Election of SCUDD Secretary

There are three candidates for the role of SCUDD secretary, as Royona comes to the end of her term in the position. Statements from the three candidates can be found below. SCUDD member departments can submit one vote, consisting of a first and second choice from the candidates. Second choices will only be taken into consideration in the case of a tie.

(Please note that you cannot vote as an individual, but that only one vote can be registered from each SCUDD member department, so please do ensure that you conduct your own local poll or come to a consensus in any appropriate manner).

The form for submitting your vote can be found at the bottom of the page, below the candidates’ statements.

Glenn Odom’s Statement:

The current secretary has done an amazing job with the duties enumerated in SCUDD’s constitution. I would strive to continue this standard, particularly with regard to the minutes of meetings which are both exhaustive and clearly organized.

In addition, as we enter an era of increasing regulation of our sector, I see the role of the secretary of SCUDD evolving.  I am committed to creating additional platforms on which our members can carry out debates and make suggestions. The mailing list in its current form is designed to disseminate information quickly and easily.  It is not designed as a forum for debate and discussion.  A chat-board would serve this purpose well, allowing for a linear discussion that was accessible by interested parties (but did not encroach upon the email space of people uninterested in a particular issue).  This would provide a repository of materials for the various SCUDD working groups to draw on as they draft responses to the changes in REF, TEF or any other issues that arise.  Such a forum would also give the officers a chance to respond directly to member concerns.

In addition to the secretary-specific tasks, I look forward to being actively involved in SCUDD’s new initiatives.  As a recent transplant from the U.S. Academy, I feel I bring an additional viewpoint to the table which could be useful.

Glenn Odom

Senior Lecturer

University of Roehampton

Gareth White’s Statement:

I have worked at Central School of Speech and Drama for 11 years, following some years as associate lecturer (or similar) at Goldsmiths, Wimbledon College of Art, South Bank University, and others; along with external examining and course reviews this gives me experience of a range of institutions. I am an active member of the research community, for example as a working group convener at TaPRA. The role of the secretary is to act as the organisational anchor of the executive, as well as to join in and stimulate discussion of the many pressing challenges facing our discipline. After a stint as Pro Dean at Central, and several years as a senior member of a course team, I have a wealth of experience of teamwork, and course and departmental organisation.

SCUDD’s role in our changing times is to be a forceful advocate for the coherence and relevance of regulation, structure and funding of the university sector as it impacts upon our discipline. The ecology of provision of drama, theatre and performance must remain varied and vigorous. The recent REF evidenced the energy and diversity of research in our area, demonstrating that practice and thought, the esoteric and the impactful, are mutually generative and necessary; but there is more to do in this regard. The threat of a metrics and NSS-based TEF is even greater: a flattening out of teaching provision and practice as institutions chase higher ratings and rankings. The narrowing of the curriculum proposed for the English Baccalaureate would undermine preparation for university, as well as schools’ ability to inspire the students we work with.

Resisting these pressures from within our institutions after the fact will not be enough, continued advocacy is required, coordinated not just between SCUDD member departments, but with other stakeholders in industry, in education at other levels, and in related disciplines.

Gareth White

Reader Theatre and Performance

Central School of Speech and Drama

University of London

Rob Dean’s Statement:

As SCUDD Secretary my two central priorities would be to enhance efficiency and promote inclusivity. Reports, current initiatives and minutes will be promptly circulated and the time required for members to read, consider and respond to the material disseminated will be prioritised. Similarly, while ensuring that procedures are adhered to and debate is encouraged I aim to minimize bureaucracy and manage the level of e-mail traffic members have to process. Particular consideration will be given to the time of year when key events in the SCUDD calendar are scheduled and where they occur in relation to the academic year in order to avoid busy periods and term time clashes. As secretary I would contribute to the curation of the annual conference with the intention of ensuring that its programme reflects and addresses the shared interests and mutual concerns of all the organisation’s members. I would take a proactive role in canvassing opinion and inviting agenda items from SCUDD representatives and the membership as a whole, particularly with regards to sharing pedagogic practice and approaches to shared institutional and national issues. Thank you for your time.

Rob Dean

Senior Lecturer

University of Lincoln


Please cast your vote below.

 Rob Dean Glenn Odom Gareth White

 Rob Dean Glenn Odom Gareth White

BEFORE YOU PRESS SEND, PLEASE READ THIS: Please note, after clicking on ‘send’ some browsers may experience a spinning cog, and it will appear the form has not submitted. There is no need to reload the page. In most cases, the form will have been submitted correctly. You can confirm this by going to your inbox and refreshing it for new mail – an automated confirmation should have been sent within a minute of your vote. In case of any doubt, you may also email your vote to Mark at m.j.taylorbatty@leeds.ac.uk)

Election for general member position on the SCUDD executive

Two candidates are nominated for the general member position on the SCUDD Exec – Claire Hampton and Amy Skinner. Please read their statements on the next page. You will then be able to go through and vote for one of them.

One vote is permitted per SCUDD member department. We anticipate that the vote will be made by the SCUDD rep in the given department, and following an internal consultation process, as appropriate, in each SCUDD member department or unit.

Below are the statements from the two candidates. Follow this link to offer your SCUDD department’s vote: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/scudd2015


Statement from Claire Hampton:

Statement of intent:

I am currently a full-time lecturer in Drama at the University of Wolverhampton and I am completing my PhD on a part-time basis at Brunel University London. In my nuanced position as a lecturer, researcher and postgraduate student I face the challenges of balancing a composite approach to holistic career development. I am particularly keen to represent and respond to the needs of the many postgraduate research students negotiating these multiple aspects of early career academic training.

I have found the ‘SCUDD family’ to be an informative and collegiate network that has been hugely beneficial to my professional development. As a visiting lecturer, the SCUDD community offered an inclusive and welcoming environment within which to meet other academics and engage with the key issues facing drama in higher education. Attending conferences has introduced me to the REF and offered an opportunity to participate in the ongoing discussion regarding the defense of the discipline. A knowledge and understanding of these was intrinsic to my progression into full time academia.

SCUDD provides a comprehensive network for communication between drama departments and other stakeholders in performing arts. It offers a specific and strategic forum within which institutional members can engage in discussion and debate. I believe that it is an important organization and I am keen to become part of its facilitation.

As a general member of the exec, I would be an active and articulate participant in committee meetings ensuring the continued representation and support of the wider postgraduate and early career constituency. I would provide strategic support to other members of the committee, undertaking delegated tasks and responsibilities as required.

My current research triangulates trauma theory, contemporary feminism and ethnographic cultural analysis to examine the dramaturgy and performativity of ‘Selfies’. My teaching specialisms include critical theory, physical theatre and contemporary performance practices.


Statement from Amy Skinner

Amy Skinner

I am seeking re-election to the SCUDD Executive having served as a committee member since 2012. My time on the Executive has made the importance of SCUDD very clear to me, and I am standing for re-election in order to pursue the work I have begun over the last three years. I believe that my experience on the Executive, the initiatives I have launched, and my willingness to engage with debates within our discipline, make me a suitable candidate for re-election.

Whilst on the Executive, I have been involved in action on a number of pressing issues facing our discipline today, including A-level reform, national perspectives on Drama in HE, and open access publishing. I have taken particular responsibility for issues related to Early Career status, and I have built up SCUDD’s provision for Early Career Academics by facilitating dedicated conference panels, initiating networking opportunities, and designing and co-ordinating the SCUDD Early Career website and blog (http://earlycareer.scudd.org.uk/, due for launch in March 2015). I have been responsible for the administration of the David Bradby Award since its launch, and have been involved in the organisation of SCUDD conferences. In addition, I currently sit as a member of the Diversity in the Discipline Working Group.

In the current climate of change in Higher Education, I believe that continuity is extremely important. My experience on the SCUDD Executive puts me in a good position to continue work that has already been started. I believe that SCUDD’s initiatives for Early Career Academics have had a strong start, and I would like the opportunity to build on this. If re-elected, I would seek to expand this provision to include more support for mentors of Early Career Academics, and greater interaction with the SCUDD Postgraduate Committee, acknowledging that the routes into academic careers are multiple and complex, requiring different types of support at different moments. I would also support further collaboration between SCUDD, TaPRA and the Society for Theatre Research, already begun in relation to Early Career issues, and vitally important in representing our common concerns. As a member of the Diversity Working Group, I would continue to pursue the need for dialogue, support and representation within our discipline around mental health issues.

In addition to these areas of interest, I am open to involvement in whatever issues the membership considers to be significant in our discipline: I am keen to listen and respond to the current climate, ensuring that SCUDD really serves the needs of its member departments. I hope that the work I have undertaken for SCUDD to date demonstrates both my commitment to the organisation and to the discipline as a whole. After three years on the Executive Committee, I believe now, more than ever, in the importance of SCUDD, and in how the organisation facilitates discussion, debate and representation for our discipline. I currently consider membership of the Executive Committee to be one of the most important things I do, and would very much value the opportunity to continue in this role for a further three years.