21 December, 2022 by Holly Maples

CFP: Performance in Public Spaces Working Group, IFTR 2023

Creating and Contesting Myth in Public Space

The Performance in Public Spaces Working Group invites proposals from researchers and practitioners for our meeting during the 2023 IFTR Conference.

Deadline for proposals: 31st January 2023

For our meeting during the 2022 IFTR World Congress, the Performance in Public Spaces Working Group will explore the topic of ‘Creating and Contesting Myth in Public Space’ by the main conference topic of ‘The Stories We Tell: Myths, Mythmaking and Performance’.

Myths are present across every aspect of global culture, pointing towards humanity’s desire to make sense of and interpret the world around us. In theatre and performance practice, myth is evoked through storytelling, staging, performance tradition, space, and ritual. Although myth and mythmaking manifests in many different ways, whatever way we define and engage with myth, we cannot escape the reality of its continually shifting paramaters and contexts.

In her book Women and Embodied Mythmaking in Irish Theatre, Shonagh Hill observes that  “myth attempts to suppress cultural context but it is also reinvigorated by, and reinterpreted in, the present. Thus, self-conscious awareness of myth’s incompleteness, of it as an ongoing process, offers the possibility for critical intervention” (21). The Performance in Public Space Working Group is interested in myth’s incompleteness and calls for papers, workshops, and performances that consider (but are not limited to):

  •        Making and contesting myth in public space
  •        Nation making and myth making in performance
  •        Performative explorations of old cultural values/new mythologies
  •        Staging contemporary myths, contemporary stories
  •        Public space as the site of mythmaking
  •        Creation myths in contemporary theatre and performance
  •        Re-presentations of mythical figures across space and time
  •        Technology and myth in 21st century performance
  •        Myths of the COVID 19 pandemic and performance
  •        Myths and changing spaces of performance in a global pandemic
  •        New/social media and the democratisation of myth making and performance
  •        Politics, myths and performance
  •        Decolonising sites, histories, and cultures through myth making performance practices
  •        Deconstructing/constructing myth in contemporary discourse/performance

We invite proposals for presentations that may take one of the following forms: academic papers(15 minutes),screenings,short workshop demonstrations or performative engagements with the theme. Please be mindful that resources and time for workshops or performative engagements will be restricted. When submitting your proposal please make it clear what form your presentation will take.

About the IFTR Performance and Public Spaces Working Group

The Working Group seeks to address the inherent interdisciplinarity of public, site-situated performance practices. We are interested in the intersections between performance acts, performing bodies, public and semi-public environments, mediated environments, cultural politics, cultural landscapes, and cultural histories. The group explores a broad range of methodological and theoretical perspectives on performances in a variety of public fora, rather than in traditional theatre and performance venues. Our areas of research encompass both digital and physical public spaces, and range from site-based artistic practices to cultural performance phenomena.

We are a welcoming group of established and early career researchers with a broad international base, including members from Australia, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, U.K., and U.S.A. Our members approach performance research through both practice and scholarship. Our sessions centre on traditional research paper presentations but may also include performance presentations or workshops. Forfurther information about the Performance in Public Spaces Working Group please visit: https://iftr.org/working-groups/performance-in-public-spaces

Abstract Submission

Please submit abstracts through the Cambridge Core website. In order to make a submission you will need to become a member of IFTR first: https://www.cambridge.org/core/membership/iftr. When you submit your abstract please make sure that you indicate that you are submitting to the ‘Performance in Public Space Working Group’. Please also send a copy of your abstract to the Working Group conveners via email.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 January 2023.

Our Process

We present traditional 15-20 minute papers at our working group sessions or performative presentation to foster debate and discussion. We encourage work presented in process, research in early stages, grant proposals, half-baked ideas, and artistic and research sharings of all kinds in order to foster collegial discussions and feedback on researchers work. We strongly encourage members to attend every session of the Working Group during the conference so as to contribute to discussion throughout. Our sessions also include, wherever possible, a walking tour with a local artist on performance of public spaces in the conference location.

During the IFTR Conference we warmly welcome individuals who wish to take part in the group's discussions, but who do not want to submit a paper.

Working Group Conveners

Dr. Holly Maples:hm19531@essex.ac.uk

Dr Ciara L. Murphy: ciara.murphy@dkit.ie

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