• Borderlines VII: Performing through the Unknown

  • Thu, 20-06-2019 at 09:00
  • PACE Building, DMU
    Richmond St.
    LE2 7BQ Leicester
Borderlines VII: Performing through the Unknown - PACE Building, DMU - Leicester

Borderlines VII: Performing through the Unknown, the seventh annual interdisciplinary conference on performance hosted by De Montfort University's the Drama Research Group and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Dance (CIRID), is scheduled to take place on Thursday 20th June 2019. Sarah Gorman, Reader in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Performance at Roehampton University, London, will be our keynote speaker for the conference (see further details below). Moving on from last year’s exploration of different modalities of fear, this year’s conference investigates art and performance's potential to engage with and question the aftermath of acts and events inducing fear. We consider this in relation to historical and numerous recent political events whose consequences have been anticipated and marked by expressions of fear, including the aftermath of: Britain’s vote to leave the EU, experiences articulated in connection with the #MeToo movement, and the increasing global rise of populist, anti-democratic governments. We propose this condition of aftermath as a transitional state of the unknown and unknowable with blurred and ruptured borders that could lead to an escalation of fear and a loss of trust, or which could be filled with potential, enabling a process of taking stock, discovery, protest and re-politicisation. In her 1992 Oxford Amnesty Lecture, ‘We Who Are Free, Are We Free?’, Hélène Cixous queries ‘who still wants to save the freedom of language?’ (1993: 215; emphasis in original). Cixous emphasises the freedom of artistic modes of expression that embrace risk and complexity. She advocates for the writer or artist ‘getting lost’ and pursuing ‘free-writings’ that: follow neither road nor line… make mistakes, correct themselves, repent, leap, sweep down between the lines like gulls, there is a dry, violent wind blowing on this land, oh yes, they cut our moorings at once, they are an invitation to the flood. Come, they say, sink with me and I will resuscitate you. (1993: 216-217) Yet, how possible is such creative immersion in the flood when faced with the persistent hum of political uncertainty and fake news, institutionalised anxiety and exploitation, anticipated violence or a traumatic aftermath? We invite explorations of performance that debate whether to adhere to or reassert the borderlines or to take the plunge and cross this cliff edge of the unknown. Proposals are invited for papers, performances, work demonstrations, artist talks and provocations. Possible areas for consideration might include, but are not limited to:Creative practices, processes or performances that critically engage with:· The aftermath of historical events, experiences or practices that induced fear· The uncertain or traumatic aftermath of recent events, which may include: Britain’s vote to leave the EU, experiences articulated in connection with the #MeToo movement, and the increasing global rise of populist, anti-democratic governments· Anxieties surrounding representations of gender or sexuality that appear unknown and unknowable· Anxieties surrounding uncertain cultural borders or places of ‘home’· Toxic fears that may include racism, xenophobia, hate crimes, misogynist behaviours, incel positions, class slurs, ableist laws· Institutionalised anxiety and exploitation· Anticipating new beginnings with apprehension or hope· Uncertain transitional moments and blurred borders as a chance to take stock or power, to re-politicise and protest· Fearless or joyous exploration of the unknown and risk· Facilitating communities or individuals through the unknown· Supporting the audience to experience or participate in the unknown· Immersion in the unknown through use of text, image, sound, space, bodies or technologies· Risky ventures that explode disciplinary or artistic borderlines Proposals of 250 words, a 100-word biography, and a list of resources / technical needs should be sent to Alissa Clarke (a.clarke@dmu.ac.uk) by the 18th April 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the 1st of May 2019. Borderlines ​Postgraduate Panel Submissions 2019Continuing on from the success of previous Borderlines postgraduate-led panels, we are welcoming postgraduate researchers who may alternatively wish to submit proposals for 10 minute papers or performative presentations. This panel offers students the opportunity to present their research in a peer-led environment whilst still contributing to and engaging with the breadth of the conference programme.Proposals should include the title and format of the presentation, a 200 word abstract, a list of resources / technical needs and a brief biographical statement. Proposals should be sent to Alissa Clarke (a.clarke@dmu.ac.uk) by the 18th of April 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the 1st of May 2019. ************************ SARAH GORMAN is a Reader in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Performance at Roehampton University, London. Her research focuses on Contemporary Feminist performance and European/North American experimental theatre and Live Art. She is currently working on a book project for Routledge provisionally entitled Women in Performance: Repurposing Failure. She co-edited a special edition of Contemporary Theatre Review on Contemporary Feminist Theatre and Performance with Geraldine Harris and Jen Harvie (released September 2017) and is developing a series of ‘Performance Dialogues’ to document interviews held with female experimental performance makers such as Karen Christopher, Rachael Young, Lauren Barri Holstein, Selina Thompson and Lois Weaver. Her monograph The Theatre of Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players was published by Routledge in 2011 and she has contributed numerous reviews, articles and chapters to publications such as: Feminist Review, Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review, New Theatre Quarterly, AngloFiles, Western European Stages and Studies in Theatre and Performance. Her Reading as a Woman blog can be found at http://readingasawoman.wordpress.com.