TaPRA 2022, 12–14 September, University of Essex, PaR Gallery CfP: Re-embodiment(s) (pre-, intra-, post-pandemic)

Deadline: Friday 1 April 2022

As part of the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Conference 2022, hosted in partnership with the University of Essex, 12–14 September 2022, we welcome proposals to exhibit Practice-as-Research (PaR) projects in theatre and performance. The format of each output can be open to the nature of the relevant inquiry (i.e. artifacts, videos, installations, audio recordings etc.) and could be hosted either online or in-person at the University’s iconic Hexagon building. The curation team invites responses to the theme: re-embodiment(s) (pre-, intra-, post-pandemic) On World Theatre Day 2021, the Young Vic Theatre posted on their Instagram page the following by the director Jennifer Tang: ‘And if I have one hope for the future, it is that we take the learning and thinking and conversations from this past year and put it all into action’ (Tang, 2021). If learning and thinking in theatre and performance are innately experiential, then how has the COVID-19 pandemic changed our experiences? In other fields, such as international political theory, further issues concerning (re)embodiment have been prompted by the pandemic:

‘As a crisis concerning everybody, the Covid-19 pandemic has therefore done a lot of work for me – by revealing the management, manipulation, and pervasive political interventions into the lives/deaths and (re)embodiments of not only ‘extremely’ placed and exposed bodies, but including the ‘everyday’ bodies of you and I’ – Kandida Purnell
If we consider the above through different perspectives on embodiment in theatre and performance, how does Practice-as-Research facilitate the understanding of shifts in embodiment pre-, intra- and post-pandemic? How does PaR approach embodiment both as practice and conceptual framework? Reflecting on recent years, embodiment(s) have been considered, among others, as:
  • virtual embodiment
  • distant or nearby embodiment
  • present or absent embodiment
  • lived or imagined embodiment
  • sensory embodiment
  • material embodiment
  • inclusive embodiment
  • multiple embodiment
  • subjective and inter-subjective embodiment
  • individual and inter-relational embodiment
  • inter- or intra-embodiment
  • feminist embodiment
  • queer embodiment
  • social embodiment
  • racial embodiment
  • cultural and inter-cultural embodiment
  • environmental embodiment
We invite your different perspectives on how you practice and share multiple and transformative aspects of embodiment in your research. Deadline for proposals: Friday 18 March 2022 Please send the following via email with the subject line ‘TaPRA PaR Gallery 2022’ (in a PDF or Word format): 300 words (max) describing the work being submitted, whether you would like it to be exhibited online or at the physical gallery and any support you may need for its presentation. 150 word (max) bio and a link to an online profile and website where possible. Dimensions/requirements of the work. Please bear in mind that resources (monitors, projectors etc.) at this point cannot be guaranteed. An indicative sample of your work (i.e. image, short audio/visual material) (Please title images with your name and title of work (e.g. ‘Paige_RemoteViewing.jpg’)). A sentence noting whether you would like to informally discuss your work as part of a TaPRA Gallery panel (whether online or in-person) during the conference. Exhibitors must register for, and be TaPRA members at the time of the conference (for co-produced or collaborative work, at least one named researcher must register and attend the conference). Each contributor to the TaPRA PaR Gallery will be allocated time for a verbal outline of the work followed by an informal discussion/Q&As with other contributors and members of the conference. Both the physical and online galleries will be open and accessible throughout the duration of the conference. The work will need to be ready to be installed. Technical requirements need to be kept to a minimum. Large installation forms might not be able to be accommodated. We will do our best to accommodate more ambitious proposals/works submitted. The artist-researchers should be able to discuss in advance details for the curation of their work. Technical support will be discussed with successful contributors at a later stage. If you have any questions about this call, please email Dr Christina Kapadocha (ckapad@essex.ac.uk). Notification of acceptance will be on Friday 22 April 2022. 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 Zoom or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the event venue.

Conference structure

The 2022 annual TaPRA conference at the University of Essex will be a hybrid event, facilitating participation by online delegates alongside those attending in-person. The 2021 TaPRA conference demonstrated the many benefits of online conferencing; increased opportunity for international presenters, lower financial costs to participate, greater accessibility for those with caring responsibilities etc. The 2022 conference at Essex aims to retain the wider opportunities for engagement that online platforms offer, whilst also creating a space for in-person engagement and social interaction. In the event of a cancellation of in-person conference activities due to, for instance, COVID restrictions, the event would run entirely online and all registered in person delegates would be offered the opportunity to attend as online delegates, with the difference between in-person and online registration fees refunded.

Process for submitting a proposal

Please email abstracts (no more than 300 words in length), and an additional few sentences of biographical information to the Gallery organisers (ckapad@essex.ac.uk) by 23.59 on 1 April 2022. IMPORTANT: Please indicate at the point of submission if you intend to attend the conference in person or online. This information is vital so that the conference organisers can effectively plan the infrastructure for the event and Working Group Convenors can schedule panel sessions effectively. You should also indicate if you have any specific requirements relating to space or AV technology as part of this submission. 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.

Timescale

Working Group Convenors will inform you whether or not your proposal has been accepted as quickly as possible and by no later than 22nd April 2022. Convenors will offer brief summary feedback to all proposals that could not be accommodated. ​​Please note that putting together a full draft schedule for the conference is a complex process, particularly as all sessions will need to be accessible to delegates attending in person and online. Therefore your patience while this process is ongoing, and prompt responses to acceptances, are much appreciated. Convenors will have completed their draft schedules by the end of May 2022.

Conference costs

The early bird registration fee will be: £220 – standard in person attendance £120 – concession in person attendance £88 – online attendance £48 – online concession attendance Prices will increase to the following after 24th June 2022: £250 – standard in person attendance £150 – concession in person attendance £100 – online attendance £60 – online concession attendance All of the above conference fees include TaPRA membership for one year (£35 standard / £17 concession) starting 12th September 2022. ​On-campus ​conference accommodation will cost no more than £55 per night. The conference dinner will cost £45. There will also be an opportunity to donate towards a conference dinner fund for unwaged/unaffiliated colleagues and postgraduate researchers. Please note: All presenters must be registered for the conference by 15th July 2022; this includes those presenting online. Numbers for in-person attendance will be more limited in 2022 than previous years so we advise early booking. If you have registered for in person attendance and find yourself unable to attend you will be able to access the conference as an online delegate but will not be eligible for a refund. Concession definition: Concession rates apply to all postgraduate researchers, unwaged, unaffiliated, and retired researchers, and staff on contracts of either less than 0.6FTE or else fixed for less than 12 months. These categories apply to the attendee’s circumstances on the first day of the conference.

Bursaries

There will be up to 14 bursaries (one per working group) 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 expenses and access costs such as travel, accommodation, digital access, childcare and so forth up to a maximum of £300 (justified and costed) per applicant. 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 outline of any expenses/access needs for which you would like to apply to the discretionary fund: what they are and costs
Decisions about bursaries will be made by 6th May and notifications will be issued 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). Conveners in each working group will consider applications according to the criteria above and will nominate one applicant to put forward for a bursary. Final decisions about awards, including requests for expenses and access costs, will be made by the TaPRA Executive Committee.

TaPRA at the University of Essex

For the 2022 conference, the Working Group sessions and Keynote talks will be located in the Essex Business School (EBS) on the Colchester campus; the UK’s first zero-carbon business school building, which features an indoor winter garden (https://www.eventessex.co.uk/portfolio/the-essex-business-school/). Working Group sessions will take place in Zoom-enabled lecture-room and classroom spaces in EBS, with live-streamed keynotes delivered from two large cutting edge Lecture Auditoriums. Live performance will be hosted at Essex’s on-campus Lakeside Theatre (https://lakesidetheatre.org.uk), which also has facilities to stream performances for those attending online. While the Practice-as-Research Gallery will be hosted in Essex’s iconic brutalist building, The Hexagon (https://www.eventessex.co.uk/portfolio/the-hexagon/), which sits in the heart of the University’s Green Flag Award-winning campus (https://www.essex.ac.uk/news/2021/10/13/green-flag-award-2021). The conference will have technical support from Essex’s AVS team, with training sessions provided for Working Group convenors in advance of the conference to support the delivery of blended WG sessions to mixed rooms of in-person/online delegates. For those in-person delegates who wish to attend the conference meal, food will be served in the Garden Suite of Wivenhoe House, a beautiful 18th Century four-star hotel on campus (in walking distance of the Essex Business School). This hotel/restaurant is near the quayside village of Wivenhoe, and minutes away from Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester (https://www.wivenhoehouse.co.uk). The meal will be followed by a live DJ set after dinner.

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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