Conference Seminar — Performance Studies in Canada: Excavating Alternate Methodologies and Genealogies
Convenors: Susan Bennett, Laura Levin, Marlis Schweitzer
Date: Tuesday 29 May through Friday 1 June 2018
Location: The Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Submission Info: Please send a 250-word abstract and brief bio to Laura Levin (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 January 2018.
More and more, researchers and academic programs situated within Canada are turning to performance studies to respond to a growing interest in performances that occur both in artistic venues and in the spaces of everyday life. Despite the uptake of performance studies, however, there have been relatively few sustained reflections on how this methodology is being taught, applied, and rethought in Canadian contexts. The recent publication of Performance Studies in Canada (McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017) brings together scholars who have attempted to push forward this conversation by tracing genealogies of performance studies scholarship in Canada and highlighting significant works of performance theory and history that are rooted in the analysis of Canadian culture. Importantly, the book appeared almost simultaneously with another major collection, Canadian Performance Histories (ed. Heather Davis-Fisch, Playwrights Canada Press), which reflects on “performances that have been excluded from mainstream theatre histories” – a project that has also raised questions about what counts as “performance” within dominant disciplinary frames.
• How have locally and culturally based histories—Indigenous, Québécois, multicultural, hemispheric, etc.—complicated traditional ideas of “performance” and “nation”?
• How have performance studies methodologies complicated dominant forms of knowledge production within Canadian universities?
• What performance-based genealogies and methodologies have not yet been fully represented in emerging meta-disciplinary scholarship about the field?