Deadline: Thursday 4 January 2018
Call for Papers and Presentations for TaPRA Postgraduate Symposium 2018 Materials and Materiality: How do they matter? 9 February 2018 Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Postgraduates and early career researchers are invited to contribute to the 2018 Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Postgraduate Symposium titled ‘Materials and Materiality: How do they matter?’. The symposium will take place at Central Bankside, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on Friday, 9 February 2018 and seeks to investigate the roles and significance of the various materials that are around us and that make up or are negotiated in theatre and performance practice and research. Tim Ingold in the Ecology of Materials (2012) goes back to Aristotle, who establishes that any thing is a compound of matter and form, which are brought together in the act of its creation. For Ingold, the process of making begins with two ingredients, a formless lump of raw material and a ‘form in mind’ (Ingold 2012: 432). The process ends when form and material are united into a complete artefact (Ibid.). Whether active and with agency or imposed and designed, as researchers and practitioners we are surrounded by and constantly engage with materials. Ingold notes, ‘the builder, the gardener, the cook, the alchemist, and the painter are not so much imposing form on matter as bringing together diverse materials and combining or redirecting their flow in the anticipation of what might emerge’ (Ingold 2010: 94). So how do we, as makers of performance, practice and research shape and design materials? How do materials come together and form something else? What possibilities they might reveal to us? More importantly, for Jane Bennett (2010) nothing acts alone, every thing’s agency and efficacy depends ‘on the collaboration, cooperation, or interactive interference of many bodies and forces (21). So how might materials prompt us to reconsider others, the world and ourselves? How are we intertwined with materials and assemblages? Various approaches to materialism have identified the importance of matters, materials and things. While some of the more recent concerns of materialism have been tied to ecology and ecomaterialism, we seek to draw from this viewpoint and use it as a benchmark to explore the broader ethics, cultural and social practices through our engagement with the concept of materials. What implications might these signal for art and performance making, and more broadly for politics, and everyday life? Is the performance space (even when virtual) therefore the medium for the materialisation of performance theory? Building on themes and conversations that emerged from the TaPRA Conference in Salford in September 2017 and last year’s TaPRA PG symposium in Leeds, we ask: how does our interaction with the material, and the immaterial, shape our research? As postgraduate and early career researchers making, working and living in a world where resources – whether financial, natural and cultural – are becoming ever more limited – how do we make our practice and research matter? We invite presentations that engage with the theme of ‘Materials and Materiality’ in all forms of theatre practice, performance, performance studies, formal and informal performer training, stagecraft and theatre/drama in education. Themes might include, but are not limited to:
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.