Josephine is Associate Professor in Contemporary Performance at Middlesex University and Programme Leader for its MA Theatre Arts. Prior to joining Middlesex in 2012, she taught Theatre at Brunel University (2007-2012), and established the Physical Theatre Programme at St. Mary's University (2004-2007).
An internationally renowned scholar, she is author of The Punchdrunk Encyclopaedia (Routledge 2019), an Amazon #1 Bestseller in the Theatre & Performance charts and Longlisted The Society for Theatre Research, Theatre Book Prize, 2020; Immersive Theatres: Intimacy and Immediacy in Contemporary Performance (Palgrave 2013), which received the prestigious award of Outstanding Academic Title in the CHOICE Awards, 2014, and was shortlisted for The David Bradby TaPRA Award, 2015, longlisted The Society for Theatre Research, Theatre Book Prize 2014; and (Syn)aesthetics: Redefining Visceral Performance (Palgrave 2009, 2011). She has published widely on experiential performance. Joint Editor of The Palgrave Macmillan Series in Performance & Technology and on editorial boards for International Journal Of Performance Arts and Digital Media and Body, Space, Technology, she also peer reviews for global publishing houses, including Bloomsbury, Intellect and Routledge, alongside leading Performing Arts journals. She has been a member of the AHRC Peer Review College since 2016.
With years of experience in educational contexts, in Higher Education since 1997, Josephine is committed to the creative exchange that occurs within her undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and her research.
General teaching and learning interests encompass:
Specialist teaching interests include:
Josephine has supervised and examined a range of research degree students. She invites potential students, whether considering MPhil, Arts D or PhD, to discuss proposals for study in areas related to her own research interests, including Practice as Research projects.
Current research supervision at Middlesex includes:
Elisabetta del Ponte. PaR PhD, ACI Dean’s Award recipient. Working title of research, ‘EST-ETHICA! Playing with digital puppets - towards an epistemology of ethical artistic collaboration between humans and organic non-human entities’. Second Supervisors, Dr. Alice Maude-Roxby, Dr. Magnus Moar.
Stefano Puppio. PaR PhD. Current title of research programme. ‘Archeatre: developing an interdisciplinary response to histories, archaeologies and architectures through immersive storytelling’. First Supervisor, Dr. Sam Beale.
Natalie Tomlin. PaR PhD. Current title of research programme. ‘Ghosting the Mind: Absence/Presence and Perception in Immersive Theatre’. First Supervisor, Dr. Magnus Moar.
Successful PhD Completions at Middlesex :
as Director of Studies
Alexandra Baybutt. PhD. ‘Contemporary dance festivals in the former Yugoslav space, 2007-2017: the imperceptible politics of curatorial praxis’. First Supervisors Dr. Stefanie Sachsenmeir (2019-20) Dr. Ola Johanssen (2016-18). Second Supervisor, Dr Valeria Graziano (2017-20). Awarded July 2020.
Marisa Carnesky. DoS. PaR PhD. ‘Dr. Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman - Reinventing Menstrual Rituals Through New Performance Practices’. First Supervisor, Prof. Feona Attwood. Full time. Start date: October 2013. Awarded October, 2019.
Sam Beale. PhD. ‘Gagging for it’: women comic performers and censorship on the London Music Hall 1880 – 1912. Awarded December 2017.
as First Supervisor:
Nic Sandiland. PhD by Public Works. ‘Accenting Agency: Duets With Interactive Video Installation’. Director of Studies. Prof. Vida Midgelow. Awarded Jan 2023.
Charlotte Nichol. PaR PhD. ‘BodyScreen and Performance Practices’. Awarded 2017.
Steven Fossey, PaR PhD. ‘A Post-Substantive re-imagining of social space composed from the performativities of place’. Director of Studies, Prof. Vida Midgelow. Awarded 2017.
Josephine’s scholarship addresses audience experience in sensory, interdisciplinary and intermedial productions. Her current practice-based research examines the role of audience-participants in instruction-led work, shaped by digital/physical extended realities. It involves partnerships with prominent immersive companies, Lundahl & Seitl and ZU:UK.
Broader research interests include:
Immersive Theatres, immediacy, intimacy and impacts: the audience experience
Space and the senses – site-sympathetic work and the environment
(Syn)aesthetics – experiential practice and audience processes
Performance, experience and 'the visceral'; sensual approaches to performance practice and audience appreciation
'Writings of the body': interrogations of embodied practice, the visceral verbal-playtext and technologies within playful performance encounters.
Machon, Josephine (2019) Audience improvisation in the immersive experiences: the sensuous world of the body in the work of Lundahl & Seitl. In: The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance. Midgelow, Vida L. , ed. Oxford Handbooks . Oxford University Press, pp. 671-686. ISBN 9780199396986
Machon, Josephine , ed. (2018) The Punchdrunk encyclopaedia. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138556782
Machon, Josephine (2017) The aesthetics of immersion in Punchdrunk's The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable. In: Live Cinema: Cultures, Economies, Aesthetics. Atkinson, Sarah and Kennedy, Helen W. , eds. Bloomsbury Academic, London, pp. 219-230. ISBN 9781501324833
Machon, Josephine and Lundahl, Christer and Seitl, Martina (2017) Missing rooms and unknown clouds: darkness and illumination in the work of Lundahl & Seitl. In: Theatre in the Dark: Shadow, Gloom and Blackout in Contemporary Theatre. Alston, Adam and Welton, Martin , eds. Methuen Drama Engage . Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, London, pp. 147-168. ISBN 9781474251181
Machon, Josephine (2017) On being immersed: the pleasure of being: washing, feeding, holding. In: Reframing Immersive Theatre: The Politics and Pragmatics of Participatory Performance. Frieze, James , ed. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 29-42. ISBN 9781137366030
Josephine is currently a Director of the Board of Carnesky Productions (2012-) and Chair of KIT Theatre’s Research and Evaluation Panel (2019-). She was an Executive Trustee for Punchdrunk (2009-2018) and has worked closely with its core creatives on research projects; currently, on the second edition of The Punchdrunk Encyclopaedia. As Principal Investigator of Punchdrunk Enrichment’s evaluation team, she led on authoriging a preliminary report which set an agenda for Punchdrunk Enrichment’s forward evaluation and research strategy (2014) and was Chair for its 2016 Symposium, Imagination, Engagement & Education.
Josephine's publications (The Punchdrunk Encyclopeadia, Immersive Theatres) are set as required or recommended reading on official exam board documentation and training programmes for GCSE and A Level and set as key texts on reading lists at GCSE, BTech and A Level for schools, sixth forms and FE colleges. They are also recommended for primary and secondary education Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
Joint Editor Palgrave Studies in Performance and Technology Series
Editorial Board for the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media
Editorial Board for Body, Space & Technology