Call for Proposals: ASTR Performance as Research Working Group

20 May, 2014

Post-thematic Returns to the Fundamentals: Performance as Research and Practice Based Research

Conveners: Daniel Mroz (University of Ottawa) and Kris Salata (Florida State University)
The Performance as Research Working Group engages with scholarship that is both grounded in praxis and informed by theory. The Working Group invites artists, scholars and artist-scholars to participate in an interdisciplinary dialogue focused on the epistemological and methodological questions raised by research involving live, aesthetic and artistic performance. We are interested in scholarship that takes artistic praxis as its object and which acknowledges the essential differences between empirical knowledge and its scholarly articulation.

Over the last seven years the Performance as Research Working Groups assembled at ASTR have involved scholars and artists with diverse investments in relation to performance practice and its discursive formulation. Our approach has always involved a cross-disciplinary analysis of the centrality of embodied experience in both the creation and reception of performance, as well as the challenges (methodological, theoretical, rhetorical) attendant on the process of its articulation. We continue to focus on the experiential not only as a dimension that bridges the concerns of theorists and practitioners, but also because it is a pragmatic tool for investigating the limits and conventions of scholarly discourse.

Co-conveners Kris Salata and Daniel Mroz along with regular participant Bruce Barton are editing a book bringing together the ideas and inquiries that the Working Group has generated since its inception. This year’s session will be organized around the topics that have been raised regularly over the last seven sessions, with the structure of this eventual volume in mind.

Proposals need not be limited to these topics, but will likely fall into one of the following areas:

•    History and historiography of praxis-based research,
•    Methodologies,
•    Writing by artists that deals with practice from a first person perspective,
•    Work dealing with the use of artistic procedures as part of academic, pedagogical and institutional activities, 
•    Work investigating the relationships between independent artistic practice and the academy.
•    Writing that researches the work of the artist from a scholarly, third person perspective.

The conference working session will be preceded by the exchange of papers (and other documentation if applicable) and substantive dialogue between the group members prior to the actual conference, responding to one another’s contributions. During the pre-conference discussion we will select the key issues on which the group will focus at the conference.

Proposals should not exceed 300 words and be accompanied by a short bio. Please email proposals by June 1, 2014 to the conveners: Daniel Mroz, University of Ottawa, and Kris Salata, Florida State University,

Selected participants will be notified in late June, 2014. We will initiate email discussion on the basis of proposals on August 1, 2014, with an initial draft of a paper no longer than 10 pages to be circulated no later than September 15, 2014.

Bruce Barton, PhD
Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto /
Program Director, Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies, U of T Mississauga /
Vertical City Performance / /

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