CALL FOR PAPERS/PROPOSALS: Trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-species histories in performance

ASTR/TLA 2012 WORKING GROUP
Ecology and/of/in Performance Working Group (on-going)

“Trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-species histories in performance”

Since our first ASTR Working Group session at the 2010 conference in Seattle, the Performance and Ecology Working Group has spawned symposia, anthologies, and publications.  Foremost among those is a new volume that grew out of our 2010 session: Readings in Performance and Ecology, eds., Wendy Arons and Theresa J. May (Palgrave 2012).  Our Working Group has continued valuable research on numerous fronts, including:  Earth Matters on Stage conference at Carnegie Mellon University (2012); the Staging Sustainability at York University (2011).  Participants in this Working Group have published an array of new material including; Ecology and European Drama by Downing Cless (Routledge). Networks and journals in the field such as, The Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts Quarterly, the “Fieldworks” issue of Performance Research (eds. Pearson, Roms, Daniels, 2010), and the “Performance and Ecology” section of Theatre Topics (2007) attest to scholars’ acute awareness of environmental politics and ecopoetics praxis in an imminently changing world.  The rising tide of this focused research indicate not only a growing concern and mounting artistic will in the realm of ecological sensibility, but also faith in the imagination as a critical aspect of our individual and collective ecological identities.

In 2012, as part of ASTR’s “Theatrical Histories” focus, we turn our attention to trans-cultural, trans-national, and trans-species performance in anticipation of a second volume of ecocritical writings on theatre and performance.  Our questions for the upcoming 2012 Working Group session include:

  • How do transcultural and transnational performances re-map our understanding of what May has called “ecodramaturgy”?
  • What constitutes “theatre e of species” (Chaudhuri) and how might these trans-species performances rearrange or reinterpret understandings of representation?
  • How do the material characteristics of artistic sites condition the aesthetics of the work produced?
  • What kinds of geological and geographical histories emerge alongside socio-cultural storytelling?
  • How do intersecting histories – indigenous, place-based, community-driven – play out on stage in performance?
  • How do ecological transitions, transmigrations, transmutations, transformations and transference shape artistic practice and meaning-making in the theatre?
  • Other questions, approaches and  topics that clearly address trans-national, trans-cultural, trans-species topics in performance.

Please send a 500-word Abstract as attachment to both Working Group conveners below:

Theresa May, University of Oregon (tmay33@uoregon.edu)

Nelson Gray, University of Victoria (ncgray@uvic.ca)

Session Format:

Working Group participants will exchange papers in advance of the conference via meetings.  Depending on number, participants will read a selection of 3 to 4 papers each and develop questions that arise from the intersection of the ideas and research.  At the conference, these “pods” will discuss their findings and share them with the entire working group.  The conveners will facilitate a discussion leading to a possible frame (for instance, for a volume of essays) and key questions that the working group would like to see addressed as the research moves forward.

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