Heath Pennington

Heath Pennington
University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB · Department of Theater and Dance

Master of Arts

About

5
Publications
14,131
Reads
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5
Citations
Citations since 2017
4 Research Items
5 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230.00.51.01.52.02.53.0
20172018201920202021202220230.00.51.01.52.02.53.0
Introduction
Heath Pennington is a doctoral scholar who received their MA in Gender Studies from Central European University (CEU). Their thesis explores affective bonds around belonging and gender amongst BDSM practitioners in London and Budapest. They also hold an MA in Performance and Culture from Goldsmiths University of London. Their interdisciplinary research interests include affect and queer theories; gender and performance studies; and embodiment. Before attending CEU, Heath worked in Hong Kong as an actor and teacher for 3 years, and lived in Los Angeles for 9 years, working in the film industry and receiving a BA from the University of Southern California's School of Theatre. They recently presented research at the International Federation for Theatre Research 2019 conference in Shanghai.

Publications

Publications (5)
Conference Paper
Leather play is the use of paraphernalia in sartorial, sensual, and/or sexual activities commonly associated with practices of BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism; also known as kink.) Leather play, and kink more broadly, are constituted by embodied experiences that transmit affect, an embodied intensity whi...
Article
Full-text available
Rope bondage, also known as shibari or kinbaku, is an embodied practice commonly associated with BDSM (an acronym for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) in both academic and non-academic environments. However, BDSM and sex-oriented discourses are not inherent in the practice. Rather, they are only two potential...
Thesis
In this comparative thesis, I investigate how BDSM communities in Budapest and London form around affective affinities that do not rely on the exclusionary mechanisms of identity politics. I strive for an open, ambiguous definition of kink to support my framing of BDSM as an affective praxis not contingent on normative identities. My analysis is ba...
Article
Full-text available
Kinbaku, also known as Japanese rope bondage, has grown in popularity in recent years yet remains marginalized due to its associations with BDSM. Therefore, outside of its own community, it is a scarcely studied form of performance. Perhaps due to this lack of scholarship, and in spite of its popularity, kinbaku's legacy remains vague. Most practit...
Thesis
The interrogation of socially constructed notions of pain, violence, desire, consent, gender, and power requires an open mind, a mind not focused on binary readings of BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) as either empowering or disempowering. This work is dedicated to moving beyond polarised readings roote...

Network

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Projects

Projects (2)
Archived project
This project will be shared at the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) Conference 2019: Theatre, Performance and Urbanism, 8-12 July in Shanghai, China. The research will be presented within the Embodied Research Working Group (ERWG) and should enrich the ERWG’s interdisciplinary connections with gender and sexuality studies as well as laboring to bring BDSM and kink studies into conversation with ethnographic methodologies and performance studies.
Archived project
To provisionally explore rope bondage as an affective practice focusing on the materiality of rope, embodied sensation, and Deleuze and Guattari's concept of rhizome.