Embodied Research Working Group CFP

29 October, 2019 by Ben Spatz | 1 comment

Embodied Research Working Group CFP (2)

The IFTR Embodied Research Working Group (ERWG) invites proposals for participation from scholars, artists, and others developing embodied research projects in any field.

Call for Proposals

International Federation for Theatre Research

13-17 July 2020 @ NUI Galway, Ireland
Theatre Ecologies: Environment, Sustainability and Politics

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 January 2020
Deadline for bursary applications: 15 December 2019

Many embodied practitioners today believe that there are strong material, affective, and political connections between body-based, somatic, and corporeal practices and the living ecologies that are currently under threat of extinction across the earth. But what precisely are these links? How can we specify, activate, and organize them, without relying upon dangerous tropes of universality or primitivism? How can we recognize the shared vulnerability and affordances of breath, movement, and voice, while at the same time building solidarity through the divergent positions from which “we” (which we?) approach ecology and embodiment? How can we draw on diverse cultural resources without appropriating the living property of those who live under ongoing colonization — especially when our own forms of practice research, artistic research, and embodied research are materially supported by neocolonial and neoliberal institutions in both arts and academic sectors? How can we, as researchers for whom embodiment is a central concern, continue to unpack and transform humanist logics?

What constitutes the somatic and political rigor of critical embodied research? How do we sustain our practices within a changing cultural and ecological landscape? What can we offer, as embodied practitioners, to the urgent call to decolonize contemporary society and its manifold (dis)embodied practices? We invite scholar-artists, research-practitioners, and embodied researchers working at the edges and interstices of conventional academic disciplines to demonstrate and catalyze the ethics, politics, and epistemics of embodiment as a central matter for theatre ecologies. We welcome practical and audiovisual contributions as well as conventional analytical papers that reveal the importance of embodied practice and research to the environment, sustainability, and politics. Recognizing the cost and privilege of academic conference attendance, we encourage proposals that speak on behalf of multiple human and nonhuman constituencies, recognizing that an individual who makes the trip to Galway to be with us in person may represent much wider and more diverse ecologies.

ABOUT ERWG: The Embodied Research Working Group (ERWG) is a growing network of researchers working with and through embodiment to explore new models and processes for engaged scholarship. In addition to meeting annually at the IFTR conference, we maintain a digital platform for conversations that range from reading groups on the rigor of practice and decolonizing embodiment to the cross-pollination of performer training lineages and the development of new relationships between academic and nonprofit/charity institutions. This year we invite proposals that engage with the concept and practice of ecology from diverse embodied perspectives.

PLEASE NOTE: The format of ERWG conference sessions is a matter of ongoing experimentation. We are continually testing new methods for embodied knowledge exchange including digital correspondence, collaborative workshops, and structured improvisational encounters. The participants selected for the 2020 meeting will have multiple opportunities to share their research and this will count as a conference presentation for all official purposes (e.g., funding). However, you will not necessarily have the usual opportunity to read a paper or give a prepared talk during the sessions. Please take this into account when submitting your proposal.

TO APPLY: Proposals must be submitted through the IFTR registration process (see links below) by the conference deadline. Each proposal should be no more than 500 words, including a brief biographical statement and links to relevant audiovisual materials where possible. Please explain how your work contributes to at least one of ERWG’s main strands of activity: interdisciplinary connections, institutional frameworks, and/or multimedia publications. (You can find out more about these on the ERWG homepage, linked below.) Priority will be given to participants of previous ERWG gatherings, but spaces will also be reserved for new members. Please feel free to contact the conveners with any questions about the application process or conference sessions.


Ben Spatz
University of Huddersfield, UK

Elizabeth de Roza
Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore 

Useful links:

ERWG homepage

IFTR website

IFTR registration at Cambridge Journals Online


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