Lecture as performance: Rommi Smith, in collaboration with musician Jenni Molloy and Director, Juliet Ellis

The Map Where We Meet and Other Queer Stories; writers as cartographers on the crossroads of change

“Drawing inspiration from Dr. Peter Turchi’s examination of the writer as cartographer, and Dr. Simone Osthoff’s artistic exploration of the performativity of archive, this lecture-as-performance is a poetic meditation on the intersection, (or crossroads), where Black, Mixed-Heritage, Queer artist and archive meet. Smith’s own PhD inquiry is a poetic and performative re-presentation and celebration of the hidden and, specifically, Queer her-stories of African-American Jazz and Blues women.

In African, Blues and Classical mythologies, magic, bargaining with the devil, illumination and transformation all take place at the crossroads. In her presentation, Smith will argue that writers, whose narratives are marginalised by the dominant, ‘official’ discourses and hegemonies within archives, engage with archives by employing faction as a resistance strategy.

This presentation, (a sharing of early reflective thought-in-progress about Smith’s inquiry), is developed and performed in ‘virtual’ collaboration with composer, musician, improviser and double-bassist, Jenni Molloy and is directed by Juliet Ellis.”



Rommi Smith

Rommi Smith is a poet, playwright and performer who has held major writing residencies for organisations ranging from The British Council to the BBC. She is the inaugural poet in residence for Keats House as well as the Houses of Parliament; the first such appointment in British and Parliamentary history. Rommi is currently The John Barnard Scholar in the School of English, University of Leeds, where she is in the first year of her interdisciplinary, practice-led, PhD.

Website: www.rommi-smith.co.uk

Twitter: @rommismith

Jenni Molloy

Jenni Molloy is a critically acclaimed jazz double bassist and composer, known for her live and recording project ‘Bach ReLoaded Trio +’. A much in demand jazz bassist, Jenni is also a Goju Ryu martial artist, running the Tsuyoi Kokoro Dojo in Leeds.

Websites: www.bachreloaded.com


Juliet Ellis

Juliet Ellis is a theatre maker, performance artist and filmmaker. She recently completed a four-month residency at the prestigious Binger Lab in Amsterdam. As well as creating her own work, Juliet has also devised work with renowned artists such as New York based Julie Tolentino, DV8’S Nigel Charnock and Third Angel.

Juliet’s career as an actor has seen her work with some of Britain’s best talent: Ray Winstone, Kay Mellor, Christopher Fulford and Ken Loach.

Website: www.julietellis.com

The lecture as performance will take place on day 1 of the conference

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