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Dr Kieran Sellars

Job: Part-time Lecturer in Drama

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities and Performing Arts

Address: Clephan Building, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: 0116 255 1551




Personal profile

Kieran Sellars is a Part-time Lecturer on the Drama programme and completed his PhD in Performance Studies, here, at DMU, in February 2020. His doctoral research took male-identifying performance artists as case studies and analysed the ways in which normative gender ideologies could come to be queered by the ways in which those artists deployed their bodies in performance. His research interests include gender and sexuality, queer theory, feminist performance art, and the male body in performance.

Kieran has been teaching at DMU since 2016 and has taught across a variety of modules on the BA (Hons) Drama, BA (Hons) Performing Arts, and MA Performance Practices programmes. He makes performance and has exhibited his work throughout Leicester. Kieran’s performance practice is complemented by his yoga training, in which he qualified as an instructor in September 2018.

Kieran has published a book chapter, on drag and race, in the edited collection Contemporary Drag Practices and Performers: Drag in a Changing Scene Volume 1, co-edited by Stephen Farrier and Mark Edward for Bloomsbury (2020). Alongside this Kieran has produced a co-authored piece (with Cassie Brummitt) in the edited collection Queerbaiting and Fandom, edited by Joseph Brennan for University of Iowa Press (2019). Kieran has also reviewed artists’ work and exhibitions and his most recent publication is an article in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training's special issue on Training for Performance Art and Live Art entitled ‘‘I’ve been as intimate with him as I have been with anybody:’ Queer Approaches, Encounters and Exchanges as Live Art Performer Training.’

Kieran has a forthcoming co-authored chapter (with Meredith Jones) in Meredith Jones and Evelyn Callahan's edited collection Performing the Penis: Phalluses in 21st Century Cultures. Due to be published in 2021.

Research group affiliations

Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies

Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI)

Publications and outputs

(2020) ‘‘I’ve been as intimate with him as I have been with anybody:’ Queer Approaches, Encounters and Exchanges as Live Art Performer Training,’ Special Issue: Training for Performance Art and Live Art, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 11(2), pp. 168-180.

(2020) ‘Destabilisation through Celebration: Drag, Homage, and Challenges to Black Stereotypes in the Practice of Harold Offeh,’ in Edwards, Mark and Stephen Farrier (eds.), Contemporary Drag Practices and Performers: Kings and Queens of Drag Vol. 1, London: Bloomsbury, pp. 117-132.

Co-authored with Cassie Brummitt (2019) ‘“Friends? Always:” Queerbaiting, Ambiguity, and Erasure in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ in Brennan, Joseph (ed.) Queerbaiting and Fandom: Teasing Fans through Homoerotic Possibilities, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, pp. 108-111.

(2018) ‘fronterlebnis – Boy’s Toys on the Frontline,’ in Furtherfield [Online]. Available from:

Research interests/expertise

  • Performance Art and Live Art
  • The gendered body in performance
  • Queer and gender theory in performance practice
  • Contemporary performance practice
  • Drag Performance

Areas of teaching

  • Performance and Critical Theory
  • Contemporary Performance and Theatre
  • Performance History and Analysis


PhD in Performance Studies, De Montfort University, Leicester

MA in Performance Practices, De Montfort University, Leicester

BA (Hons) in Drama Studies, De Montfort University, Leicester

Courses taught

Drama BA (Hons): DRAM1010 Acting and Performing; DRAM1011 Performance in Context: History and Analysis; DRAM2011 Performance in Context: Culture and Theory; DRAM3010 Performance as Research.

Conference attendance

‘Survival through Sickness: Reimagining the Zombie in Martin O’Brien’s The Unwell (2017),’ De Montfort University, ‘It Is True, We Shall Be Monsters’: New Perspectives on Sci-fi, Horror, and the Monstrous Onscreen, Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI) Post-Graduate Conference, 13th June 2018.

‘God’s Own Country: Queering the Masculine in the Yorkshire Dales,’ University of Sheffield, Representing Gender in the North: 1945 to the Present Conference, 23rd May 2018.

‘Pleasure, Pain, Performance: Audience, Performer and Communal Acts of Subversion, De Montfort University, Borderlines V – Falling, Standing, Performing Conference, 22nd June 2017.

‘Wheezing Coughs and Limping Zombies: Overflow and Excess in the Practice of Martin O’Brien,’ Kampnagel; Hamburg, Performance Studies International Conference – Overflow, 10th June 2017.

‘Liberation Through Queer Pain: Endurance, Suffering and Challenging the Normative in the Practice of Martin O'Brien,’ De Montfort University, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Dance Postgraduate Symposium, Trauma and Embodiment, 31st May 2017.

‘Figuratively Limp, Literally Sexy: The Ambiguous Sexual Body of Dani Ploeger,’ Brunel University, Performing the Penis Roundtable, 3rd March 2017.

‘A Bite of Queer Flesh: Overflow and Excess in the Practice of Martin O’Brien,’ York Art Gallery, Naked Acts - Flesh and Queer Symposium, 31st January 2017.

‘Nude, Erect and Toned: Dani Ploeger and His Queer Performance Art Practice,’ Sapienza University; Italy, Dance and Performance Post-Graduate Conference, 7-8th April 2016.