TaPRA 2022, 12–14 September, University of Essex
Theatre, Performance and Philosophy Working Group
Theme of the CfP: Survival
Deadline for proposals (EXTENDED): Friday 8 April 2022
The TaPRA working group in Theatre, Performance and Philosophy invites proposals for presentations for the annual conference at the University of Essex. Any researcher, at any stage of their career, who engages with theatre, performance and philosophy is welcome to propose their work to the group. Colleagues who have presented to the group in the past are invited to return to continue conversations about theatre, performance and philosophy. The working group also extends a warm invitation to researchers who have not joined before to participate for the first time.
At the annual conference last year our group considered projects related to the theme of ‘unknowing’. Colleagues debated modes of performance that dismantle powerful centres of knowledge, community and aesthetics. Our lively discussions worked through a range of practices and theories in a planetary context. This year, the working group is especially interested in the theme of survival.
We look forward to advancing that discussion of the performative politics of knowing toward a more concrete engagement with the term of survival. How might theatre, performance and philosophy play their parts in wider discussions of survival? As the economic effects of pandemic and climate externalities continue to affect everyday life, might survival necessitate new conceptions of collective action? Might survival require violence against property, as Andreas Malm has suggested, or does survival mean reckoning with the difficult work of nonviolence, as Judith Butler has recently considered? Might survival demand that we re-enchant the world through a politics of the commons that rediscovers the centrality of women’s reproductive work, as Silvia Federici has argued? Or that we follow Ailton Krenak’s invitation to let our dreams guide us while we re-learn how to live in this world?
We are interested in considering actual survival in relation to an epidemiological view of society, as Benjamin Bratton has recently discussed. And at the same time, we are interested in the survival of theatre and performance practices and industries, as well as in the study of those subjects in higher education. We are also looking at how survival is represented in theatre, performance and philosophy, in terms of how notions of life and death are either consciously or unconsciously integral to the work we are researching. Mark Bould has recently written of an anthropocene unconscious, suggesting that the possibility of impending extinction is built into even the most popular and seemingly anthropocentric cultural productions.
Contributions can take the form of 20-minute papers, curated panels, workshops, performances and other forms of sharing of research ideas. Proposals will be considered on the basis of their relation both the theme of survival and the general connection to the working group’s purview of theatre, performance and philosophy.
For full details of how to apply, conference information and details of bursaries, please see the TaPRA website:
Please email abstracts (no more than 300 words in length), and an additional few sentences of biographical information to the Working Group Convenors Dr Daniela Perazzo and Dr Nik Wakefield ([email protected]) by 23.59 on 8 April 2022.
We look forward to receiving your abstracts.
Daniela and Nik (TaPRA Theatre, Performance and Philosophy WG)