TaPRA 2021, 6-10 Sept, online & co-hosted by Liverpool Hope University, Performance and New Technologies CfP: Liminoid ecologies: inhabiting boundaries, margins and glitches in technologically enabled performance practices

Deadline: Friday 9 April 2021

The Performance and New Technologies working group considers the ways in which new and emergent technologies impact upon contemporary theatre and performance practices. With Covid-19 forcing more companies and artists to move towards technologically enabled performance practices and accelerating conversations around online theatre and performance, we seek to extend and diversify these discussions at our 2021 meeting. We are turning our attention to concepts of boundaries, borderlines and ‘liminoid’ spaces. We are interested in exploring what it means to inhabit a boundary, an in-between space, or a glitch in the system? How can contemporary practices engaging with new technologies enable modes of access to these off-kilter spaces? How do performers, audiences, participants and immersants engage with what are often transgressive, aporetic and undecidable conditions of human experience? What kind of connections (ecologies) can be formed between bodies, devices and computational processes under borderline conditions? In The Anthropology of Experience Victor Turner defined the liminal space as being ‘betwixt and between’ (Turner, 1986: 31) social structures, a temporary space of transition and potential transformation. He then postulated a more transgressive, aporetic kind of space the ‘liminoid’ characterized by ‘shallow play’. As Joanna Bucknall points out where ‘the liminal is a compulsory processual feature of social relations; the liminoid is elective, spontaneous, ideological and predicated upon the principle of leisure’ (Bucknall 2020: 3). Working with Turner’s concepts, Susan Broadhurst in Liminal Aesthetics defined liminal performance ‘as being located at the edge of what is possible’, characterised by ‘indeterminacy, fragmentation, a loss of the auratic, and the collapse of the hierarchical distinction between high and mass/popular culture’ (Turner in Bucknall 2020: 3). The concepts of liminality and the liminoid have often been associated with intermedial performances and arguably have gained new currency with recent consideration of postdigital culture on aesthetic, cultural and socio-political levels. For instance, recently Matthew Causey has conceptualised postdigital performance as engendering a dissolution of borders: ‘biological and the mechanical, the virtual and the real, and the organic and the inorganic approach indistinction’ (Causey 2016: 432). The Performance and New Technologies Working Group welcomes practice-based responses, provocations, lecture-demonstrations and papers, exploring and reflecting on new modes of engagement with concepts of borders, boundaries, margins and glitches in contemporary intermedial practices. Proposals may respond to, but are not limited by, the following prompts:

  • Inhabiting liminoid spaces through technologically enabled performance practices
  • Liminality and ecology in intermedial practice
  • Boundaries and mislocalizations in immersive technology practice
  • Performing borders through intersections of human and technological processes
  • Glitches and disruptions as marginal practices
  • Indeterminacy, fragmentation and the loss of the auratic in intermedial practice
  • The politics of glocality in postdigital practices.
  • Precarious identities in liminoid intermedialities
  • PaR case studies addressing (but not necessarily limited to) concepts of liminality and ecology
  • Liminoid scenographies in new intermedial practices
  • Boundaries of the anthropocene in the postdigital age
  • Transitioning from face-to-face to online performances
  • Liminality of online pedagogies – barriers and affordances
  • Liminal horizons of PaR online

Process for submitting a proposal

Proposals must be submitted to perfandnewtech@tapra.org by 23.59 on 9th April 2021.

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.

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.  


We 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 17th May 2021.

TaPRA Conference 2021 Registration Prices

Full Price Early Bird: £65 + £35 (TaPRA membership) = £100

Concession Early Bird: £33 + £17 (TaPRA membership) = £50

Full Price Standard: £85 + £35 (TaPRA membership) = £120

Concession Standard: £43 + £17 (TaPRA membership) = £60

The registration costs above will pay for digital infrastructure and administrative support for the conference, alongside fees for the keynote speaker and artists contributing to the programme.

Please note: All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the event.

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 10 bursaries available for postgraduate researchers and 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 a conference fee waiver and one year of TaPRA membership. There is also a separate discretionary fund towards access costs such as digital access, key materials, childcare and so forth. You must submit your application for a bursary at the same time as your proposal to the Working Group (within the same document as your abstract/bio) If applying for a bursary, please include the following:
  • Whether you are applying as a postgraduate researcher OR unaffiliated presenter/contingent faculty
  • A statement of up to 100 words explaining why you are applying for the bursary
  • An indication of any access needs for which you would like to apply to the discretionary fund: what they are and an indication of costs
Decisions about bursaries will be made by Friday 7th May and notifications will be issued by this group shortly after. The criteria for awarding bursaries are:
  1. Quality and strength of submitted abstract.
  2. Strategic case made by the WG conveners outlining the significance of the applicant’s contribution to the WG sessions (connection to advertised theme, methodological approach, expected outcomes).

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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