselves, Sight, Site, Cite Symposium, University of Bristol

The piece used stories cited within families alongside copied movements in a 45 minute devised performance drawing on the symposium themes of Sight, Site, Cite.

September 2011:

University of Bristol Theatre Collection

Through a placement as Unfurl's Artist Assistant, subsequent short-term contracts and volunteering opportunities with the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, I gained knowledge of theoretical archival concerns and how archives function in practice.

The Unfurl artist-in-residence project has since become used by The National Archives as an exemplar project.


7th July 2017:

Theatre & Fandom Symposium, University of Bristol

Presented on 'Aerial Celebrity and Fandom' and co-organised event.

29th January 2016:

Audience, Experience, Desire PG Conference, University of Exeter

Provided support to the conference organisers: assisted with set up, clear up, technical support, and chaired a panel.

10th December 2015:

CARD#2: Circus on the Edge Queer Circus and Gender Round Table Discussion

The material that forms the focus of this discussion considers the solo female aerialist as an athlete-performer-entertainer.

17th September 2015:

University of Exeter Drama Department Pressessional: Strength is Life - the female aerialist, endurance & female exercise

A paper that explores how the performances of female aerialists may have appeared in light of the increased activity levels of women in wider society. It argues that the female aerialist conformed to the beauty queen athlete model.

8th September 2015:

TaPRA Conference: Death-Defying Showmanship: defining the nature of female aerial celebrity

This paper considers what distinguishes aerial celebrity from other forms of celebrity and what separates the popular performer from the celebrity star. It will focus on the calling-card dangerous trick, reflecting on issues of skill, danger and showmanship.

30th June 2015:

Theorising the Popular Conference: The Flapper and the Female Aerialist, Liverpool Hope University

This paper compares the Flapper and the female aerialist to consider if the female aerialist was a celebrity precisely because her body demonstrated a blurring of gender boundaries at a time when this might have been considered an instability in culture.

27th April 2015:

Postgraduate Research Showcase 2015: To Glamour

A poster presentation using images of the highest profile aerialist of the period, Lillian Leitzel, to illustrate and reflect on how her performances were glamorous. It demonstrates that aerial performance itself was glamorous and draws a number of preliminary conclusions about the concept of glamour.

4th September 2014:

TaPRA Conference: Placing the Circus Celebrity

The theme for this joint Popular Performance & History and Historiography working group panel was space and place.  Through considering the US and UK venues aerialists performed in, this paper revealed a little of what the circus was in this era, its popularity, differing aesthetics of spectacle and raise questions regarding performer mobility.

27th June 2014:

Sight, Site Cite Symposium, University of Bristol: Placing the Circus Celebrity - how 1920s performance spaces affected reception of female aerialists

A paper that focused on the symposium themes of Sight and Site by considering how US and UK performance spaces affected reception of circus celebrities such as aerialists.  These spaces included the temporary US three-ring four-stage temporary tented circus, Madison Square Garden and London Olympia's temporarily inhabited by US and UK circuses and the permanent US vaudeville and UK variety venues.

29th April 2014:

College of Humanities PGR Conference, University of Exeter: Looking up to the Stars - Circus, Cinema, Celebrity & Glamour

A paper that considered how aerial acts are glamorous by focusing on the distance and desire present in both glamour and reception of aerial acts.  The discussion focused on the highest profile aerial celebrity of 1920s and early 1930s: Lillian Leitzel.


27th April 2015:

Society of Theatre Research Anthony Denning Award

Funding for a two-week trip to visit the Harvard Theatre Collection and travel to interview an early twentieth century circus performer.

10th December 2014:

AHRC Research Training Support Grant

Funding to visit the Tegge Circus Archive and Circus World Museum, both in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

September 2014:

TaPRA 2014 Conference Bursary

Graduate School Skills Workshops

10th June 2015:

Voice & Authority in the Academy

An afternoon of talks on women in leadership and the academy, alongside a voice workshop focused on presenting confidentaly.

9th June 2015:

Sharing Knowledge: a workshop about interdisciplinary research

One day workshop focused on defining interdisciplinary research, investigating the opportunities it provides for public engagement and possible solutions to the barriers to effective working at the University of Exeter.

October 2014:

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education - Stage 2

Programme of intensive sessions covering how to plan teaching for interactive learning, how to be a reflective teacher, undertaking assessment and delivering feedback. It also included a final micro-teach activity with feedback from peers who provided perspectives from a variety of disciplines.

18th September 2014:

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education - Stage 1

Course introducing the principles of effective learning and formative assessment in Higher Education through a range of modelled tasks and a micro-teach activity.

7th May 2014:

Cross-Disciplinary Gender Workshop

One-day workshop aimed at creating an awareness of the range of gender research across the University of Exeter and the range of academic resources and support available.

Official Roles

30th July 2015:

Committee Member, STR NRN

Member of the Society of Theatre Research New Researchers' Network that provides a supportive group for postgraduates, new scholars, practitioners, and ECRs who are interested in theatre, performance, theatre history and historiography.

As such I instigated the STR NRN blog that provides tips and reflections on the experience of being a new researcher in the field of performance. I also supported a one day teaching practice event, an employability day and organised the 3rd annual symposium.