Deadline Extended to 25th Jan'14: Performance in Public Spaces Working Group

16 January, 2014

Janelle Reinelt called for “Rethinking the Public Sphere for a Global Age”, drawing on Habermas to declare that  "the governing geometry of this sphere needs to be envisioned not as a unified field but rather as a network or a rhizome with a plurality of entry points and, indeed, of publics. There is no monolithic sphere." [p.18]  During WG PiPS meeting in Warwick we would like to look at the public sphere and public space as a palimpsest of strata, where the almost benign nature of the palimpsest is joined by one that is more in keeping with the more profound incisions on rural spaces (as opposed to the overlaying of one urban model with another), with scars acknowledging the marking visited upon something that lives and possibly heals around the intervention. 
We would like to invite researchers to present papers that will answer one of the initial recognitions by Reinelt: “For performance scholars, the necessity of developing an international analysis of the concept of the public sphere seems clear because performance often claims to play an important role in such sphere, especially within the context of globalisation” [p.16] That is why in the context of the main theme of the conference “ Theatre & Stratification” we would like to invite papers that  deal with the idea of different layers which constitute the notion of “public”.  We are most interested in papers that will correspond to the possible topics of the conference such as: Market Values and Theatre Programs, Performative Acts and The Hierarchies of Gender and Sexuality, Cultural Priorities and Theatrical Practice, Theatre and Resisting Stratified World, Political Orders & Performance Politics, Performing Social Stratification, Staging Racial and Ethnic Categories, Theatres of Immigration, Mobility and Citizenship.
The PIPS WG invites papers of 15-20 minutes in length for the IFTR Warwick conference that considers the theme of palimpsests and scars  with some of the following:
1)How public space is stratified? How monolitic (and historical) vision of Habermas dissolved in different layers of publicness?
2)How, through performative activity, one can reveal stratification of the space: public-private-official- privatized-un/official?
3)How urban space is re-written in the context of the above themes and different layers of history, present times, local context and globalisation?
4)Theatre, neo-liberal values, market values and the public sphere.
If you are interested in joining the Working Group in Warwick, please do get in touch; you need to send a title and a short abstract by 25th of January to Joanna Ostrowska (co-convener): .
If your abstract is accepted you will need to submit it to the IFTR. The deadline for submission to the IFTR is 30th of January and all abstracts for Working Groups should be sent through the CJO website:  You need to be a current IFTR/FIRT member in order to send an abstract to the IFTR and to be able to attend the conference, so you will need to become a member (if not one already) and pay the membership fees in January before you send in your abstract to IFTR. In March the IFTR organisers will send an acceptance letter, which will include some brief information regarding what to do next (registering for conference, preparing lodging, trip, etc.). They will ensure that  all the abstracts are published in the conference material.
For information about the general conference, fees, and accommodation, check the 
IFTR website −
If you have any questions about the Working Group, please contact the one of the conveners:
Joanna Ostrowska:, 
Swati Arora:  or
Tim White:
Habermas, Jürgen. 1991. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An inquiry into a category of bourgeois society, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. trans. Thomas Burger
Reinelt, Janelle G. 2011. Rethinking the public sphere for a global age. Performance Research, Vol.16 (No.2). pp. 16-27

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