The Show Must Not Go On: Rupture in Theatre and Performance
October 7, 2022
The Graduate Center
The City University of New York (CUNY)
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10016
How do we engage with performance and rupture—when practices must stop or be stopped, on account of epidemiological, ecological, social, political, economic crises, catastrophes, and/or seismic cultural shifts? How do we account for institutions and artists deciding (or claiming to decide) to radically shift course or discontinue production altogether? And how do we address or theorize “audience” in such a rupture—as a collective body to be mobilized, measured, monetized, and/or virtualized? In the midst (or, soon we hope, aftermath) of the nth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, how do we approach or identify rupture when we are in its throes: as an end, a turning point, or a new start? How does or can rupture differ from pause, course-correction, or temporary suspension?
We invite contributions in diverse formats — conference-length scholarly papers, artistic performances, roundtables, or other proposed forms — that may address but are not limited to the following:
- Temporality: eruptive/collapsing/circular temporalities; performing end-times, performing beginning-times
- Politics: revolution, censorship, suppression, preclusion, exclusion, marginalization
- Ecology: performances of spatial justice and/in the Anthropocene, performance constellations, activism and protest in performance
- Economy and administration: crises of funding/support, unions, labor, institutional responses (theatres, cities, governments, NGOs)
- Methodological rupture and epistemologies of radical discontinuity: slow research, issues of positionality, access and visibility
- Posthumanism: bodies in virtual/digital space, mediated copresence, remediation, translation to/from virtuality
- Audience: politics, labor, ethics, and aesthetics of spectatorship, community-building, strategy of collective care
- Decoloniality and postcolonialism: Indigenous knowledges, archives, race and racism, alter-ontologies, endangered/reconstructed/salvaged modes of performance
- Faults and lapses: cancellation, “canceled” performance/performers, friction, glitch, failure, exhaustion of form and/or content
Submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20, 2022.
Submissions should include your name, paper or project title, email, a short bio (no more than 150 words), and institutional/departmental affiliation (if any). Optionally, include a brief description (no more than 100 words) of how your proposal relates to a larger project or research interest.
Participants will be notified in late May 2022.
Note on Location:
The aim is for this conference to be held in-person at The Graduate Center, CUNY, in New York City in October 2022. That said, it is difficult to predict what further disruptions may await in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the event that we are unable to meet in person in October 2022, the “show” will go on, albeit virtually. Special note for international submissions: if you are interested in submitting but know it will be unlikely or impossible for you to travel to the USA/New York in October 2022, you are still encouraged to submit.