Meghan Rose Donnelly

Meghan Rose Donnelly


  • Arthur Lewis Building, 2.055

Personal profile


My current work focuses on an Indonesian order of Catholic nuns who undergo a lifelong process of self-becoming. Interweaving themes of subjectivity, performance, and moral experience, I  investigate how selves are made in the company of others. In its intimate, performative, and institutional capacities, being in company, I suggest, is the method by which nuns are made, both as united, interchangeable subjects, and as vibrant individuals. Regularly reassigned to convents throughout the world, encouraged to adapt to diverse communities, and tasked with bearing joy to others, women learn that the path to sisterhood requires strong self-knowledge and a powerful reckoning with the heart. This reckoning can only be accomplished through the embodied participation of other people, especially the small cast of characters who share a convent.


Drawing on my work as a theatre artist, I experiment with playmaking as a mode of representation and as a research methodology, mobilizing the body as epistemological origin to understand who we are, how we become so, and who else has a hand in our making. I have directed several research-based ethnographic plays, most recently Nearly Collapsed, which focused on laughter at the end of life in a South London care home, and Convent Calling, which invited audiences to compare their experiences living in lockdown with Indonesian Catholic nuns' experiences of communal life. I completed my PhD in 2022 at the London School of Economics and Political Science under the supervision of Catherine Allerton and Nick Long. I hold a Masters’ degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a Bachelors’ degree from Williams College.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Dug-Up Heart: Becoming a Nun in the Company of Others, London School of Economics & Political Science (University of London)

Award Date: 7 Jul 2022


  • performance ethnography
  • Indonesia
  • Catholicism
  • Nuns
  • subjectivity
  • sociality
  • Flores