Deadline: Friday 1 April 2022
In the Performance, Identity, Community WG, we are looking to build on some of the work done in past years (utopia, 2009; frames of legibility, 2017; anarchy & desire, 2018; performance, futurity & progress, 2019; and redress & reparation, 2021), extending our understanding to methods, modes and movements of (queer) diaspora through a number of different perspectives.
Taking as a starting point TaPRA 2021 keynote speaker Kareem Kubchandani’s offering of ‘Auntologies’ queer aesthetics of South Asian Aunty as a disruption, we are interested in exploring further how (queer) diasporas are formed and performed. Naming the connections between scholarship, activism and artistry, Jerafi Allen (2012) calls for the study of queer/diaspora to ‘interrogate dynamic unsettled subjects whose bodies, desires, and texts move’ (2012: 215). By bringing together ‘queer’ and ‘diaspora’, we are interested in movement and emplacement but also relationality (Allen, 2012), as we look for papers that explicitly address how moving between margins and centres in content, form, aesthetics and modalities (in)forms our scholarly labour.
This appeal to politics and identity is championed by bell hooks, as she promotes the need to challenge ‘imperial heteropatriarchal white supremacy’ and how this ties into an activist quest for change. We are also interested in her expansive view of ‘queer’ as a practice of freedom from a 2014 talk:
‘Queer’ not as being about who you’re having sex with (that can be a dimension of it); but ‘queer’ as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it and that has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live (hooks, 2014, citing Tim Dean).
David Eng reminds us that ‘Home is not private, as theorized under liberalism. Instead, it is a crucial public site of labor within the global restructuring of capitalism’ (2010: 203). This is particularly the case under conditions of Brexit, in which Tory legislators have produced a regressive Nationality and Borders Bill (Dec 2021). In the conjecture of post-Brexit Britain, we note too that protest has been ever more restricted (Police, Crime, Sentencing Bill 2021). These contexts of public gatherings, protest movements, performances and theatres resist binary counterpoints of ‘state’ and ‘citizen’. How might (queer) diasporic approaches re-animate critical perspectives on the trouble of nation, home, belonging? We thus invite papers that consider the tendencies toward UK/ English exceptionalism; arguments that explore how theatre and performance produce or address what Jasbir Puar calls ‘homonationalism’ (2007).
Reworking the ‘subjectless critique’ (Eng & Puar, 2020: 2) of queer theory in What’s Left of Queer, we encourage ‘identity’ questions to be firmly in mind. This suggests a consideration of centres and margins: when do we resist or refuse some of the subjects (or sites) of research and when might we travel between positions?
You may be thinking with:
Sara Ahmed, bell hooks, Ambalavaner Sivanandan, Jose Esteban Muñoz, Keguro Macharia, Rinaldo Walcott, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, Saidiya Hartman, Lola Olufemi, Claudia Rankine, Patrick E. Johnson, Suhaiyma Manzoor-Khan, zethu Matebeni, Jack Halberstam, Tavia Nyong’o, H. Sharif ‘Herukhuti’ Williams, Judith Butler or Christina Sharpe.
We are keen to consider how non-canonical (non-academic) knowledges can be centred in analyses, so you may want to draw on some thinkers working beyond the academy.
Ahmed, S. (2000) Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in post-coloniality. London: Routledge.
Ahmed, S. (2012) On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham: Duke University Press.
Case, S.E. & Abbitt, E.S. (2004) Disidentification, Diaspora, and Desire: Questions on the Future of the Feminist Critique of Performance. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 29(3), pp. 925-938.
Allen, J. S. (2012) Black/Queer/Diaspora at the Current Conjuncture. GLQ. 18 (2-3): pp. 211–248. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-1472872.
Eng, D.L (2010) Queering the Black Atlantic, Queering the Brown Atlantic. GLQ . 17: 203.
Gilroy, P. (1993) The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso.
Hartman, S. (2019) Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval. London: W.W. Norton & Company.
hooks, bell. (1984/2014) Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Third Edition. London: Routledge.
Johnson, E.P. (2001) ’”Quare” studies, or (almost) everything I know about queer studies I learned from my grandmother,’ Text and Performance Quarterly, 21:1, 1-25, DOI: 10.1080/10462930128119.
Johnson, E.P. and Mae G. Henderson, eds. (2005) Black Queer Studies: A Critical Introduction. Durham: Duke University Press.
Matebeni, Z. (2014) Reclaiming Afrikan. Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities. Athlone, SA: Modjaji Books.
Muñoz, J.E. (1999) Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Nyong’o, T. (2019) Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life. New York: New York University Press.
Sandoval, C. (2000) Methodology of the Oppressed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Sharpe, C. (2016) In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Durham: Duke University Press.
Spillers, H. (2003) Black, White, and In Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wynter, S. (1994) No Humans Involved: An Open Letter to my Colleagues. Forum N.H.I: Knowledge for the 21st Century. 1(1): pp. 42–72.
Wynter, S. (2006) On How We Mistook the Map for the Territory, and Reimprisoned Ourselves in Our Unbearable Wrongness of Being, of Desêtre: Black Studies Toward the Human Project. In Not Only the Master’s Tools: African American Studies in Theory and Practice. L. R. Gordon and J. A. Gordon. (eds.), New York: Routledge, pp. 107–169.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.