Thematic Track 10

Theme 10: Reclaiming the Arts in Higher Education

Coordinators: Professor Chats Devroop

Performance-led, Research-led Practice (Wo es war, soll ich werden - Freud)
In the West, Performance is commonly associated with self-expression and interpretation. The kinds of autonomy and creativeness these notions authorise have become the dominant theme of performance studies. However, in order to arrive at a notion of performance that has applicability and value beyond the West, it is necessary to carefully invert this largely western configuration. Through Rancière’s work, it has become clear that expression, self-expression, interpretability, artistic freedom and other linked notions occur together in particular distributions of the senses. All of these notions call forth their conceptual and evaluative counterparts in certain kinds of criticism and evaluation of technique, concurrent with these redistributions.
Since Rancière’s examinations almost entirely concern western examples, it is urgent to situate, crosscut or insulate the understanding of practice beyond the West in the fields of academic and critical deliberation that have been opened up by his and similar scholarship around perceptions and concepts in film, architecture, dance, drama, music and other endeavours where experience and its available conceptions converge. This provides a field that is just as easily enriched by the testimony of performers as by the long apprenticeship in appreciating performance undertaken by the best critics. The historical and philosophical network that provides reality to performance in different circumstances invites innovative reconstruction and clarification from a wide range of scholars.
Today, there is room beyond the post-modern and the post-colonial debate to focus on and develop ontological perspectives on performance and on the kinds of situation in which knowledge, disciplinary frameworks, techniques and concrete abstractions may be derived. Just as there is scope today for separating practice from technique and method, which have accompanied its western reception, so there is also the opportunity to separate criticism, as an appreciation of and a distinct kind of thought about practice, from critique and from historicism, the two formats in which the academy represents and studies practice.
This call is open for submissions under the theme of performance-led research or research-led practice/performance.

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