Society for Theatre Research Annual Conference*
29thand 30th, 2020*
Graft: Performance, Labour and Value*
annual conference of the Irish Society for Theatre Research invites
and performance presentations that consider the intersection of
labour and value. How is labour valued in theatre and
scholarship and practice? Whose labour gets recognised, and
labour remains invisible? The conference considers these questions
two interrelated tracks: the external, societal/institutional values
on performance practices, texts, artists and research; and the value
in operation within theatre and performance practice and
the ongoing context of diminishing support for the arts and humanities
pressure continues to be placed on those working in
scholarship and practice to defend the importance and value of
labour. Simultaneously, the “creative industries” continue to be
as an area of exciting potential, and as Jen Harvie highlights, in
contemporary global, neoliberal world order, ‘artists, arts and culture
currently being instrumentalized as economically important’ (*Fair
Art, Performance and Neoliberalism, *(2013), p.64). This importance
translates into increased economic support for arts workers, who are
viewed as perfect examples of “model” entrepreneurs and autonomous,
labourers (Rosalind Gill and Andy Pratt, 2008). In the editorial
a 2013 special issue of *Performance Research*“On Value”, Joslin
and Mick Wallis frame their discussion of the cultural value of
within the context of funding cuts to the arts and the
necessity for artworks to provide “value for money” (McKinney
Wallis, 2013). Alongside other contributors to the debate, they also
the gulf between how arts practices are valued externally by
bodies and institutions, and the difficulty of tackling the messy
and immeasurability of “intrinsic” values, such as the social,
and inter-relational aspects (Ibid). Little can be seen
have changed in the prevailing socio-economic context of subsequent
and the question remains as to how research in the performing arts
provide productive ways to think differently about how labour in the
is measured and valued?
an article on ‘Stealth Pedagogies’, Bryony Trezise questions how
labour can keep the “radical disciplinary intentions” and the
of thought” (Sarah Ahmed, 2017) of performance alive within
hierarchies that ‘value certain (dis)embodiments of thought
others’ (Trezise, 2019). What advantages or disadvantages does the
of creative energies, modes of thought, and affective labour in
arts for *other *fields of research have on how performing arts
perceive their own labour? How is immaterial labour valued in
fields of theatre and performance scholarship? Grass roots feminist
such as Waking The Feminists have brought awareness to the gender
in the Irish theatre industry in the realm of the visible,
the representation in funded institutions of male versus female
directors and designers, for example. This important work
the question of what invisible labour is supporting current
and industry hierarchies? What falls outside of current
of evaluation and record keeping? As Susan Leigh Foster highlights
her study of value in dance, ‘[v]alue accrues through individual choices
that people make and is often established through the practices and
institutions that assign significance to various kinds of objects and
events’ (*Valuing Dance*, 2019, p.1). How might theatre and performance
scholarship and practice harness this agency for action through the labour
of individual choice, and how might this affect the accrual of value?
Proposals for paper and performance presentations are invited to address
the following questions, or any other related aspect of the conference
– How is time valued in theatre and performance practice and research?
– What is the relationship between authenticity and value in theatre?
– What “invisible” labour exists in performance practice and research?
And who performs it?
– What performance texts, practices or corporealities remain
unacknowledged and/or undervalued within theatre research?
– How do institutions bestow value on theatre and performance
– What happens when performances and/or performance texts reference
the labour that has gone into producing them?
– How does a knowledge of the labour that has produced a performance
element alter its perceived value?
– What alternative models of value can be found in operation in
theatre and performance practices and/or research?
– Are there associations that de-value performance
– How is the value of liveness in performance transforming in an age
of social media?
– How does theatre performance and scholarship allow for a valuing of
unproductivity, of failure, or of a lack of resilience?
– What are the advantages and/or dangers of considering invisible
labour outside of economic terms?
Dr Aoife Monks (Queen Mary University of London) is a confirmed keynote
speaker, and the conference will close with a plenary roundtable bringing
together invited speakers from industry and research. Further details will
be announced on the ISTR website as they are confirmed.
Proposals are very welcome from researchers at every career stage and from
researchers working in any discipline related to theatre and performance
studies. We invite proposals for papers, panel discussions, artist talks,
workshops, and short performance demonstrations. Proposals that engage with
the conference theme in both an Irish and/or an international context are
welcome. Proposals outside of the conference theme, but that are related to
theatre and performance on the island of Ireland will also be considered.
The conference welcomes all corporealities and the conference facilities
are fully accessible. All accompanying children are very welcome but must
be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. There will be a
dedicated breastfeeding room that parents with babies or toddlers can use
as a quiet space.
*Format for submissions:*
Papers, artist talks, and practice demonstrations should be of maximum 20
minutes duration. Proposals for workshops and performances must specify
activity length (a maximum of 1hour duration is recommended). Proposals for
other, non-standard presentation formats are also encouraged.
Please include the following in your proposal:
· Names of presenter/s and organisational/institutional affiliation/s
· Title and type of submission (e.g. paper, artist talk, panel,
· Technical, spatial and duration requirements;
· Biography of each presenter (max 150 words);
· 300-word abstract/description.
*Submission and Deadline:*
Proposals should be submitted to: email@example.com
On or before *14th February 2020*
Decisions will be communicated by *March 2020.*
Full Fee (including ISTR Membership): £100
Student/Unwaged Fee (including ISTR Membership): £40
A limited number of small bursaries will be available to support
postgraduate students who wish to present at the conference. If you wish to
be considered for a postgraduate bursary, please indicate this in your
proposal. Bursaries will be awarded competitively, based on the quality of
proposals received. These bursaries are sponsored by the School of Arts,
English and Languages, Queen’s University Belfast, last year’s host
institution, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, and ISTR.
Please contact the conference convenor, Dr Aoife McGrath, with any queries:
Dr Aoife McGrath
Subject Lead, Drama
Brian Friel Centre
School of Arts, English and Languages
Queen’s University Belfast
*TDR Consortium Special Issue*
*Branislav Jakovlevi, Consortium Editor; Diana Looser, Coeditor*
In classical dramatic theory, peripeteia designates a turning point from
prosperity to downfall. This reversal of fortunes often marks a
transformation of the entire outlook of the protagonist: from ignorance to
knowledge, and from resignation to action. Peripeteia is the moment when
opposing forces powerfully drag the world in opposite directions. This
rending of the world as we know it may open new paths or close them
forever. We are now at such a decisive point. The intensity of this current
moment is clearly expressed in the rising temperature of the protagonist,
the planet. The choice the world is facing is not only between dirty and
clean technologies, but also between accumulation and sharing, exploitation
and social justice, unabashed capitalism and radical democracy, Western
exceptionalism and global awareness. And concerning this last point, this
may be the last moment in which the categories of classical dramatic theory
are still operative: we are experiencing a turning point in the very idea
of crisis and its representation in live performance.
The current moment presents humanity with a unique and multiscalar set of
challenges that will require an essential reorganization of society,
economics, and politics to address.
As the 12-year timeline for action in the US Green New Deal makes clear,
theres a specific urgency, a deadline, that in the West, at least
arguably differentiates this moment from other historical periods that have
been identified as crisis-ridden. This moment is characterized by a
particular mode of uncertainty regarding the future, exacerbated by the
fact that many contributing factors to this crisis are pervasive yet
intangible, omnipresent yet strangely distant, and ostensibly divorced from
individual action and solutions, even if discussions of the crisis tend to
revert to individual, moral stances. At the same time, we are mindful that
different communities approach this situation from varying historical and
epistemological standpoints. A strain of Indigenous climate-change studies,
for instance, understands the Anthropocene not as a hitherto unanticipated
occurrence but as an extension of a violent and unresolved historical past
that renders the present moment already post-apocalyptic.
This ephemerality, spectrality, and magnitude pose special challenges to
*representation* in its many senses: aesthetic, social, and political. The
planet is under siege, and performance is not there to witness, issue
warnings, calls for action, or drop dead like that proverbial canary. Like
all other spheres of human activity, art forms, and academic fields it has
to transform itself in order to stage a redress in this social drama of
planetary proportions. We invite scholars, artists, and activists to submit
papers that address issues that include, but are not limited to:
– Performance and the new planetary paradigm
– Social drama and slow violence
– Scale of crisis and representation
– Accumulation vs. expenditure
– First and second New Deal and performance
– Different global versions of the Green New Deal in performance
– Responses from Indigenous perspectives and/or from the vantage of
the Global South
– Futurity and its representation
– The role of the collective
– Performance principle and the new economy
– Catastrophe without recognition
6,000-word submissions are due *June 1, 2020*. Please submit essays and
direct any relevant queries to Rishika Mehrishi at firstname.lastname@example.org
*???Victorian Blockbusters???: box office hits of the late 19^th and early
The phenomenal box-office hits of the Broadway and West End stages did
not begin with /Les Mis??rables/, /Phantom of the Opera/ and /Miss Saigon./
The Victorian and Edwardian theatre staged sensational and spectacular
successes which would challenge the popularity of even contemporary
productions such as /Harry Potter and the Cursed Child/ (which has
resurrected and updated numerous special effects and aspects of stage
technology originating in the 19^th century).
These ???blockbusters??? might include such productions as:
Klaw and Erlanger???s spectacular adaptation of /Ben Hur/ (1899)
The Drury Lane production of /The Whip/ (1909)
Irving???s productions at the Lyceum of plays such as /The Bells/ (in
which he starred numerous times between 1871 and 1905) and /Faust/ (1886).
James O???Neill in the stage adaptation of /The Count of Monte Cristo/
(which he played over 6000 times!)
The many successes of Dion Boucicault, including /The Corsican Brothers/
(originally staged by Charles Kean in 1852).
George Aiken???s adaptation of /Uncle Tim???s Cabin/ (originating in 1852)
which dominated theatre listings for over half a century.
I am now seeking proposals from authors for inclusion in a new
collection of essays, provisionally titled /Victorian Blockbusters: box
office hits of the late 19^th and early 20^th centuries/.
Each essay (of approximately 5000/6000 words length) should concentrate
primarily on one specific play (musical theatre will also be included),
originally produced between 1850 and 1910. The deadline for submission
is yet to be established, but will likely be late 2020/early 2021.
Proposals should include a short abstract (300 words) and a brief
biographical note, and should be sent to the editor, Paul Fryer
(email@example.com <mailto:paul>) to arrive by
_Monday 16^th September_.
Prof. Paul Fryer PhD, FRSA, FHEA.
Visiting Professor, School of Performance and Creative Industies, University of Leeds.
Visiting Professor, School of Arts and Creative Industries, London South Bank University.
Hon. Visiting Professor, School of Arts and Digital Industries, University of East London.
Director, The Stanislavsky Research Centre.
Editor-in-Chief, Stanislavski Studies (Taylor & Francis).
*A Call for Presentations:*
One–day Symposium Oct 19th 2019, followed by a one day workshop on Oct 20th
with Glenna Batson (US/IE)
Bath Spa University, Newton Park Campus, Bath (UK)
Key presenter Prof. Em. Glenna Batson
Convenors Thomas Kampe & Mary Steadman, (Creative Corporealities Research
Group (CCRG), Bath Spa University)
This one-day symposium addresses issues around embodiment in learning,
education and performer training. Through practical explorations, academic
presentations, workshop sessions, artistic interaction and debate we will
explore how a somatic-turn in learning, education and training can
contribute to a meaningful and critical education to ‘humanize humanity’ (
Morin 1999:10 ) in the context of global and civilisatory crises. The
symposium will be followed by a one- day workshop by Glenna Batson. The
symposium and workshop will be held on the beautiful Newton Park Campus of
Bath Spa University, and is organised through the *Creative Corporealities
Research Group (CCRG) *located within the *Bath School of Music and
The convenor team invites educators, academics and artists to contribute to
this pertinent symposium through lectures, workshops, panel discussions
artistic presentations or alternative formats.
*Presentation formats: *20 minutes lecture presentations; 60 min or 90 min
workshops; 60 min panel discussions; 30 – 45 min artistic presentations.
Skype presentations and alternative formats of presentations are welcomed .
*Topics might include:*
Embodied and Enactivist Cognition and Pedagogies; Embodied Performance
Practices and Performer Training; New Materialism & Posthumanism;
Deconstruction and Embodiment; Somatic Activism & Applied Somatics; Touch
as Learning Modality; Agency, Empathy & Liveness; Somatic Performance
Cultures; Eco & Walking Arts; Embodying Gender; Critiquing Whiteness –
Decolonising Practice; Embodying Diversity; Embodiment in the Digital Age;
Eco-Somatics & Eco-Crisis; Re-Embodiment and Re-Empowerment; Movement and
Well-being in Education.
*Presenter fee: £ 35 / workshop fee £ 35 * – concessions are available. The
symposium will be self-funding.
Submission format : 250 words long proposal & 250 word biog
Deadline for proposals: 09/08/2019. Feedback by 23/08/2019
Please send proposals and biogs to:
Thomas & Mary
Call for Participation
Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session
7-11 October 2019
An opportunity for shared learning and knowledge exchange for
Emerging ARTISTS and RESEARCHERS
based in the UK and internationally, working in the wider field of
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
What is the Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session about?
Artificial Intelligence is one of the great technological innovation of our times. It comes with extraordinary opportunities but the impact and changes, good or bad, induced by the new technology are not yet completely gauged. Currently, the main drivers behind development and use of AI are entities with an economic focus. From facial recognition to deep fakes influencing politics and care-giving robots; a distinctive cultural perspective with an agency regarding a humane and sustainable future society is still mostly missing.
Possible starting points for discussions and critical thinking at the Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session could be:
– Bias in AI – how history haunts the present and the future
– Privileging of marginalised perspectives and zones
– Material entanglement of animals, machines and the planet
– Countering dominant filters
– Direct witnessing and speculative practices in opposition to disinformation
– Affective interfaces; Sourcing and categorising of datasets
– Facts vs. probability and prediction
– Role of language and metaphor in defining the development and use of AI
– Ownership and rights; human, natural, robotic and other
– Distribution of benefits derived from pervasive technologies
Hosted by the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow, the Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session is directed at emerging artists and researchers in the fields of arts and humanities as well as computer science, robotics and neuroscience, who are at the cutting edge of research into AI and its implications. The aim is to inspire common intersectional perspectives and develop alternative narratives and to enable a deep learning experience and exchange of different perspectives within the field of AI. The Session seeks to enable, connect and support emerging artists and researchers.
Confirmed expert contributors include Anna Ridler (Artist), Eva Jäger (Artist) and Lorena Jaume-Palasí (Co-founder Algorithm Watch).
What does the Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session offer?
The Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session will be a four-day session for a group of 15-20 international artists and researchers. The Session will be an intensive period of exchange, play, creation and learning amongst emerging artists and researchers. It will include provocations and workshops by leading artists, thinkers and researchers in the field of AI, offer opportunities to share and discuss your own work as well as facilitate exchange in larger and smaller group formats to enable a deep learning experience.
The Session will be held in English.
For successful applicants the Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session will cover the costs of return travel to Glasgow, accommodation as well as meals during the day.
Practical details and how to apply
The Artificial Intelligence Autumn Session will run from 7-11 of October 2019.
To apply, applicants must submit the following:
Expression of Interest: Why do you want to take part in the AI Autumn Session? (500 words Practice/Research Statement: How does AI feature in your artistic practice and /or critical thinking? You may also include samples of previous work: max 10 images, 4 video links)
CV with full Contact Details (including telephone, email, mobile number and address)
Please submit the above as part of a single PDF file entitled “Autumn Institute AI” along with your full name (e.g. ‘Autumn Institute AI-Full Name.pdf’) to:
Application Deadline is 5 August 2019, 5pm (GMT)
Cultural practitioners and emerging scientists will be selected in recognition of their proposal’s compatibility with the aims of the Session.
The selection panel will include representatives from the Goethe-Institut London, Glasgow and external project curators. The successful cultural practitioners and scientists will be notified by 16 August 2019.