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Professor Royona Mitra
Associate PVC (EDI) / Professor - Dance and Performance Cultures

Gaskell Building 110


Royona Mitra (she/her) is Professor in Dance and Performance Cultures and the author of Akram Khan: Dancing New Interculturalism (Palgrave, May 2015). Her book was awarded the 2017 de la Torre Bueno First Book Award by the Dance Studies Association (DSA) and it was runner-up for the 2016 New Career Research in Theatre/Performance awarded by the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA).

She has a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London (2011) on the British-Bangladeshi dance artist Akram Khan, an MA in Physical Theatre from Royal Holloway, University of London (2001) and a BA (Hons) in Theatre & Performance from the University of Plymouth (2000). She trained in classical and contemporary South Asian dance in India and specialised in physical theatre in the UK. 

Prior to joining the Theatre Department at Brunel, Royona was a Senior Lecturer in the Drama Department at University of Wolverhampton where she was also the MA Drama Course Leader. She has also taught in the Theatre and Performance Department at the University of Plymouth.

Royona served as a member on the REF2021 Sub Panel 33. She is one of the three Chairs of TaPRA (2022- ) alongside Drs Rachel Hann and Broderick Chow. She was elected as Secretary to join the Executive Committee for SCUDD (Standing Conference for University Drama Department) from 2013-2016. She was also an elected member of DSA’s (Dance Studies Association) Board of Directors (2018-2022), and a Working Group Convenor for the Bodies and Performance WG of TaPRA (2015-2018). She has served on the editorial board for DSA's Studies in Dance History series (2015-2018) and was a co-editor for the Training Grounds section of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal (2015-2018).


Royona is Associate Pro Vice Chancellor, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (2024 - ). She was Associate Dean (Equality and Diversity: Staff) of CBASS (2022 - 2024), Associate Dean (Equality & Diversity) of CBASS (2020-2021) and the Equality and Diversity Working Group Lead for CBASS (2019-2020). 

Newest selected publications

Mitra, R. (2024) 'Unmaking Contact: Choreographing South Asian Touch'. Oxford University Press.


Mitra, R. (2022) 'Unmaking Contact: Choreographic Touch at the Intersections of Race, Caste, and Gender'. Dance Research Journal, 53 (3). pp. 6 - 24. ISSN: 0149-7677 Open Access Link

Journal article

Mitra, R. and Patel, J. (Accepted) 'Kathak is Always Already Queer: Jaivant Patel Dance and I Am Your Skin (2021)', in Purkayastha, P. and Banerji, A. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Indian Dance.

Book chapter

Mitra, R. (Accepted) 'A Letter to Nahidji: On Dance as Protest', in Mock, R., Young, H. and de Guevara, VL. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Bodies in Performance.

Book chapter

Bailes, SJ., Hemsley, A., Mitra, R., Shah, R., Stanger, A. and Toussaint-Baptiste, J. (2021) 'Unsettling sound: Some traces'. Theatre Research International, 46 (2). pp. 230 - 245. ISSN: 0307-8833

Journal article
More publications(29)