ASTR Working Session Call: Theorizing Temporality in Performance


[category, conferences & calls for papers]

I’d like to draw your attention to a working session I’ll be running at this year’s American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) conference. I encourage you to apply if your work intersects with issues of temporality and performance in any way. The full working session description can be found below. I’d really like to see some fellow Canadian participants on the panel, if possible. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. Submissions are due by June 1st.

All best,

Benjamin A. Gillespie
Assistant Editor, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art
PhD. Candidate in Theatre, The Graduate Center
Writing Fellow, Lehman College
Adjunct Lecturer, Baruch College
City University of New York

Theorizing Transtemporality and Performance
American Society for Theatre Research Conference
Minneapolis, Minnesota
November 3-6, 2016

Session Conveners:
Benjamin Gillespie, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Stephanie Vella, The Graduate Center, CUNY

In recent years, the turn toward temporality studies in the humanities has seen rigorous development as the result of applying transdisciplinary methodologies that take issue with historical assumptions surrounding the organization of time and the prioritization of space. Since performance is a durational concept necessarily engaged in alterations of time—be they diachronic, synchronic, episodic, dissonant, repetitive, distorted, situational, queer, lapsed, or otherwise—it is an ideal paradigm through which to explore and measure the collision of multiple temporal arrangements in bodies and worlds, both human and nonhuman. Speaking directly to the conference theme, this working session will consider how “trans” might widen discourses of temporality in theatre and performance studies and potentially disrupt histories and critiques that position bodies inside or outside of time along vectors of race, class, gender, ability, and age.

We offer the following prompts for thinking theatre and performance anew through the transtemporal:

What are the potentials for measuring the body in, through, over, and across time in theatre and performance, as well as measuring time’s effect on performing bodies?
How might transtemporality reconfigure aesthetic and cultural periodizations such as modern, primitive, classical, post-modern, post-colonial, avant-garde, contemporary, early, and late?
How does transtemporality intersect with queer, disability, gender, trans, indigenous, age, and critical race studies?
How does transtemporality move across or through fast, slow, extended, suspended, and condensed time frames?
Can the transtemporal disrupt the flows of labor and capital?
How do the scholarly uses of archives, images, memories, and gestures potentially transcend singular temporalities?
Can transtemporality point to the limits of historiography, periodization, genre, and the methodological concerns of performance studies itself?

Accepted participants will share 8-10 page papers with the entire group by October 1st. We will then divide the papers into subgroups of 3-4 participants according to the topics that emerge. The members of each subgroup will read their group’s papers closely and engage in an online discussion before the conference, drawing parallels among the papers and organizing their presentation for the in-person working session. During the session, each subgroup will give a 10 minute presentation including a short summary of each paper, an overall summary of the online discussion, and a focused discussion question for the larger group developed out of common themes. A discussion period of 15 minutes with the entire group will follow each presentation. The final 20 minutes of the session will open up the conversation to auditors.

Interested participants should submit the following details: your name, institutional affiliation, and both a paper title and 500-word abstract suited to the interests of the working group. For any specific questions, please contact the working group conveners at bgillespie andsvella. Please note that all submissions must be received formally through the ASTR website, atastr2016 if you have any questions about the process.