Popular Performance Working Group 2018

Full Name: Dr Catriona Craig

Annual Conference Theme (if applicable): Crossing the Line: Boundaries, Borders and Beyond

What were the main points that emerged from your WG this year?
We discussed ideas pertaining to physicality, vulnerability, the abject, female comic personae and bodies, masks, lip-synching… The predominant themes that emerged were:

    1. The need to pull together disparate strands around identity and otherness through key concepts emerging from clowning practice. Thus much discussion emerged around the abject, geographical and social peripheries.
    2. Ideas around self-presentation, performed identities and their slippage were discussed, as they often are, but this year the focus fell more onto masks and how assumed identity can or can’t be thrown off. Ideas around camp, taste and boundaries supported these discussions.

What was discussed at your business meeting?

  1. It was agreed to hold a breakfast business meeting on the last morning of the conference moving forward, as this was thought to be the most suitable time/place.
  2. We’re looking for a Shadow Convenor to join CC and BD
  3. Prizes. We would like to suggest Oliver Double as a potential recipient, and Sophie Quirke for an Early Career prize
  4. We would like to change the web image representing the WG. We’ll send a shortlist around to members for feedback.
  5. We will form a list of publications online to reflect the research activity of our members.
  6. Mini profiles are to be requested from last year’s participants to build more of a sense of community online. We will build this up year by year.

Types of contributions:

Number of formal contributors (those listed in book of abstracts) 12

Approx. overall number of delegates who attended your WG Sessions We welcomed approximately 12 - 15 people per session
Composition of WG (PG, ECR, etc.)
Speakers were predominately established researchers and Early Career researchers, split around 60/40%. There were also two PG PhD candidates.

Did you have any non-UK participants? Yes

If your WG hosted an Open Panel, do you have any feedback?

The session was well attended and the lay-out of the room was good for making a large group feel inclusive.

We chose to have four speakers, but as a result the session felt too short to have a really strong discussion at the end, which was a shame as there was appetite in the room for it.

We selected the theme of our Open Panel to reflect one of the core discussions reflecting our WG’s identity (i.e. defining the popular by looking for its boundaries), thinking that this would be a way to reassert our WG identity and look for overlap. However, the pressing issues that emerged from the panel were around politics, identity and access, reflecting perhaps the urgent political questions of our time (!)

Any additional points or feedback not covered above?

Nothing at this time.

Thanks for another wonderful conference.

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