Theatre, Performance and Philosophy, 2019

Full Name: Daniela Perazzo Domm (on behalf of the WG convenors)

Annual Conference Theme (if applicable): Dispossession: Agency, Ecology and Theatrical Reality

What were the main points that emerged from your WG this year?
This year’s presentations of the working group clustered around five modalities of ‘dispossession’, the theme the call for papers proposed to address: materialities, dramaturgies, philosophies, choreographies, ecologies of dispossession. The contributors’ presentations (papers, lecture-performances, performance-presentations and roundtables) addressed questions surrounding institutional powers and structures, systems of knowledge, conditions of presence, logics of representation, questions of ethics and notions of agency, identity and subjectivity. Across the different panels, common threads were traced that linked contributions questioning understandings of vulnerable identities and the role that discomfort plays in rethinking approaches to relationality and ethics; understandings of existence as articulated through expansion, crossings, metamorphoses, recollection; formulations of the relationship between presence and absence, appearance and disappearance; materialisations of agency as consent, compromise, coexistence.  

Themes addressed include:
  • Theatre and activism
  • Interruptions of academic logocentrism
  • Professional training and vulnerability
  • Repositioning vulnerable identities
  • Performative refutations of concepts of personhood
  • Notions of radical equality
  • Dispossession and the immanent sublime
  • Shamanism and liminality
  • Practices of silent making
  • Hyper-presence and disappearance
  • The ecology of micro-worlds
  • Ecological assemblages
  • The entanglement of writing and performance

  All presentations were followed by sustained and engaging debate, leading to productive cross-pollination between different panels.

What was discussed at your business meeting?

While the group didn’t hold a formal business meeting, discussion between panels addressed the following topics:

  • Issues with attendance and registration, linked with the declining level of institutional support experienced by a number of salaried academics. A number of ECRs and independent scholars who had submitted a proposal to present in the WG had to withdraw from the conference due to financial issues.
  • Publication plans: the WG convenors are hoping to provide a publication platform for engaging research produced by the WG over the last few years. Updates will be circulated as soon as plans are underway.
  • Fred Dalmasso announced that he will be stepping down from his role as working group convenor. Daniela Perazzo Domm and Nik Wakefield remain in post as co-convenors and would like to thank Fred for his work for the WG and collegiality.

Types of contributions:
papers, lecture-performances, performance-presentations and roundtables

Number of formal contributors (those listed in book of abstracts) 19

Approx. overall number of delegates who attended your WG Sessions 35-40
Composition of WG (PG, ECR, etc.)
While the group continues to attract a significant number of PG students, ECRs and independent scholars, this year’s call solicited a number of proposals from senior academics.

Did you have any non-UK participants? Yes

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

Our open panel attracted around 30 attendees. Open panel presenters: Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca (“Performance Philosophy & Animals: Towards a Radical Equality”), Karoline Gritzner (“Subjective dispossession in the theatre of the immanent sublime”) and Silvia Battista(“When the Spirits are Socially Engaged: Journey to the Lower Worldby Marcus Coates”). The papers were very well received and sparked engaged and lively discussion.

Any additional points or feedback not covered above?

We would like to thank the conference organisers and the University of Exeter for a great conference. We are also grateful to our presenters for their inspiring contributions to the conference theme; we hope to see you at our interim event in 2020.

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