Dr Joel Chalfen


College position:

Director of Studies in Education (Year 1 Education, English, Drama & the Arts)

Photograph of Dr Joel Chalfen
Photograph of Dr Joel Chalfen

I am a teaching associate in Drama at the Faculty of Education and a Director of Studies at Homerton College. I began my career as a theatre actor and director, having trained with Jacques Lecoq in Paris and at LAMDA. In 2004, I set up a small arts charity developing theatre projects for schools and with community groups. This work introduced me to the field of Applied Theatre which I then further explored through my MA studies in Theatre and Development and also in my PhD.

My doctoral research took place at three museums and my work took on a further interest in the politics of memory, heritage and our encounters with the past. My research has had an international scope with fieldwork in the Balkans, Russia and the US. I have continued to juggle the three disciplinary interests of theatre, community development and heritage, broadly under the umbrella of ‘public pedagogy’ and I have done so both within academia and outside.

After my first lecture post in Drama, I worked as a community engagement officer with Cambridgeshire County Council and then as a regional project officer for the Norfolk Museum Services. I joined the Faculty in 2013 primarily to convene the Drama programme on the undergraduate degree.

Subject areas

Pedagogy, Language, Arts and Culture in Education - PLACE Applied Theatre/Theatre in Education Memory Studies Performance Studies Place-based Education Culture and Citizenship/Community Development/ Public Pedagogy Children's Theatre

Links to online publications, articles or other work

Chalfen, J (forthcoming) ‘Arts Education and Heritage: The role of place in creative learning’ in Schonman, S (ed) Key Issues in Arts Education: International Yearbook for Research in Arts Education (Waxman Publishers)

Chalfen, J (2011) ‘Performing Human Rights at Two Historic Site Museums’ in Performing Heritage: Research , Practice and Innovation in Museum Theatre and Live Interpretation’ (Manchester: MUP)

Book review

Chalfen, J (2013) Counter-Tourism: The Handbook by Phil Smith (Axminster: Triarchy Press) in New Theatre Quarterly 29:2