Dr Daniel Johnston

BA Macquarie University, BA (Honours) Sydney, MA/BA Cambridge, PhD Sydney
Lecturer

Telephone +61 2 9351 6846

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Biographical details

Daniel Johnston has been a Lecturer at the Department of Performance Studies, The University of Sydney. Previously, he was an Associate Lecturer at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). He has also convened Cultural Studies and Drama units at Maquarie University. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of Sydney and a MA (Cantab) in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge.

Research interests

  • Phenomenology and performance
  • Corporate performance
  • Intercultural performance / diversity in tertiary education
  • Performance analysis

Current projects

Theatre and Heidegger's Being and Time (Monograph in progress).There is a lot of talk about ‘truth’ in theatre-making, but little to no explanation as to what it might mean. This book reconsiders theatre-making as practical philosophy: the ‘active metaphysics’ of performance as truth-revealing. In this study, I present philosophical interpretations of three iconic theatre-makers of the twentieth century: Constantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, and Bertolt Brecht. I explore theatre and its relation to phenomenology - a radical ‘return to the things themselves’. The work introduces Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time – arguably one of the most important philosophical texts of the twentieth century - and articulates how it might be applied to the theatrical process. As a philosophical movement, phenomenology rejects dualism and posits that humans experience the world as a whole rather than as an internal mind and external physical objects.Modern critical theory is sceptical of claims to truth, but by returning to Heidegger, we can recover something of what such utterances in the rehearsal room could mean in philosophical terms.

Phenomenology for Actors: Manual Philosophy. This project contemplates the use of philosophical phenomenology in acting and performance-making; philosophy as a resource for artistic creation. Elsewhere I have considered how various approaches to acting could be understood as constituting practical phenomenology but might the equation work the other way? How might one use Martin Heidegger?s Being and Time (Sein und Zeit), for instance, in order to approach a role?

Corporate Performance. This project looks at the interections between theatre and business, extending Jon McKenzie's provocations in Perform or Else. The research looks at corporate presentation training, corporate work spaces, product launches, and the performativity of corporate communications.

Awards and honours

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Award, 2013.

In 2010, Daniel produced an applied theatre project with international students at Macquarie Universtiy called In Your Own Words which is the topic of a forthcoming book chapter:


Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Johnston, D. (2015). Making Space for International Students (In Press). Embodying Transformation. Melbourne: Monash University Press.

Journals

  • Johnston, D. (2014). Corporate Space, Performance and Selfhood: Googleplex Sydney. Liminalities, 10(2), 1-18.
  • Johnston, D. (2014). Inside the Theatre of Business: Performance and Corporate Presentation Training. Journal of Business Anthropology, Spring(Case Study #6), 1-22.
  • Johnston, D. (2011). Stanislavskian Acting as Phenomenology in Practice. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Fall (1), 65-84.
  • Johnston, D. (2011). Theatre-Making as Aletheia: Rehearsal and the Production of Truth. Theatre Research International, 36(3), 213-227. [More Information]
  • Fitzpatrick, T., Johnston, D. (2009). Spaces, doors and places in early modern English staging. Theatre Notebook: a journal of the history and technique of the British theatre, 63(1), 2-19.
  • Johnston, D. (2004). Manual Metaphysics: Philosophy And Theatre. Philament, August e-journal(4), E.

Conferences

  • Johnston, D. (2010). Phenomenology, Time and Performance. time.transcendence.performance, VIC: Monash University.
  • Johnston, D. (2008). Overcoming the metaphysics of consciousness: Being/Artaud. 2006 Conference of the Australasian Association for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Sydney: University of Sydney.

2015

  • Johnston, D. (2015). Making Space for International Students (In Press). Embodying Transformation. Melbourne: Monash University Press.

2014

  • Johnston, D. (2014). Corporate Space, Performance and Selfhood: Googleplex Sydney. Liminalities, 10(2), 1-18.
  • Johnston, D. (2014). Inside the Theatre of Business: Performance and Corporate Presentation Training. Journal of Business Anthropology, Spring(Case Study #6), 1-22.

2011

  • Johnston, D. (2011). Stanislavskian Acting as Phenomenology in Practice. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Fall (1), 65-84.
  • Johnston, D. (2011). Theatre-Making as Aletheia: Rehearsal and the Production of Truth. Theatre Research International, 36(3), 213-227. [More Information]

2010

  • Johnston, D. (2010). Phenomenology, Time and Performance. time.transcendence.performance, VIC: Monash University.

2009

  • Fitzpatrick, T., Johnston, D. (2009). Spaces, doors and places in early modern English staging. Theatre Notebook: a journal of the history and technique of the British theatre, 63(1), 2-19.

2008

  • Johnston, D. (2008). Overcoming the metaphysics of consciousness: Being/Artaud. 2006 Conference of the Australasian Association for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Sydney: University of Sydney.

2004

  • Johnston, D. (2004). Manual Metaphysics: Philosophy And Theatre. Philament, August e-journal(4), E.

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