Bodies-Affect-Labour: Women and Performance One Day Symposium

07 September, 2017 by Shonagh Hill | 0 comments

Bodies-Affect-Labour: Women and Performance One Day Symposium

Bodies – Affect – Labour: Women and Performance. 10-5pm, Saturday 30th September. University College Dublin, Ireland.

Keynote Speaker: Amanda Coogan

Speakers: Dr Aoife McGrath, Dr Miriam Haughton, Dr Trish McTighe

Workshop facilitated by Mothers as Makers

Performance of Bounding by Regan O’Brien (MAM)


In her 1969 Maintenance Art Manifesto, Mierle Laderman Ukeles commented on her role as mother and artist, stating that, ‘I didn’t want to be two separate people — the maintenance worker and the free artist — living in one body.’ Laderman Ukeles’s subsequent work was concerned with the erasure of maintenance work from public consciousness and speaks readily to the continued tensions that women artists experience, compounded by the ways in which women’s work (artistic and otherwise) is often overlooked. This is the central concern of this one-day symposium, which seeks to explore several key issues:

  • ·         How performance can expose the gendered hierarchies and values attached to labour
  • ·         How do we explore the labouring body through performance?
  • ·         Within the context of our neoliberal times, how might we think about the flexibility and creativity required of gendered labour?
  • ·         How the gendered responsibility of caring labour places relentless physical and other demands on women’s bodies and time
  • ·         How affect theory, which examines the intensities that circulate between bodies, might offer a framework for rethinking affective labour

The symposium incorporates a keynote lecture, academic papers, a workshop facilitated by Mothers as Makers, and a performance by Mothers as Makers member, Regan O’Brien. MAM was established in early 2016 and grew out of the energies of the Waking the Feminists movement. Their aim is to address ‘the specific issues of isolation, marginalisation, and disproportionate economic impact experienced by women in the creative industries as a result of becoming mothers and the continued demands of being a primary carer.’ The 2017 publication of WTF’s report Gender Counts starkly exposed the systemic inequality of Irish theatre and has opened up discussion of the ideological and material conditions which women have laboured under for decades.

The symposium is free but you need to register. Please contact symposium organiser Dr. Shonagh Hill at to book. Please indicate if you wish to participate in the Mothers as Makers Workshop, 'Support around Transitioning to Motherhood'. Numbers for the workshop are limited.

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