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Popular Performance : Localisation, commercialism and globalisation

Popular Performance thrives on the performer/audience relationship. Whether on stage in a pub or club, improvising in the street or performing at the London Palladium, local references, be they textual, visual or aural, are an important aspect of popular performance and help create a sense of a shared community. Whilst the advent of social media means audiences no longer necessarily share the same location as performers, the screen still provides a sense of intimacy and acknowledgement as a result of direct address.

The very nature of popular performance means it is an enticing medium for producers set to capitalise from a performer, act or success story. Television and YouTube can bring popular performance to wide audiences, but how and why is the local translated in these cases? How do acts change and evolve as a result of the local/global relationship and what role do economics, branding and management play here? 

At this year’s conference, the Popular Performance Working Group seeks to explore the relationship between localisation, commercialism and globalisation across all popular performance forms and welcomes proposals for standard twenty minute papers, as well as different presentation formats, including short performances that represent the breadth of current research and practice in the field of popular performance.

We are particularly interested in proposals that address:

  • Commercialisation of traditional forms
  • Ascent to the mainstream
  • Social media as access points to comedy, satire, pastiche
  • Audience participation across performance forms and technologies (in person, live-tweeting, adding comments to feeds)
  • Economics of performance
  • Touring
  • Merchandise and fan culture
  • Challenges to authority and authenticity within identity / character construction 
  • Establishment of shared communities through textual, visual and aural prompts
  • Translation

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 to Simon Sladen (, Chris Abbott ( and Catriona Craig ( The deadline for the submission of proposals is Thursday 13 April 2017.


Please note: only one proposal may be submitted for the TaPRA 2017 Conference. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Papers. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the conference; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the conference venue. 

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