ERWG 2019 cfp

02 January, 2019 by Ben Spatz | 0 comments

ERWG 2019 cfp

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


8-12 July 2019
Shanghai, China

International Federation for Theatre Research
Conference theme: Theatre, Performance and Urbanism

Deadline for submission: 7 January 2019
Deadline for bursary applications: 1 December 2018

From the perspective of embodiment, the contemporary city is at once the most luxurious and the most violent of places. Urban environments are ostensibly constructed around the human body as that which gives them meaning. In the city, highly attenuated flows of organic matter — food and waste — are channeled so as to serve human bodies as precisely as possible, while buildings and vehicles offer historically unimaginable conveniences. Here even the poorest may have access to opportunities for nourishment and sanitation that in previous generations would have been available only to kings. But the city can also be a place of living death, where food deserts spread, the privileged dwell in illusory spectacle, and the poor are brutally oppressed.

In The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (2018), Jaime Amparo Alves asks: “What are the spatio-social practices that enable the (re)production of the city’s racial order?” But also: “What kind of political action is required for turning the city of death into a blackpolis, a place for a radical repositioning of black life vis-à-vis violence and victimization?” To this we add: What contributions can embodied practice and research make towards urban justice and sustainability? What can embodied research — from tactical walking to the vulnerability of embodied protest to the rise of urban mindfulness practices — tell us about the city today? How can we as embodied researchers engage with the politics of space/place making within a contemporary city such as Shanghai? As practitioner-researchers and scholar-artists, what is our role in the future of the time/place – city and contemporality?

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 collaborative relationships between academic and nonprofit/charity institutions. This year we invite proposals that engage with urbanism and the city from diverse embodied perspectives. Noting that “global cities” are sometimes figured as universal non-places, we particularly invite proposals for activities and experiments that engage with the specificities of place in Shanghai.

PLEASE NOTE: The format of ERWG conference sessions is a site of ongoing experimentation. We are in the process of testing new methods for embodied knowledge exchange including digital correspondence, collaboratively planned workshops, and structured improvisational encounters. The participants selected for the 2019 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 standard opportunity to read a paper or give a prepared talk during the sessions. Please take this into account when submitting a 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, especially from the conference region. Please contact the conveners with any questions.


Ben Spatz
University of Huddersfield, UK

Elizabeth de Roza
Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore 

Useful links:

IFTR website

ERWG homepage 

IFTR registration at Cambridge Journals Online 

IFTR conference bursary application 


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