Performance Philosophy at ASTR - November 2014

Performance Philosophy Working Session at the American Society of Theatre Research conference

November 20-23, 2014
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore MD

Convened by Will Daddario, Illinois State University (w.daddario@gmail.com) and 
Ioana Jucan, Brown University (ioana_jucan@brown.edu)

Building on last year’s ASTR session, the international, interdisciplinary research network known as Performance Philosophy seeks to continue activating the philosophical research undertaken by ASTR’s membership. This year, in step with the conference theme “What Performs?” the Performance Philosophy Working Session will explore the domains of non-, more-, and other-than-human thought.

Three streams of philosophical discourse provoke this consideration: the work of speculative realism and object-oriented ontology (Meillassoux, Harman, Morton, Garcia etc.), the work on non-representational theory and actor network theory coming out of the social sciences (Thrift, Law, Moll, Latour, etc.), and the work undertaken at the crossroads of animal studies and post-humanist studies (Orozco, Chaudhuri, Parker Starbuck, Cull, Kirkkopelto, etc.). In each of these discourses, the locus of thought sits within the non-human realm and provokes scholars to develop various methodological strategies to grapple with the obvious paradox that arises from trying to harness the power of the human subject to think through, from, and about the non-, more-, or other-than-human. The ostensible benefits of such effort include a renewed attention to the complexity of material existence, a dynamized historical attunement to the multiple conditions that make human activity possible, and the promise of reinvigorating dialectical thought that takes seriously the notion that, pace Benjamin, the world is ordered within each object.

Where does contemporary theatre and performance research intervene in these philosophical discourses? How are theatre scholars mobilizing the theories that come from these neighboring disciplines? Faced with the oft-untroubled assumption that theatre constitutes a distinctly human practice, what happens to theatre scholarship when human agency ceases to act as the “subject” of focus and gives way to the performances of animals, space, environments, objects, and things? Similarly, by taking seriously the claim that Performance Philosophy proceeds to think without knowing what precisely thinking may be, might a focus on the dimension of non-, more, and other-than-human performance lead to renewed understanding of the practice of thinking?

This working session seeks proposals that address these questions and/or develop other questions along the same lines. Please compose 500-word abstracts of your paper and a brief description of how the paper relates to your primary area of research. Proposals should include those materials as well as complete contact information and organizational affiliation (if any). Send your proposal (as MS Word attachment) to Will Daddario (w.daddario@gmail.com) and Ioana Jucan (ioana_jucan@brown.edu) by June 1, 2014. After selecting participants, papers will be grouped together by theme and sorted into sub-groups. Members of each sub-group will attend to the interconnection of thought evident in the initial abstracts so as to build connections between the papers. Individuals accepted to the working session must submit full 10-12-page papers (double-spaced) no later than October 1, 2014, in order to facilitate pre-conference conversations. 

http://performancephilosophy.ning.com/

http://www.astr.org/?page=14_Call

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The 2013 ASTR/TLA Conference, "Post-Thematic Conference," will be held in November 7 - 10, 2013 at the Fairmont Dallas (Texas) Hotel. For more information, check out the website: http://www.astr.org/conference 

Working Session Participants and Paper Titles:

Claire Maria Chambers, “‘The Oblivion of Difference’ and James Baldwin’s Performative Afropessimism”

Jon Foley Sherman, “The Strange: Thinking About a Phenomenology of Stage Presence”

Wade Hollingshaus, “Peter Gabriel’s Growing Up Live: Theatricality and Aging”

David Fancy, “‘Immanent Performativity’: Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition and the performative ontology of perpetual affirmation.” 

Ozum Hatipoglu, “Logodramas”

Aline Wiame, “Mapping, Thinking, Performing: Deligny’s and Deleuze’s Theatres of Subjectivity”

R. Darren Gobert, “Late Descartes And the Theatre/Philosophy Divide”

Tasoula Kallenou, “Plato's drama: the transformative power of performance philosophy”

David Kornhaber, UT Austin, “Performing Philosophy: The Case of Socrates”

Neal Hebert & Jon Cogburn, “‘It’s Still Real to Me, Dammit!’ Suspension of Disbelief and Performed Ontologies in Professional Wrestling” 

Ioana Jucan, Brown University, “Un-picturing the Disenchanted World”

Kate Katafiasz, “Drama and Dasein”

Nathaniel Stern, “The Implicit Body as Performance”

Stephanie Vella, “Signaling Through the Flames: Gestic Afterlives in Aby Warburg and Antonin Artaud”

Maurya Wickstrom, “The Infinitude of Thought in Precarious Form: Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument”

Original CFP:

Beyond the Turn: Performance Philosophy Now (2 Hour Session)

Conveners: Will Daddario, Illinois State University ( w.daddario@gmail.com) and Gabriella Calchi-Novati, Trinity College, Dublin ( calching@tcd.ie)

The international, interdisciplinary research network known as Performance Philosophy seeks to draw upon and develop the philosophical activity alive within ASTR’s membership to determine the benefits, challenges, theoretical obstacles, and performative potential Performance Philosophy offers to scholars and practitioners in the present moment.

Understood not as a “turn” in the fields of theatre or performance studies but, rather, as a new field in its own right involving researchers based in a wide range of disciplines, Performance Philosophy presents the possibility of thinking theatre and performance anew, against the backdrop of current philosophical debates. Performance philosophers understand those debates to have the ability to thrust theatre and performance events into a new light, while, simultaneously, recognizing that the specific material conditions of theatre and performance events have the ability to invest philosophical concepts with new life. Building on the momentum of recent works such as Martin Puchner’s The Drama of Ideas and Laura Cull’s Theatres of Immanence, this working session requests paper proposals from scholars and practitioners involved in the interplay between performance and philosophy. Specifically, papers might pursue the following avenues:

  • the application of philosophy to the analysis of performance;
  • the philosophy of performance and/or the performance of philosophy;
  • the study of how philosophers and philosophical ideas have been staged in performance or how ideas and images of performance have figured in philosophy;
  • the theoretical or practical exploration of philosophy as performance and/or as performative; and likewise, experiments emerging from the idea that performance is a kind of philosophy or thinking or theorizing in itself.

Please compose 500-word proposals that present an abstract of your paper and a brief description of how the paper relates to your primary area of research. Proposals should include complete contact information and organizational affiliation (if any). Send your proposal (as MS Word attachments) to both conveners by June 3, 2013. After selecting participants who engage with such themes, we will group the papers together by theme and create sub-groups. We will ask members of each sub-group to attend to the interconnection of themes evident in the initial abstracts so as to build connections between the papers. Individuals accepted to the working session will be expected to submit full 10- to 12-page papers no later than October 1, 2013, in order to facilitate pre-conference conversations.

URL: http://www.astr.org/conference/2013-working-session-cfps#ppn (from which you'll be able to find the other Workgin Sessions)

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