Working Group

ASTR Working Session Calls for Papers “Trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-species histories in performance”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Since their first American Society for The Theatre Research (ASTR) Working Group session at the 2010 conference in Seattle, the Performance and Ecology Working Group has spawned symposia, anthologies, and publications. Foremost among those is a new volume that grew out of the 2010 session: Readings in Performance and Ecology, eds., Wendy Arons and Theresa J. May (Palgrave 2012). The Working Group has continued valuable research on numerous fronts, including “Earth Matters on Stage” conference at Carnegie Mellon University (2012) and “Staging Sustainability” at York University (2011).

“The rising tide of this focused research indicate not only a growing concern and mounting artistic will in the realm of ecological sensibility, but also faith in the imagination as a critical aspect of our individual and collective ecological identities.”

This year, as part of ASTR’s “Theatrical Histories” focus, they turn their attention to trans-cultural, trans-national, and trans-species performance in anticipation of a second volume of ecocritical writings on theatre and performance. The questions for the upcoming 2012 Working Group session, that will take place November 1st.- 4th 2012 include:

  •  How do transcultural and transnational performances re-map our understanding of what May has called “ecodramaturgy”?
  •  What constitutes “theatre of species” (Chaudhuri) and how might these trans-species performances rearrange or reinterpret understandings of representation?
  •  How do the material characteristics of artistic sites condition the aesthetics of the work produced?
  •  What kinds of geological and geographical histories emerge alongside socio-cultural storytelling?
  •  How do intersecting histories – indigenous, place-based, community-driven – play out on stage in performance?
  •  How do ecological transitions, transmigrations, transmutations, transformations and transference shape artistic practice and meaning-making in the theatre?
  •  Other questions, approaches and topics that clearly address trans-national, trans-cultural, trans-species topics in performance.

Please send Abstracts as word attachments to both Working Group conveners below by May 31, 2012:

Theresa May, University of Oregon ( tmay33 [at] uoregon [dot] edu)

Nelson Gray, University of Victoria ( ncgray [at] uvic [dot] ca)

 More info: http://www.astr.org/conference/2012-working-session-cfps

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Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

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CALL FOR PAPERS/PROPOSALS: Trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-species histories in performance

ASTR/TLA 2012 WORKING GROUP
Ecology and/of/in Performance Working Group (on-going)

“Trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-species histories in performance”

Since our first ASTR Working Group session at the 2010 conference in Seattle, the Performance and Ecology Working Group has spawned symposia, anthologies, and publications.  Foremost among those is a new volume that grew out of our 2010 session: Readings in Performance and Ecology, eds., Wendy Arons and Theresa J. May (Palgrave 2012).  Our Working Group has continued valuable research on numerous fronts, including:  Earth Matters on Stage conference at Carnegie Mellon University (2012); the Staging Sustainability at York University (2011).  Participants in this Working Group have published an array of new material including; Ecology and European Drama by Downing Cless (Routledge). Networks and journals in the field such as, The Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts Quarterly, the “Fieldworks” issue of Performance Research (eds. Pearson, Roms, Daniels, 2010), and the “Performance and Ecology” section of Theatre Topics (2007) attest to scholars’ acute awareness of environmental politics and ecopoetics praxis in an imminently changing world.  The rising tide of this focused research indicate not only a growing concern and mounting artistic will in the realm of ecological sensibility, but also faith in the imagination as a critical aspect of our individual and collective ecological identities.

In 2012, as part of ASTR’s “Theatrical Histories” focus, we turn our attention to trans-cultural, trans-national, and trans-species performance in anticipation of a second volume of ecocritical writings on theatre and performance.  Our questions for the upcoming 2012 Working Group session include:

  • How do transcultural and transnational performances re-map our understanding of what May has called “ecodramaturgy”?
  • What constitutes “theatre e of species” (Chaudhuri) and how might these trans-species performances rearrange or reinterpret understandings of representation?
  • How do the material characteristics of artistic sites condition the aesthetics of the work produced?
  • What kinds of geological and geographical histories emerge alongside socio-cultural storytelling?
  • How do intersecting histories – indigenous, place-based, community-driven – play out on stage in performance?
  • How do ecological transitions, transmigrations, transmutations, transformations and transference shape artistic practice and meaning-making in the theatre?
  • Other questions, approaches and  topics that clearly address trans-national, trans-cultural, trans-species topics in performance.

Please send a 500-word Abstract as attachment to both Working Group conveners below:

Theresa May, University of Oregon (tmay33@uoregon.edu)

Nelson Gray, University of Victoria (ncgray@uvic.ca)

Session Format:

Working Group participants will exchange papers in advance of the conference via meetings.  Depending on number, participants will read a selection of 3 to 4 papers each and develop questions that arise from the intersection of the ideas and research.  At the conference, these “pods” will discuss their findings and share them with the entire working group.  The conveners will facilitate a discussion leading to a possible frame (for instance, for a volume of essays) and key questions that the working group would like to see addressed as the research moves forward.

Political Ecology

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Where is the politics in political ecology? is a follow-up discussion by the Political Ecology Working Group at the University of Kentucky.  Its an open discussion that anyone can participate in – artworks can be contributed, or short texts (max 300 words).  Deadline 13 December 2011.  There previous discussion, What is Political Ecology? is up on their site.

This way of working (calls for short position statements, with a simple editorial process, published to a blog) seems to me ideal as a means to build up understanding about a new or growing subject. 

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

Earth Matters On Stage: Process

It’s easy to get all cranial on the whole planet/culture relationship. It is, in fact, kind of scary not to.  Start learning with your body and not your brain, and well, that’s a one-way ticket to . . . this conference. Hem. Earth Matters On Stage. On the stage, bucko, not just in your brain. You better get moving.

For the first weekend here I was a part of the Art Culture Nature Working Group. Ten fellows were selected to lead half-hour workshops exploring the relationship between our craft and our planet. We were essentially encouraged to use the group as a brain trust– but more often than not, we relied on our bodies.

As a group, we moved. We formed sculptures about place, we followed impulses and rolled around on the grass. We took pictures of our surroundings, we worked with soil. All of this wildness took place under the guidance of the workshop leader (and the extreme limitations of time). We looked very silly sometimes, but learned a lot about process and structure.

Later in the week came a workshop about labyrinths, led by Paul Bindel and Justin Simms. I learned that labyrinths are used most commonly not in pursuit of bullheaded monsters, or for escaping Jack Nicholson, but as meditative tools.

There are labyrinths everywhere: 60 listed in Massachusetts alone. Their curling series of lines gives visitors a form in which to get lost, to walk through while their minds drift.  It’s a way to pay penance, to build serenity. It’s a task for your body that lets your brain go. Just follow the lines.

As a group we went out to a grove nearby the University of Oregon and built a labyrinth with wood gathered nearby. When it was done– spiraling sticky-sticks winding paths through the tiny trees– we each walked it. You could hear branches cracking and flutes playing and folks chatting as you wove your way around and around and around.  A great task for the body, a great chance to digest all the conference info and just go, go, go.

Go to the Green Museum