Call for Papers from IFTR Performance and Disability Working Group

17 December, 2021 by Kate Maguire-Rosier | 0 comments

Call for Papers from IFTR Performance and Disability Working Group

Call for Papers! IFTR Disability and Performance Working Group Gathering in Reykjavík 20-24 June 2022 Abstract deadlines: 31 January 2022 Deadline for pre-circulating work: 15 May 2022 Shifting Centre

 

Call for Papers!

 

IFTR Disability and Performance Working Group Gathering in Reykjavík 20-24 June 2022

 

Abstract deadlines: 31 January 2022

 

Deadline for pre-circulating work: 15 May 2022

 

 

 

 

 

Shifting Centres: in the middle of nowhere

 

How does it feel to be centred as a Disabled artist?

 

 

 

Jess Watkin:

 

 

 

As a Disabled and Blind artist and scholar, I’m not sure if I can accurately capture what it feels to be Disabled and “centred” because it is not clear when I am being centred. When a company wants to provide access for an audience and I’m the audience member, I don’t decide on the accommodations that are for me. So, can they serve me in an equitable way? What can I get from a performance being made accessible for me? 

 

 

 

In performance spaces as an accessibility consultant I’m brought in to “centre Disability” in these spaces, but these are performances not created with Disabled audiences in mind, and so are Disabled people centred in that space with access? How can access provide a lens and roadmap for bringing Disabled artists and people closer to the centre?

 

 

 

Alternatively, sometimes when I am centred in my work, for example when I am asked “How best can you be supported in your research? In your art?” It is still expected of me to know what and how I can be supported. A dream of mine would be to enter into any situation, any relationship or experience in performance where support is grown in an interdependent way: by centring support and care in a space or process for everyone in we animate the core concept of Disability Justice that Sins Invalid included in their primer that “all bodies have strengths and needs that must be met” (Sins Invalid 19). 

 

 

 

What if we had creation, rehearsal, and production processes that centred care? That centred the people present in the space? What possibilities could that offer as an iterative practice both for performance culture but also for Disabled artists? What about audiences? 

 

 

 

As we invite those who have not been historically centred closer to the centre new margins are being pushed to outside the centre, how do we come closer to some without leaning away from others? Does the act of “centring” create boundaries and barriers that fields like critical Disability studies, critical care studies, Disability Justice, and intersectional feminism are trying to break down? Are there productive opportunities in these clashes, frictions, and overlaps? Please care for me and what I can offer to performance, but don’t centre me for my Disability.

 

 

 

***

 

In this Call for Papers, we – the co-convenors for the IFTR Performance and Disability Group – meditate on what the centre is. We have decided to centre Disabled artist Jessica’s call, we would like to hear from those of us with and in collaboration with Disabled artists to answer the questions Jessica raises. We reflect that ‘centre’ can refer to a geographical place like the city, or centrestage. Geometrically, it recalls a circle or circles. Circles overlapping create new centres. But the ‘centre’ or ‘centering’ is also temporal. For example, how has the pandemic – through time – shifted centres?

 

Performance, festivals and touring materialise differently in a post-pandemic world. How so? And weren’t disabled communities already using digital platforms and remote forms of collaboration and presentation? A reinvigorated Black Lives Matter movement has shifted conversations about cultural safety, racial justice and diversity. Or, has it actually? How have these shifts if any impacted disability performance, theatre and dance? Have they redefined what constitutes the centre? From a disability performance perspective, what would it be like to centre access?

 

 

 

The following questions offer departure points for prospective contributions:

 

 

 

  1. What is the centre of disability performance theory or practice? Who gets to reside here and when?
  2. How have funding structures in various parts of the world determined what the centre is?
  3. While the ‘centre’ assumes spatiality, it denotes power imbalances. Disabled artists, scholars and audiences are more often than not ‘relegated to the margins’ of the mainstream. What does it look and feel like to centre Disabled art, scholarship and spectatorship?
  4. How have Disabled artists already been using digital and remote processes of developing and presenting performance?
  5. Experiencing performance involving artists with disability creates an intersection and new centres. What are these new centres?

 

 

 

Format

 

1. Academic paper presentation (20 minute maximum) followed by questions.

 

Abstracts will be double blind peer reviewed before acceptance. Papers (usually around 3,500 words) will be made available to participants two weeks before the conference. Presenters are encouraged not to read papers in full, but to guide the audience through the main arguments and ideas. The formal presentation will be followed by a question and answer session to promote in-depth discussion and constructive debate within a supportive environment. This format is ideal for those looking for feedback prior to a future submission for publication.

 

 

 

2. Seminar Proposal / Provocation for focused group discussion (15-minute maximum).

 

Presentation will be followed by small group discussions responding to the themes of the provocation. Abstracts will be double blind peer reviewed before acceptance. An outline of the proposal/paper will be made available to participants two weeks before the conference. This format is useful in developing ideas, connections and gaining further theoretical insights as part of the process of research within a supportive environment.

 

 

 

3. Performative presentations, material fragments of performances and workshop demonstrations are welcome, however these should fit within the 20 minutes maximum presentation format and should be agreed with the WG convenors in advance.

 

 

 

Submission Procedures

 

Submission must be done through the IFTR registration process (see links below). After you submit your abstract through IFTR, please also email a copy to the co-convenors. Please ensure you make it clear if your proposal is for an academic paper, a seminar/provocation or a performance. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31st January 2022. Please note that to submit an abstract for consideration you must be a member of IFTR. To present at the World Congress each member will need to buy membership of IFTR and in Spring 2022 register and pay for the conference (IFTR operate a banding system and a number of concessions are available).

 

 

 

Working Group Co-convenors

 

Jess Watkin jessicadwatkin@gmail.com

 

Tony McCaffrey tony.mccaffrey@ara.ac.nz

 

Kate Maguire-Rosier kate.maguirerosier@gmail.com

 

 

 

IFTR website

 

www.iftr.org

 

IFTR bursary information

 

https://www.iftr.org/conference/bursaries

 

IFTR membership and registration at Cambridge Journals Online

 

https://www.cambridge.org/core/membership/iftr

 

IFTR abstract submission at Cambridge Journals Online

 

https://www.cambridge.org/core/membership/iftr/abstract-submission

 

 

 

*Reykjavik 2022 is proposed as an in-person conference, though of course we shall be monitoring the Covid situation in the coming months. If you have any questions regarding conference participation, don’t hesitate to contact Kate, Tony and Jess.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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