TaPRA 2019, Exeter, Documenting Performance WG CfP: Wayward Temporalities

Deadline: Tuesday 16 April 2019


Wayward Temporalities

Over at least the last two decades, theatre and performance scholars have proposed alternative ways of considering how performances unfold across or between times through the performance document, and propelled a shift away from the terms of singular, originary events. While much of the debate in theatre and performance studies has been focused on ontological issues of representation (Phelan, 1993), liveness, presence, and immediacy, this working group invites proposals that emphasise the generative and political aspects of alternative duration, queer temporalities, or possible futurities. It invites considerations of the non-linear, asynchronous, non-successive, inter- and trans-generational, unstable, wild, and strange durations in and through performance and its documents.

Rather than theorising the performance document in terms of linearity, institutional fixity, or evidentiary logics of reconstruction and ‘reproductive temporality’ (Halberstam, 2005: 4), there is much to be gained in focusing on the sustaining problems and pleasures posed by the limits of performance and its political exigencies (Johnson, 2019); alternative notions of duration that disrupt or dismantle generational borders (Jones, 1997, 2012); queer, feminist, and BAME futurity (Aston and Harris, 2006; Muñoz, 2009); and the ‘porous approach to time and to art’ of inter(in)animation (Schneider, 2011: 6). Scholarship beyond theatre and performance studies has also invited new considerations of time, embodiment, difference, and agency of and through the living and non-living document, including emergent thinking on the operations of power in the era of anthropogenic climate change (Povinelli, 2016), and alternative mappings of the (re)production of racial difference and global power (da Silva, 2007). Wayward Temporalities searches for the ways in which performance documents probe, dissent, and destabilise relations between historicity and futurity, and complicate notions of contemporaneity.

Possible topics may include:

  • The performance document and alternative notions of duration
  • Inter-, trans-, or anti-generational methods of historicisation
  • Performative and documentary disruptions of past, present, and future
  • Experiential and embodied mappings across time
  • Documenting theatre and performance without a beginning, middle, or end
  • Issues of containment (temporal and otherwise) of the archive
  • Re-enactment and archival practice research
  • Queer, feminist, and BAME futurities, including social justice and institutional resistance in and through performance documentation
  • Phonic materialities and the resistance of objects (Moten, 2003), as well as questions of racial difference in and through performance and documentation
  • Temporal drag (Freeman, 2000)
  • Irreverent, slippery, unstable, wild, foreign, trans- and multi-linguistic performance documents

Submitting a proposal

  Please send a 300-word (max.) proposal and a short biography in a Word document via email. Please also include precise details of your resourcing needs, for example, any audio-visual technology, or a particular type of space (e.g. drama studio) that you will need to make your presentation. Email abstracts and information to the Working Group conveners, Dr Harriet Curtis, Dr Diana Damian Martin, and Dr Eleanor Roberts at documentingperf@tapra.org.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is  16th April 2019.

  Early Career Researchers Bursary Scheme: If you are an Early Career Researcher, then you are eligible to be considered for a TaPRA ECR Bursary. Please follow this link for more information, and please indicate on your proposal whether you fit the criteria and wish to be considered for the bursary scheme: http://tapra.org/bursaries/

Postgraduate Bursary Scheme: There will be a separate call for PG Bursaries later in the year, but please do indicate in your proposal whether you are planning on applying to the scheme.

  • Aston, Elaine, and Geraldine Harris (eds.), Feminist Futures? Theatre, Performance, Theory (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
  • Ferreira da Silva, Denise, Towards a Global Idea of Race (Minnesota: Minnesota University Press, 2007).
  • Freeman, Elizabeth, ‘Packing History, Count(er)ing Generations’, New Literary History, 31.4 (Autumn 2000), 727-744.
  • Halberstam, Judith, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (New York and London: New York University Press, 2005).
  • Johnson, Dominic, Unlimited Action: The Performance of Extremity in the 1970s (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019).
  • Jones, Amelia, ‘“Presence” in Absentia: Experiencing Performance as Documentation’, Art Journal, 56.4 (Winter 1997), 11-18.
  • Jones, Amelia, Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (London and New York: Routledge, 2012).
  • Moten, Fred, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2003).
  • Muñoz, José Esteban, Cruising Utopia (New York and London: New York University Press, 2009).
  • Phelan, Peggy, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (London and New York: Routledge, 1993).
  • Povinelli, Elizabeth, Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016).

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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