TaPRA 2020, 2 – 4 September, Liverpool Hope University, Sound, Voice and Music Working Group CfP: Research and Communication Methods

Deadline: Friday 17 April 2020

As is often noted (e.g., Kendrick 2017, Bennett 2019), there has been a boom in research into theatre sound and aurality in recent years. Contemporaneously, voice studies has emerged and flourished as a research field (Thomaidis 2017). Theatre music remains a fertile terrain for scholarship, with research on this topic conducted by theatre scholars and musicologists (e.g., Hibberd 2012, Hambridge & Hicks 2018).
We propose to tune into this buzz of activity by focusing our attention on how topics relating to sound, voice, and music in performance are researched and, subsequently, communicated. What research methods are we using and what are our rationales for using them? Are there research methods that are peculiar to our sub-fields or our disciplines? What new methods are being developed? What can specialists in theatre sound, voice studies, and music learn from one another in relation to methodology in particular?
Our other major proposed focus of investigation is on how we communicate our findings to scholarly and non-scholarly readers and audiences. How do we articulate research into sonic phenomena that do not necessarily involve verbal language? What is altered in acts of translation? What terminological challenges exist? Do we need to invent or modify vocabulary or use a different register to communicate effectively with other members of our discipline, with other disciplines, and with non-specialist audiences?
We invite proposals on the following indicative topics:
– Theoretical considerations of one or more research methods suitable for researching sound, voice, and/or music in performance
– The transposition or repurposing of a research method between a sub-field or discipline (e.g., a musicological analysis of a theatre performance)
– Consideration of the efficacy of a research methodology associated with a particular case-study analysis
– Practice-led research methods (e.g., sounding, voicing, musicking)
– Issues relating to archives and archiving, and to historiography more generally
– Research methods appropriate for the analysis of textually inscribed sounds and prompts for sound-making (e.g., plays and scores)
– Research methods that engage with inter-sensoriality (e.g., the visual aspects of sound-making, aurality, scores, etc.) and spatiality
– Convergence and contrast in discipline-specific vocabularies and transdisciplinary exploration of terminology
– Consideration of issues relating to language, discourse, articulation, register, format, audience, and delivery, in other words, of communication as method
In response to the above areas, we invite expressions of interest for:
formal papers (up to 20 minutes)*
provocations or position statements (up to 10 minutes)
laboratory explorations rooted in practice research (for example workshops, demonstrations, performance lectures or other appropriate formats up to 60 minutes)
*Papers of approximately 2500 words will be circulated two weeks before the conference. Presenters will give a 5-10 minute synopsis of their paper, which will then be opened up for discussion with panel members (who will be asked to read the papers for each panel in advance) and by the audience for the remainder of each presenter’s 20-minute time-slot.
Coronavirus Disclaimer
Whilst we are continuing to make plans for the Annual TaPRA Conference to go ahead as scheduled at LHU in September, we are also working on contingency arrangements should government advice restrict large gatherings. We will keep all members informed of any changes.
Process for submitting a proposal
Please send a 300 word (max) proposal and short biography to the Working Group Convenors at soundvoicemusic@tapra.org by 23.59 on 17 April 2020.
Originally proposals were due by 9th April, however due to the recent UCU strike action and the rapidly evolving situation regarding Covid-19 we are extending the proposal submission deadline until Friday 17th April.
Please include an optional 2nd choice of Working Group (this can also include the TaPRA Gallery, where appropriate). If we are unable to accept your proposal, we will then pass it on to your 2nd choice for consideration. Your proposal will not be less likely to be accepted by our Working Group if you indicate a 2nd choice.
Please note: You may only submit a proposal to one working group (or else the PaR Gallery) for this conference, proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
Working Group Convenors will inform you whether or not your proposal has been accepted as quickly as possible, and will offer brief summary feedback to all proposals that could not be accommodated. If we have passed your proposal on to your 2nd choice of Working Group, we will let you know this as well. Please note that putting together a full draft schedule for the conference is a complex process, and therefore your patience while this process is ongoing, and prompt responses to acceptances are much appreciated. Convenors will have completed their draft schedules by 18 May 2020.
Conference Costs
The early bird registration fee for this year’s conference will be £215 (standard) and £112 (concession), including TaPRA membership for the year, rising to £245 (standard) and £142 (concession) after 19th June.
It will also be possible to register for a ‘half conference’ – that is, Day 1 to after lunch Day 2; OR all of Day 2; OR from 4pm on Day 2 & all of Day 3. ‘Half conference’ fees are: £125 (standard) and £65 (concession), rising to £140 (standard) and £79 (concession) after 19th June.
All of the above conference fees include TaPRA membership for one year (starting on 2 September 2020).
On-campus conference accommodation will cost no more than £50 per night. The conference dinner will cost £40 (£35 for concession delegates booking in the early bird period).
Please note: 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.
Concession definition:
Concession rates apply to all postgraduate researchers, unwaged, unaffiliated, and retired researchers, and staff on contracts of either less than .6FTE or else fixed for less than 12 months. These categories apply to the attendee’s circumstances on the first day of the conference.
There will be up to 5 bursaries available for postgraduate researchers and up to 3 available for unaffiliated presenters/contingent faculty. These are highly competitive and so we would encourage everyone who is able to secure institutional support where possible.
Each bursary includes: Conference fee waiver and one year of TaPRA membership; up to £300 toward travel, accommodation, childcare or access costs (the TaPRA Administrator will book accommodation; travel fees or access costs can be reclaimed quickly on production of receipts).
You must submit your application for a bursary at the same time as your proposal to the Working Group (as a separate document). Please note that PG students will require a supporting statement from their supervisor or programme leader, which may take extra time to source. Full details, criteria, and application forms are available on the TaPRA website (http://tapra.org/bursaries/).

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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