Marcus Bell

Staff details

Position Associate Lecturer
Email M.bell (
Marcus Bell

Marcus teaches ancient Greek Theatre and critical theatre histories. They are a dancer and queer theatre maker working towards a PhD on choreographing tragedy at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Considering work by Akram Khan, Pina Bausch, and Dimitris Papaioannou--among others--they are aligning queer theory and practice in theatre and performance studies with critical new materialisms. They explore the tangles of human and non-human objects, gestures, power relationships, and affects in lived and embodied performance receptions of ancient worlds. This work is situated within a broader movement to decolonise the study of ancient Greece and Rome through theory and practice, which Marcus does with a collaborative network: Critical Ancient World Studies. They are also one of the co-conveners of a research network (""), whose objective is to generate radical imaginaries, methodologies, and feelings with/against the Classical, broadly defined.

Academic qualifications

  • BA Classical Studies, King's College London 2017
  • MA The Classical World and its Reception, King's College London 2018

Teaching and Supervision

I am committed to an equitable pedagogy, which understands that students enter the classroom with a vibrant repertoire of prior knowledge. I work to develop a community of learners and knowers who all contribute to the development and sharing of ideas, hypothesis, theories, and methods for critically analysis and discussion.

Elements of Theatre History: Classical Greek Drama

Research interests

As well as my specific focus on Tragedy and the reception of Ancient Greek performance I work on and am interested in a few core intersecting areas of study and practice: new materialism, queer studies, disability studies and queer crip studies, decoloniality, liberation studies, live art, post-/anti-/un-/humanisms, multi-media studies, moving image, deconstruction, assemblage-theory, embodied knowledges, and practice-based/practice-as-research. As might be evident, I am interested in ways of knowing and being that attend to the complexity of living with each other (both humans and non-humans) on a damaged planet under late-carceral-capitalism. And I am committed to practices of research and teaching which go some way to imagining/making a fairer world.

In my work as a researcher and teacher I acknowledge that the University, as a set of institutions, was founded through exclusionary and extractive practices (colonialism, racism, ableism, and sexism). As such I am dedicated to working with students, colleagues, and activists to create an accessible, anti-colonial, queer, and anti-racist University.

Broadly, I am happy to work with folks interested in contemporary dance, Screendance, dance theatre, postmodern dance, theatre and performance in relation with ancient worlds and/or radical futures, queer theatre and performance, live art and/or performance art.

Publications and research outputs


Bell, Marcus. 2023. “Dance Against the Void”: Derek Jarman, dance, and queer classical receptions. Classical Receptions Journal, ISSN 1759-5134

Bell, Marcus. 2022. Bell, M. (2022) Review of Gianvittorio-Ungar, L. and K. Schlapbach (eds.) Choreonarratives: dancing stories in Greek and Roman antiquity and beyond. Bryn Mawr Classical Review, ISSN 1055-7660

Bell, Marcus. 2021. INFERNO: Catastrophically Queer. Agôn. Revue des arts de la scène, 9, ISSN 1961-8581

Book Section

Bell, Marcus. 2023. Encountering Absence: Queer Traces, Ghosts, and Performance Otherwise. In: Ella Haselswerdt; Sara H. Lindheim and Kirk Ormand, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Classics and Queer Theory. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 138-152. ISBN 9781032026794

Further profile content

Professional projects

In addition to my work in research and teaching, I co-convene a set of research networks which aim to further interdisciplinary study on Dance, and Theatre and Performance. I am also working with a collective to write a book on Critical Ancient World Studies (forthcoming). And I am a co-convener of the Queer and Classical network, a community knowledge exchange project. Together we are working towards our second stage of growth and investigation which will include an edited collection, a digital resource for students, and another series of (online) events.

Research projects

Conferences and talks

2021: Dimitris Papaioannou: Notation, Gesture, Reenactment , Response
DANSOX Summer School 2021: Unfolding Gesture: Movement, Inscription, Music.

2020: Pina Bausch and Tragedy

2020: On tragic pleasure in Harry Clayton Wrights Deep Clean
Delivered talk at Oxford’s Queer Studies Network

2019: Mis-step in Time: Dancing Elsewhere and Elsewhen in Euripides’ Bacchae
Part of the Time, Tense, and Genre conference, King’s College London

2019: Queer Contexts and Communal Hauntings: Re-enacting Neil Greenberg’s Not-About- AIDS-Dance’ through Euripides’ Bacchae
19th Annual Joint Postgraduate Symposium on Ancient Drama, APGRD