Research Collaborations

Performance and the Maternal (2019 – 2021) 

An ongoing AHRC-funded research project in collaboration with Dr Emily Underwood-Lee, with multiple research outputs including co-authored book Maternal Performance: Feminist Relations (Palgrave 2021). This project seeks to better understand the condition of the maternal through a study of maternal performance. It is driven by researching both the conditions in which mother artists make work and the contexts in which that work is received.  Primary research question is: How does maternal performance help us to understand the lived condition of motherhood? The project’s website is Performance and the Maternal.

Red image of a child's hand reaching out to touch the handwritten word 'Motherhood'

Children in Performance (2016 – 2018)

A research project between Dr Adele Senior (Leeds Beckett University) and the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home. Research events included ‘Against Children’ gathering at the Institute in December 2016, and ‘With Children: The Child as a Collaborator and Performer’ at Leeds Beckett University in January 2017. A special issue ‘On Children’ from Performance Research journal was published in 2018.


Performance and the Maternal (2015 – 2017)

A research project with Dr Emily Underwood-Lee (University of South Wales). Performance and the Maternal research project events included Motherhood and Live Art (The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, Liverpool, January 2016), The Maternal Meets the Performance’ (Edge Hill University, January 2016), Performance and the Maternal: Intersections and Encounters (University of South Wales, March 2016). Emily and Lena presented their research at the annual Museum of Motherhood conference ‘Theorizing Motherhood in the Academy’ at Manhattan College, New York in May 2016, at Oxytocin Festival at the Royal College of Art in London in June 2017 and ‘The Mothernists II: Who Cares for the 21st Century?’ symposium co-hosted by Astrid Noack’s Atelier and the Royal Danish Art Academy in Copenhagen in October 2017.

A number of academic publications are connected to this project as well as the special issue ‘On the Maternal’  from Performance Research Journal.


Artist and academic publication linked to the project:

The Politics and Aesthetics Reading Group
(2010 – 2012 & 2016 – 2017)

A monthly space that supports group readings of philosophical/political theory outside academic environments. The group is directed to people interested in exploring the complex relationship between art/aesthetics and politics both in theory and practice


The Politics and Aesthetics RG Archive

The Free University of Liverpool (2010 – 2013)

A collective of artists and activists devoted to the idea and practice of a free education for anyone who wants or needs it.

The Free University of Liverpool archive website

Cartographies of Justice (2012)

A creative investigation into citizenship, migration and belonging with an eye on social and ecological justice, Liverpool Hope University, December 2012


The event brought together internationally renowned art activists, writers, poets and performance practitioners Jennifer Verson, Katherina Radeva, Natasha Davis and Sai Murray with Liverpool-based artists and members of the migrant community (Migrant Artists Mutual Aid and Merseyside Refugee and Asylum Seekers Pre and Post Natal Group) as well as students and academics. The event consisted of student performance, invited artist talks, migrant story slam, long table discussion and migrant feast.

As part of the Cartographies of Justice, Migrant Artists Mutual Aid organised a Migrant Story Slam featuring Jennifer Verson, Lorena Rivero de Beer, Mark Loudon, Pa Modou Bojang, Zodwa Nyoni, John Bennett, Brian Desmond, Carmel Cleary, Gergana Ganeva and Gary Anderson. The slam master was Mary Pearson; the organizer was Penny Whitehead.

Migrant Story archive website for the project