Dr. Catherine Lord is a scholar and writer, currently focusing on the interdisciplinary links between environmental humanities, psychoanalysis and feminsim. Her book and artistic projects explore the possibilities and limits of environmental mourning.
One strand of her research is practice-based, and is devoted to theatre-making and acting. Between 2016 and 2021, she colloborated as an actor with the filmmaker, visual artist and scholar Michelle Williams Gamaker. Two of the collobrations The Eternal Return (2019/2020) and The Fruit is there to be Eaten (2017/2018) won the London Film 2020 Derek Jarman award. As a theatre-maker, Catherine Lord is developing a project about how human subjectivity fantasizes and constructs the "more-than-human' world.
The psyche is geopolitical. From it emerge stories which think. Lectures erupt into moments of poetry and performance. From the archaeology of knowledge emerge the cavedwellers, from the unconscious, posthuman, all gathered around the camp fire.
I started out in literary studies with The Intimacy of Influence (1999) , which is a feminist response to Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence (1973). My dissertation explores the transgenerational transfer of literary tropes between selected novels from the ouevres of George Eliot, Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson. Freud, Lacan, Kristeva and Judith Butler were the theoretical interlocuters. Since then, I have published essays on literature and film, developing my work into the fields of ecofeminism, as well as the work of 'ecological' Walter Benjamin, Bruo Latour and Timothy Morton.
I find it important to explore environmental humanities through both academic and creative writing. I participated in one of the Royal Court Playwrighting Programmes in February and March 2017. My theatre piece "All Things Bright and Beautiful," a political piece about the nineteenth century British 'rust belt' and slavery, was part of Blink Theatre Company's series, Respone. Practice-based projects include Trapped at the Cockpit theatre in London (August 2016). In 2014, directing and acting in Caryl Churchill's Seagulls (Amsterdam).
My contributions to the UvA's BA lecture series, Greening Media, is devoted to questions of eco-cinema, climate breakdown and psychoanalysis. Students are encouraged to write not just essays, but contribute their creative work. My MA course, How to Save the World, examines the problems of capitalism, climate breakdown and postcolonial studies. I also teach poetry and visual culture in LCA (Literature and Cultural Analysis).
See Artistic Work link.
See Artistic Work link.
See Publications link.
A boook and play on protagonists who explore memory and mourning through relationships with land.
"In the Cooler." Essays in Migratory Aesthetics. Series Ed. Ernst van Alphen. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007.
"Scholars, Dreams and Memory Tapes" in Mind the Screen: Media Concepts According to Thomas Elsaesser, ed. Jaap Kooijman, Patricia Pisters and Wanda Strauven, Amsterdam: AUP, 2008.
"Set Adrift in Style: the Scholar as Artist in Jacob's Room." Interdiscipline: New Languages of Criticism. Ed. Gillian Beer, Malcolm Bowie, Beatte Perrey. Oxford: Legenda, OUP, 2007.
Collaboration with wri-dir Michelle Williams.
Won: 2020 London Film Derek Jarman Award for Michelle Williams Gamaker's body of work, incl. The Eternal Return and The Fruit is there to be Eaten.
Nominated: 2018 AHRC/BAFTA award for Redell Olson's Now Circa (2018)
2019/2020 Tintype Museum and Whitechapel Galleries, The Eternal Return. Wri-dir Michelle Williams Gamaker, acted the role of Tom Arnold.
2018 Peckham Theatre Diversity Festival, May. My Tempest, as wri-dir.
2017 Royal Court Writer's Programme, as playwright.
2017 Blink Theatre, London, Old Red Kion and Court Yard, "All Things Bright and Beautiful," as playwright.
2017 Freud Museum London, "Solitary Pleasures" Exhbition, The Fruit is for the Eating, short film by Michelle Williams Ganmaker, acted role of Sister Philippa
August 2016 Directed Trapped 1, by Sian Rowland, Cockpit Theatre, London.
May-July 2016 Directed New Writing for Blackshaw Theatre Company, London.
August 2015, Assistant Director, Fats and Tanja, by Lucy Galaghar, Salon Collective, Et Cetera Theatre, London.
June 2015, played role of Narrator and Head of School, Good Girl, by Maureen O'Connel, Gielgud Theatre, RADA Festival, London.
May-September 2015. Directed New Writing, Blackshaws Theatre.
October/September 2014. Acting and Directing, Caryl Chruchill's Seagulls, Free Fringe Festival and University Theatre Amsterdam.
September 2013 - "BMW Tate Live- Nicoline van Harskamp," Tate Gallery, London (acting).
April 2013. Yours in Solidarity. Premiered at NASA museum Amsterdam (acting).
June 2012. Yours in Solidairty. dir. wri. Nicoline van Harskamp, museal film, played role of Pat, Documenta 9 Film Festival, Belgium. Also Beijing International Art Biennale. htpp://www.imdb.com/name/nm1948125/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1.
November 2011. Character Witness. dir.wri. Nicoline van Harskamp. Live solo performance - played the Politician, Kaai Theatre Brussels, Spoken Word Festival.
2010. the Getty LA, museal feature film, Mere Folle, dir. wri. Mieke Bal. Played Alice.
2010. October 16. Collected Stories, wri. Daniel Marguleis, dir. Jacqueline McClintock, played Ruth Steiner. Mulholland Academy, Amsterdam.
2010. Montreal. Workshop Production of Martin Crimp's Designs on Her Life. Various parts.
2012. "October. Midsummer Night's Wire Up." Ecozone: European Journal for Culture and the Envrionment. Vol 3, No. 2: The Invention of Eco-Futures. http://www.ecozona.eu/index.php/journal/issue/view/
2008. June 6. "Ghostlight": the First Act (with the participation of actors from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Birmingham Hippodrome, Showcase Performance for the Mphil in Playwriting 2008.
2007. Raak , Short Film (Hanro Smitsman). Assistant Director. Berlin Film Festival, Won Golden Bear.
2006. She's Back Again. Dir. New York Film and Video Festival.
2022, January. "Mourning 'beyond' and 'with' the Human in Don't Look Up (2021). SympocieAlbion, University of Utrecht.
2021, June. "Biophilia in Robert Keillar's Robinson in Ruins (2010)." Hinterlands. ASCA. University of Amsterdam.
2021, May. "Looking at Ecological Filmaking: the work of Michelle Williams Gamaker." Goldsmith's University.
2020, October. "Ecological Violence in Cinema." Research Masters Master Classes. University of Amsterdam.
2019, November. "The Embrace of the Serpent and the State of Gaia." ASCA. University of Amsterdam.
2014, June 18-21. "We are all Michaelangelo: the Case of Sally Potter's Rage. NECS Conference Milan: Creative Industries.
2013. March 20. "Anarchy, GAIA and other Actresses." NASA, Smart Space, Amsterdam., Narrative 'Performance' Lecture for Yours in Solidarity Exhibition.
2012. July 5. "The Trauma of Elephants: a Postcolonial Critique." University of Utrecht, Minding Animals Conference.
2012. June 29. "Doing Feminism Darkly: Ending the World in Lars von Trier's Melancholia." University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain., EASCLE Biennial Conference.
2012. January 27. "The Elephant in the Room: Pastoral and Fable between People, Elephants, Environments." Amsterdam, NICA: Eco-Poco: The Ecocritical Turn Through Postcolonial Eyes.
2012. February 8. "The 'Content' of an Ending: Digital Effects, Theoretical Effects and Lars von Trier's Melancholia." Universitiy of Amsterdam, Staff Research Seminar.
2012. January 20. "Introducing 'Dark Ecology' and the Work of Timothy Morton." University of Amsterdam, Recycling Media Group, (Imagined Futures Programme).
2011. May 11. "What do Pictures Want: the State of Art Research." University of Amsterdam, Adventures in Multimodality, Research Group.