Frames of Legibility

Deadline: Thursday 13 April 2017

“Representation is not so much institutionalised as performed” (Rai and Reinelt, 2015: 12-13)

The Performance, Identity and Community Working Group invites contributions responding to the imbrication, mediation and subversion of knowledge, meaning and appearance. Building on the group’s ongoing discussions around disobedience, willfulness, dissonance and collective agency, this year we turn to legibility and representation and the ways in which these are delimited or challenged by processes of framing. Following, on the one hand, Shirin Rai and Janelle Reinelt’s call to acknowledge the performativity of representation and, on the other, political developments that disturb long-standing notions of representation, we look to examine the current taste for cognitive dissonance. We are especially interested in the coupling of right-wing populism and free-market liberalism, appeals to truth and authenticity that sit uncomfortably alongside fake news and the supposed surpassing of truth, and artistic interventions that might be made within, or alongside, the frames of legibility on which ‘doublethink’ thrives.

We welcome contributions (panels, papers, provocations, performance lectures) that explore, question and unpack legibility as a key ‘problem’ that emerges in political, social and artistic practices. We ask: How might theatre and performance practices, alongside their theorisation, work to reveal or resolve political aporias currently emerging in the public sphere? What can this work do to push beyond rational or indeed irrational frames of representation? How might theatre and performance inform the Janus face of politics, alongside politically-motivated processes of effacement and defacement? How might defacement be deployed as political action? How might we recognise political action beyond numerical, majoritarian, representational and legible frames? Have we reached the end of political representation?

Contributions may engage with the following topics:

  • Reclamation, Abjection and Dispossession
  • Ecology, Slow Violence, Duration
  • Stasis, Action and Inertia
  • Vandalism and defacement
  • The limits of political action and agency
  • Legibility beyond reason
  • The assault of representation / assaults on representation
  • Un/marking and representation
  • Immaterial representational practices
  • Representation and democratic politics

Please email all abstracts (no more than 300 words in length), an additional few sentences of biographical information and precise details of the audio-visual technology you will need to make your presentation to group conveners Adam Alston (, Marissia Fragkou (, and Philip Hager (

The deadline for the submission of proposals is Thursday 13 April 2017.

Please note: only one proposal may be submitted for a TaPRA event. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Participation. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the event; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the event venue.

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