Dr Lara Stevens
Research Fellow in Theatre and Performance Studies
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Dr Lara Stevens is a MSSI Research Fellow and a lecturer and researcher in the School of Culture and Communication, Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts. She is a theatre and performance studies scholar with specialisations in political theatre, ecofeminist performance art and ecological theatre and performance. Lara is passionate about ecofeminism, particularly the work of Australian pioneers of ecofeminist thought – Val Plumwood, Freya Mathews, Ariel Salleh and Deborah Bird Rose. Lara has taught courses on ecofeminism in the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy and run high school workshops.
Lara is currently working on an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award submission on what Australian ecofeminism uniquely brings to better understanding present-day ecological thinking. Australian ecofeminists, who began publishing in the 1970s and consolidated their work in the 1990s from diverse scholarly disciplines, were among the first environmental thinkers to problematize the Western history of human mastery over the natural world as deeply imbricated with sexism, racism, colonialism and capitalism. Against the current backdrop of global climate change and environmental crises and the amplified impact upon women, Indigenous people, the poor and other marginalized social groups, there is a resurgent global interest in ecofeminism. The project is the first comprehensive study of key Australian ecofeminist thought and its legacy.
Lara is the author of the book Anti-War Theatre After Brecht: Dialectical Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), editor and translator of Politics, Ethics and Performance: Hélène Cixous and the Théâtre du Soleil (Re.press, 2016), and co-editor of Feminist Ecologies: Changing Environments in the Anthropocene (Palgrave, 2018) with Peta Tait and Denise Varney. A full list of her publications can be found here.