CfP: Perception and Performativity in Arts and Culture in the Age of Technological Change

04 December, 2018 by Chris Collins | 0 comments

Call for Papers The 9th Annual Conference of the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies


Perception and Performativity in Arts and Culture in the Age of Technological Change

5–7 September 2019, Tartu, Estonian Literary Museum 

The process of digitalisation in contemporary society is inevitable. However, digital should not be reduced to computer technology, because it embraces a wider set of sociocultural phenomena. Even the performing arts and cultural performances characterised by happening ‘here and now’ cannot escape the reality of this situation because digitalisation refers not only to specific technologies but also to specific ways of communication and the sociocultural contexts in which live performances take place. Research on how digitalisation changes all walks of our everyday life, from culture to politics, is still breaking new grounds.


Hans Thies Lehmann has warned that mediated perceptions have led to the erosion of the act of communication because there is no experience of a connection among the individual images received and no connection between the receiving and sending of signs (Lehmann 2006: 184). Live performances might avoid or overcome the erosion of communicaton, yet not necessarily. Nevertheless, also in mediated performances, an emancipated spectator or emancipated community might play the role of an active interpreter, developing their own translations (Rancière 2009: 22), even out of dispersed images.


A perspective on how digitalisation has affected performativity, performance, and perception in arts and culture in general is the main focus of the conference. More research is needed into the effects of the new mediated reality on arts and culture. We welcome presentations from interdisciplinary research areas (e.g. theatre, literary, film and art studies, musicology, folkloristics, ethnology, philosophy, linguistics, etc.) that tackle the issues concerning perception and performativity.


Proposals on the following topics are invited:

  • performativity and authenticity;
  • functions and values of live performances;
  • performativity and perception of cultural performances;
  • relationships between performativity and technology;
  • change of perception due to technological developments;
  • audiences and reception of technological and digital arts;
  • audiences and reception of arts in the age of technological change;
  • historical perspectives on how technology influences the perception and performativity of arts;
  • performativity of the ‘post-digital’ performance.


Proposals (not exceeding 300 words) for 20-minute presentations should be sent to the conference organiser Hedi-Liis Toome ( by the deadline of 1 March 2019.


Important dates:

March 1, 2019 – submission of abstracts

April 15, 2019 – approval of abstracts

April 16 – August 10, 2019 – registration

August 10, 2019 – preliminary program


Conference website:


The working language of the conference is English.


Organisers: The working group of the CEES on narrative studies.

The conference is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies – CEES, TK 145) and is free of charge for participants.


More information from the organisers:


Hedi-Liis Toome (, Head of the Estonian Association of Theatre Researchers and Critics


Anneli Saro (, Professor of Theatre Research, University of Tartu


Mare Kõiva (, Leading Researcher of the Estonian Literary Museum, Head of the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies


Anne Ostrak (, Project Manager of the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies


Piret Voolaid (, Senior Research Fellow of the Estonian Literary Museum, Executive Manager of the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies



Please spread the information among your fellow researchers!


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