CFP: Performance as Research and the Past

04 November, 2015

Histories, practices and 'lived lineages’
Performance as Research Working Group call for papers
Interplays of Artefacts, Discourses and Practices’
The IFTR conference at Stockholm addresses questions concerning our relationship to theatre history, i.e. the relation between present and past. The Performance as Research (PaR) Working Group relates to this theme via its broad understanding of performance as dance, theatre, live art, and other performative practices.
In addressing how we practice and research the 'performance past' we invite proposals in response to this call which offer blueprints for experimental work in our 'participatory laboratory' at Stockholm in June 2016. As with other years, we will encourage both participants and presenters to work in a collaborative and embodied way, to interrogate the following questions through PaR:
  • Does PaR have a 'performance past’? What genealogies and traditions has PaR generated so far? Or is it too soon to historicize, archive and re-perform the 'practice turn' in Theatre and Performance Studies? How does PaR relate to other methodologies internationally, e.g. 'artistic research', 'research-led practice' and/or 'experimental systems'? What are the ‘lived lineages’ of PaR which have emerged from past practices and current trends?
  • How does PaR respond to historiographical methods, objects, actions, ephemera, and documents through practice? Can one speak of a PaR archive or use archival materials within a PaR process? How do we, as PaR practitioners, approach and reactivate performance archives, such as through re-enactments, adaptations and reconstructions?
  • What challenges does PaR offer conventional epistemologies and historiographies, especially in relation to the ‘practice turn’ across disciplines? How can our participatory laboratory challenge the ‘theatrical past’ through a transdisciplinary and open-ended exploration? What are the implications of an ecological approach to knowledge that is grounded in practice?
The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 January 2016.
All applicants should follow the instructions regarding abstract submission through the conference website
pre-conference meeting and one-day workshop will be organised by the working group on 12 June 2016 in Stockholm. Please indicate in your submission whether you will participate.
Application Process
The PaR working group at any conference is strictly limited to 25 people. You can participate in the WG as a presenter or participant. Please mark your preferred role clearly on your abstract submission.
To join as a presenter, send an abstract of (maximum) 250 words via the Cambridge University Press website by 15 January 2016. Please copy your abstract to The process for accepting abstracts will be competitive. The Working Group conveners will review all abstracts and make selections. maximumof 15 presentations will be selected.
To join as a participant, please submit a short letter of motivation by 15 January 2016directly to performanceasresearch@gmail.comindicating why you would like to be a participant and what your interest in the topic is. maximum of 10 participants will be selected. It is required that participants will be registered for the conference.
The chosen presenters will then write a 3000 word paper. The papers will be made available to all presenters and participants, before the conference. All finalized papers must be submitted by 18 April 2016 (eight weeks before the conference) and any papers submitted after this date may be excluded from the Working Group.
In addition we will be proposing a panel from the working group to the main conference program. If you wish to be considered for the panel, please indicate this clearly in your abstract submission.
We remain committed to enabling new members to engage with the Working Group, and we will reserve up to 10 places at the meeting for them. New members may elect to formally present or propose attendance as a participant, which is often a good way to first experience the Working Group. Applicants should submit a brief CV and statement of interest in Performance as Research (and an abstract if they wish to present) by 15 January 2016.
There will be spaces for some Visitors who are attending the main conference. Visitors can observe some of the Working Group sessions, and do not have to be available for all of the Working Group sessions. Visitors should contact us on at least one week in advance of the conference in order to express an interest. 
All applicants should also follow the instructions regarding submission through the conference website:
And finally, if participants want to apply for bursaries, this will have to be done by 1 December 2015. The application form will be available at by the 30 September.
We look forward to your responses to this call.
Annette Arlander, Jonathan Heron and Emma Meehan

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