STR New Researchers’ Network CFP

Looking for another conference to attend (or at which to present) after BritGrad closes this summer? Look no further: the STR New Researchers’ Network is holding their third annual symposium on 6 July. The Call for Papers is below and on their website. The deadline for paper proposals has now been extended to 22 April.

Call for Papers:

Third Annual Symposium:

Innovation in Performance History and Practice

Wednesday 6th July, 10.00am-6.00pm, University of Bristol

The STR New Researchers’ Network (NRN) is pleased to announce their third annual symposium, which will centre on the theme of Innovation in Performance History and Practice. The symposium will also feature a keynote address from Catherine Hindson (University of Bristol).

Innovation is what drives our work as researchers in the academy, and generating original contributions to knowledge is at the core of our development as scholars. As practitioners and performers, too, our work depends upon creativity and originality. For this reason the NRN symposium 2016 is devoted to ‘innovation’ and what it means to the field of performance. Now that the symposium is in its third year – and in the midst of the Decade of Centenaries as well as the marking of Shakespeare 400 – it is more important than ever to reflect on what innovation and change means in relation to theatrical and cultural institutions, or outside of them.

Performance innovates to be popular and relevant to its time, and this year’s symposium is interested in innovation in 21st century performance as well as in the past. The definition of live performance has changed in the last 15 years: innovative live art practices, cinematic presentations of theatrical works, and 3D projections now fall under this umbrella. What is perceived as innovative is also up for debate, with immersive practices, for example, seen either as ‘new’ or as part of a longer history that includes the Happenings in the 1960s. How have innovations shaped the way we think about performance and performance history/historiography today? How is innovative thinking about history important, especially in terms of minority/marginalised groups telling their stories? How can we credibly break with convention when teaching performance history by choosing not to teach the canon of white male practitioners such as Shakespeare and Stanislavski whilst retaining a credible curriculum? What innovative methodologies can we employ when researching performance? Moreover, how has theatre and performance studies as a field overall adapted to change?

With these contexts in mind, we invite proposals that may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Changing definitions of performances and audiences;
  • Challenges to established canons or definitions of performance innovation;
  • The digital age and the future of the performance;
  • The historian or scholar as innovator;
  • Interdisciplinary creativity and industry collaborations;
  • Creative responses to issues such as budget cuts, casualisation, REF/TEF, EBacc, etc;
  • Applications of innovative performance practices in educational, social and community contexts.

The NRN Committee welcomes proposals from new scholars, postgraduates, and early career researchers, on any aspect of the conference theme, broadly interpreted. This year we will be accepting proposals for traditional, 15-minute papers as well as three-paper panels, performed and performative responses, and PechaKucha presentations. Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted to nrn@str.org.uk by Tuesday 12th April. Applicants will be contacted by Friday 6th May. Please feel free to contact us at the email address above with queries at any time.

Please note that this symposium will be free for all STR members (you can receive the special discounted membership rate of £10 by attending the Symposium). There will be up to 5 bursaries available for University of Bristol students who volunteer as conference assistants. Email us on nrn@str.org.uk for more details.

This symposium is part of a series of events devoted to innovation run by the New Researchers’ Network this academic year. These include the Teaching Practice event, which encouraged innovation in performance pedagogy, and the V&A Study Day, where Senior Curator Simon Sladen explored how archives might respond to change.

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