Associate Professor of World Theatre
Office Hours: Spring '23: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 2-3 pm or by appointment
World Theatre Histories; Introduction to Theatre; Transgender Performance, Theory and Activism; Theatre and Performance in Muslim Worlds; Directing; Devising Theatre.
Dr. Claire Pamment is a scholar and theatre-maker (director, dramaturg and deviser), working in South Asian theatre and performance, focusing on marginalized performance communities in Pakistan and its diaspora, at the intersections of class, gender, sexuality, religion, and race.
Her first monograph, developed out of her PhD dissertation, Comic Performance in Pakistan: The Bhānd (2017, Palgrave Macmillan, London), explores the genesis, history, and permutations of the Indo-Muslim comic performer, the bhānd. This work has been recognized as an important entry in global performance, and a foundational text for studies in Pakistani theatre—a field often foreclosed by colonialist historiography. A Podcast about the book can be found here.
Her present project works with hijra, khwaja sira, trans and queer performance in Pakistan, and elsewhere, mediated by rapidly shifting landscapes of transnational LGBTQI+ and liberal rights-based movements, neoliberalism, nationalism and religion. Supported by a SSHRC grant, she co-directed the devised documentary theatre play Teesri Dhun (The Third Tune), collaboratively developed with trans and khwaja sira performers, staged in various venues in Pakistan and US. Her film Vadhai: The Gift was presented at AKS International Festival (2019), UK Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest (2020), and Copenhagen World Pride (2021). Her second book, Badhai: Hijra-Khwaja Sira-Trans Performances across Borders in South Asia is collaboratively authored by scholars working across boundaries of disciplines (music/ sound/ theatre/ anthropology), methods and nations (forthcoming, Methuen Drama). Her new monograph in development, tentatively titled, Khwaja Sira Performance: On the Edges of Pakistan’s Transgender Rights, continues to centre the affective, sensorial and political possibilities of these communities’ performances, engaging performances in a broad range of genres, sites, assemblages and doings. Further essays can be found in TDR, TSQ, Comedy Studies, Theatre Journal, The Journal of Asian Studies and Asian Theatre Journal, and numerous books.
Pamment earned her BA from Cambridge University, MA from Goldsmiths College, and PhD in Performance Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. Prior to joining William & Mary she held academic positions at Yale University and at several institutions in Pakistan, along with a strong foundation of professional dramaturgy and theatre-in-education with theatre companies in London.
Pamment is affiliated with GSWS, AMES and APIA. Her research and teaching are honored by William & Mary’s Coco Faculty Fellow Award (2021-2022).
Productions directed for TSD: Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho, the devised and site-specific …& Mary, New Black Fests’ Hands Up: The Conversation