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Performance and Science

This working group aims to consolidate, develop and serve a community of performance scholars and practitioners who engage with scientific disciplines.  We aim to take stock of the contemporary moment in terms of science-engaged performance practices and research – which includes consideration of historical practices. Both ‘performance’ and ‘science’ are defined inclusively. ‘Performance’ may include theatre, dance, live art, puppetry, applied performance, popular performance, music and spoken word, as well as the ‘performance of everyday life’. Scientific disciplines may include psychology, social science, anthropology, ecology, medicine as well as ‘harder’ sciences (eg physics, chemistry, mathematics).  The working group allows for a range of intersections between performance and scientific disciplines, including but not confined to:

·         The performance of science: representations of scientific knowledge and understanding, and of scientists, in practices ranging from theatrical performance to popular science events (including consideration of policy and cultural determinants and impact of such practices)

·         The science of performance: the deployment of scientific research methodologies in furthering our understanding of performance practices (for example, social scientific analyses of performance groups or the neuroscience of audience-performer interaction)

·         Science as performance: the role of the scientist conceived of as a performance within professional as well as dramatized settings (for example the performance of expertise in encounters between patients and medical practitioners)

·         Performance as science: performance training and creative methodologies as forms of scientific discourse.?


Group members can use the private TaPRA members’ section to contribute to this group, ensure that you sign up for the Performance and Science Working Group Member’s Pages.

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