Marcus Bell

Staff details

Marcus Bell


Associate Lecturer


Theatre and Performance


M.bell (

Marcus is a queer dance scholar investigating tragedy, choreography and decolonial queer performance practices.

Marcus teaches tragedy, queer theory & performance, and theatre history. They are a dancer and queer theatre maker with a PhD on 'Choreographing Tragedy into the Twenty-First Century'.

Considering work by Akram Khan, Pina Bausch, Trajal Harrell and Dimitris Papaioannou – among others – they align queer theory and practice in theatre and performance studies with choreography and critical theory. They are currently exploring choreography, queer performance and ecology.

When thinking about tragedy Marcus works within the 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 – King's College London 2017
  • MA – King's College London 2018
  • PhD – University of Oxford 2023

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.

Research interests

As well as my specific focus on Tragedy I work on and am interested in: new materialism, queer studies, disability studies and queer crip studies, decoloniality, liberation studies, live art, post-/anti-/un-/humanisms, decoloniality, embodied knowledges, and practice-based/practice-as-research. I am interested in ways of knowing and being that attend to the complexity of living and dying on a damaged planet under late stage carceral colonial capitalism. And I am committed to practices of research and teaching which go some way to imagining and making a fair 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.

I am happy to work with folks interested in dance, choreography, performance, queer theory, decoloniality, ecology, live art and/or performance art.

Publications and research outputs


Bell, Marcus. 2024. ‘Dance against the void’: Derek Jarman, dance, queer classical receptions. Classical Receptions Journal, 16(2), pp. 178-193. 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

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

2024: 'Dance Against the Void', Performance Research Forum, Goldsmiths, 6 February 2024

2024: Dimitris Papaioannou in Conversation, 4 March 2024

2024: ‘Eat the Rich’ Tragedy and the Aesthetics of Violence, Chorus, International Performance Research Network, April 2024

2023: ‘Encountering Absence: queer traces and performance otherwise in Trajal Harrell’s Antigone Jr ++’, Tragedy Queered, 6—7 July 2023, International Con

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

2020: • ‘“Warp the text”: Glitch Philology, Arca, SOPHIE’ with Nicolette D’Angelo, ‘QATC 2022 “You Better Work”: Queer Labour, Queer Liberation’, 8—9 April,

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