What Method for Erotohistoriography? 

with Jed Wentz, Ben Spatz, Laila Neuman and João Luís Paixão

(11 May 2021, online)



The session’s host, Jed Wentz, presents DHAC (Dutch Historical Acting Collective), and describes how the group has been working at the intersection of different methodologies – their own historical one, and Ben Spatz’s approach on the other hand, which is not originally designed for historical work.

Ben discussed how by removing the audio component of the videos (part of the Songwork Catalogue methodology), he could “draw attention to everything that unfolds from the practice of singing or acting as speaking text". In this way, not only direct physicality is addressed, for example facial or body gestures, but also history is embodied in and through a bodily practice. 

Ben Spatz is a nonbinary researcher and theorist of embodied practice. They are Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of Huddersfield (UK) and author of three books: What a Body Can Do (Routledge 2015), Blue Sky Body (Routledge 2020), and Making a Laboratory (Punctum 2020). Ben is founding editor of the videographic Journal of Embodied Researcher and a leader in the development of embodied research methods. Their work has been presented at more than thirty institutions in twelve countries. For more information and multimedia, please visit: www.urbanresearchtheater.com

Ben Spatz is a member of the Judaica Project, ‘a laboratory for new intersections of songwork and scholarship’. In the following video Spatz presents his research project, whose main focus is the relationship between audio-visuality and embodiment, and discusses the relation with the historically-oriented DHAC.

During the discussion, an important question concerning the relationship between historical resources and research / researchers was raised. What are the risks involved in either asserting authority over historical knowledge, or, as an opposite approach, trying to defy any kind of authority altogether (the latter is sometimes articulated in artistic research)? Participants in the discussion: João Luís Paixão, Laila Neuman, Jed Wentz, and Ben Spatz.




Read more about this session on Leiden University's website

Read more about erotohistoriography on urban research theater website