TaPRA 2018, Aberystwyth, Bodies and Performance WG: (Non)human worlds and worldings

Deadline: Friday 20 April 2018

How do worlds perform upon bodies and how do bodies perform worlds? In its first usage, circa 1589, “to world” meant to populate or inhabit a place. In 1596, it more commonly came to mean “to bring a child into the world” (OED). Emerging at the end of the 16th century, in the early period of what we now, problematically, think of as “modernity”, we can discern worlding’s colonial implications. Entangled with the larger human conquest of a world of matter and objects is the question of what bodies can “world”, and which bodies are part of “the world.” In the 20th century, Martin Heidegger’s concept of worlding (Welten) aimed to describe how humans make the world familiar, constructing its horizons. Worlding, for Heidegger, is world “bringing-near.” However, in our current era when anthropogenic climate change has reached crisis-point, worlding has re-entered critical vocabularies as a project of non-human-centric thinking, through theoretical orientations such as New Materialism, Object Oriented Ontology, Actor Network Theory, and Speculative Realism. But such theoretical projects have been criticised as being inadequate to deal with crucial questions of social inequality such as race, gender, and sexuality which today are more pressing than ever as a result of resurgence of white nationalisms and other exclusionary political movements. How do we think and act upon “the world” at the same time as we think about the specificity and materiality of bodies and bodily difference? What is the place of bodies in relation to a critical project that places less emphasis on the human? What is the place of human bodies in a wider ecology that includes bodies of non-human animals and non-living materials? Taking this into consideration, the TaPRA 2018 Annual Conference inaugurates a shift for this working group from the singular Performance and the Body to engage with a plurality of Bodies and Performance. We similarly invite scholars to consider the plurality of “worlds” and “worlding” and to explore the following questions:

  • In what way is the performance of bodies an act of worlding?
  • What is the relationship between bodies and world(s)?
  • How can performance be utilised as a medium to decentre the human in the world?
  • How do human bodies enter the world?
Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
  • Spatial, geographical and/or political positioning and orientation
  • Bodies and (eco)systems, bodies and networks
  • Bodies and other non-human and non-living actors/objects
  • Non-anthropocentric approaches to human phenomena
  • Non-human animal bodies
  • Bodies and new materialism(s)
  • Discipline and dasein (being-in-the world)
  • Virtual world(ings)
  • Worlding politics and power-structures
  • Decentred worldings (e.g. post-colonial, feminist, queer, intersectional)
  • Staging the world and World Stagings
The convenors welcome proposals for traditional papers, practice research demonstrations, workshops or other forms of presentation as appropriate to your project. 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 Claire Hampton (C.Hampton@wlv.ac.uk), Broderick Chow (Broderick.Chow@brunel.ac.uk) and Victor Ladron de Guevara (victor.ladrondeguevara@plymouth.ac.uk). The deadline for the submission of proposals is Friday 20th April 2018. This year TaPRA will launch a new ECR Bursaries scheme http://tapra.org/bursaries/. This is a new initiative created and funded by TaPRA. It is a conference fee waiver designed to support the participation of unaffiliated ECR researchers and artists to the annual TaPRA conference. To be eligible you must be an early career researcher, (within 8 years of being awarded a PhD) currently not affiliated with a HE institution or eligible for research support as a temporary or visiting lecturer. Please indicate your eligibility and if you wish to be considered for this scheme when submitting your proposal. Please note that only one proposal may be submitted for the TaPRA 2018 Conference. 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.

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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