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Matt Jones

Matt Jones

Assistant Professor
OfficeRCC 382E


Matt Jones (he/him) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communication at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research examines political violence through the dual lenses of performance and communication. Matt holds a Ph.D. from the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto and an MA in English Literature from Concordia University. Matt’s research has received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. His writing has been recognized with prizes from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Recently, he was the recipient of a 2022 University of Toronto Scarborough Teaching Award.

Research interests

My writing has examined the relationship between performance, communication, militarization, and racism in a range of media, including comics, theatre, live art, photography, digital media, and law. I am interested in media theory, political discourse, live performance, and practices of decolonization and resistance.

My current book project asks, “In what ways can words kill?” Some language kills directly, as with an execution order, while the violence in other language is less direct. A law that removes the rights of a particular community, for example, is language that may lead to higher death rates for certain people. Whether direct or indirect, for language to kill, words must be performed in particular ways. Echoing Dorota Sajewska, I call this language that kills “necro-performance.” Titled "The Body at War: Necro-Performance and the Global War on Terror," my book will examine how language was used in the War on Terror to establish landscapes of violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. In addition, it will highlight artists from the region whose creative work exposes patterns of racialization, surveillance, and gender-based violence that Middle Eastern and Central Asian bodies have been subjected to in the War on Terror.

Select Publications

Refereed Articles

2022 “On the Ends and Endings of Protest.” Co-authored with Jimena Ortuzar. Performance Research, vol. 27, no. 2, 2022. (Forthcoming Oct. 2022)

2020 “Citizen in Exception: Omar Khadr and the Performative Gap in the Law.” Theatre Research in Canada, vol. 41, no. 1, 2020, pp. 88-10.  (

2020 “Sarin Gas Heartbreak: Theatre and Post-Truth Warfare in Syria.” Theatre Journal, vol. 72, no. 1, 2020, pp. 61-79. DOI: 10.1353/tj.2020.0005. (

2018 “Drunken Language, Elliptical Politics: Caryl Churchill’s Oblique Protest Theatre.” A/R/T Journal, vol. 5, no. 1, 2018. (

2017 “Vomiting on New Friends: Charlie Hebdo and the Legacy of Anarchic Black Humor in. French Comics.” SubStance, vol. 46, no. 2, 2017, pp. 71-94. DOI: 10.3368/ss.46.2.71  (

Non-Refereed Articles

2021 “Editorial: Performance in an Age of Gross Incompetence.” Canadian Theatre Review, no. 185, January 2021. (

2020 “Bare Life and Disaster Artists.” [in English and Spanish, translated by Nae Hanashito

Avila as “Nuda vida y artistas de la catástrofe”]. Quarantine Performance. 8 Aug. 2020.  (

2020 "Performing Post-Truth: An Interview with Director Ashlie Corcoran." Theatre Journal, vol. 72, no. 1, 2020. (

2018 “Forced Entertainment? Gamified Surveillance in Theatre Conspiracy’s Foreign Radical.” Canadian Theatre Review, no. 175, Summer 2018, pp. 52-56. DOI: 10.3138/ctr.175.010  (

2018 “Is This Still That? An Interview with CBC’s Peter Oldring.” Canadian Theatre Review, no. 175, Summer 2018, pp 25-28. DOI: 10.3138/ctr.175.005. (

2018 “Editorial: Post-Truth?” Co-authored with Barry Freeman. Canadian Theatre Review, no. 175, Summer 2018, pp. 5-7. DOI: 10.3138/ctr.175.001. (

2015 “Towards a Theatre of Global Empathy: Imagining Otherness in the War on Terror.”, vol. 12, no.1, 2015, pp. 10-17. (

2014 “After Kandahar: Canadian Theatre’s Engagement with the War in Afghanistan.” Canadian Theatre Review, no. 157, 2014, pp. 26-29. DOI: 10.3138/ctr.157.006.  (