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Body and Performance Working Group : Borders, Bodies, Boundaries

We are at a moment in global, social and cultural history when popular and political discourses are in plural ways concerned with interrogating, reconfiguring and redefining understandings of borders and boundaries. In all aspects these debates centre on questions of bodies and the body. For example: the EU as a political body; the bodies of refugees and their movements; the destruction and devastation of human and architectural bodies in, for example, Syria and Palestine; the performance of body politics and the politics of identity (such as in the US primaries); the body in and as subject of performance; the nation state as ‘sovereign’ body; bodies of work and their place within (rabidly collapsing?) disciplinary boundaries.

As such, we are concerned at TaPRA 2016, in Bristol a city whose history is riddled with questions of bodies, borders and boundaries, to ask:

  • What is at stake politically, culturally, aesthetically and socially for bodies that find themselves at borders between (for example):
    • nation states
    • disciplines
    • histories
    • states of being
    • homes
    • nationalities
    • genders
    • action and inaction
    • sexualities
    • races
    • laws
    • aesthetic practices
  • What are the politics, ethics and/or aesthetics of representing bodies that are in transition between such borders and boundaries?
  • How are borders and boundaries embodied? What function does performance have in that embodiment?
  • Why and how do we make performances about bodies at borders and boundaries? Who makes them? Why are they the way they are? Who are they for?

We would like to encourage and particularly welcome contributions that consider these questions through one or more of the following steers:

  • global perspectives
  • political imperatives
  • ethical implications
  • methodological innovation
  • non-normative discourses
  • subaltern considerations

Please email a 250-300 word proposal along with a short biography and any technical requirements you may have towards your presentation to the two working group convenors Royona Mitra and Patrick Duggan at and by Monday 18 April 2016, 5 pm.


Only one proposal may be submitted for the TaPRA 2016 Conference at the University of Bristol. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Papers. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the conference; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the conference venue. If your paper has been accepted, yet you have not registered for the Conference by the final registration deadline of 8th August 2016, we will deem you no longer intend to participate and present at TaPRA 2016.

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