CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Performance as Research Working Group, IFTR 2022

14 January, 2022

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Performance as Research Working Group, IFTR 2022

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Performance as Research Working Group, IFTR 2022

Performance as Research Working Group
International Federation for Theatre Research Annual Conference
‘Shifting Centres (In the Middle of Nowhere)’
Reykjavik, Iceland / 20-24 June 2022

Since its inception in 2004, the Performance-as-Research Working Group has positioned artistic practice as a powerful, alternative methodology for conducting research, continuously provoking epistemic shifts into ‘different modalities of knowing’. It is, therefore, difficult to imagine a conference theme better suited to PAR practices and practitioners than this year’s focus on ‘shifting centres.’ As the general conference Call for Papers states, “the ‘centre’ may be seen as a point of exchange, rather than as a point of origin, a site of interconnectedness or interweaving, where the margins meet and interact.” Aligned with this definition, PAR represents a dynamic intersection of disciplines, methodologies, contexts and communities.

The PAR Working Group welcomes those working in multiple and mixed artistic practices involving dance, theatre, performance art, live art and other socially engaged artistic practices, as well as other types of cultural performances and performative practices. We encourage returning members and potential new members to consider their own PAR practices in relation to the following questions that will guide us in our 'participatory laboratory' at the annual conference:

  • What are the multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary potentialities of PAR? What can PAR contribute to the decentralization of disciplinary knowledge beyond and within the academy?
  • What kind of alternative futures can be imagined concerning the various trajectories of PAR based on specific geographical and methodological legacies? How are these reflected in the pedagogy and/or institutionalization of PAR?
  • Does the PAR approach itself function as a decentralizing mode of innovation in relation to established norms for what constitutes research in the academy?
  • How can PAR methodology be used to address and/or intervene in our uncertain and constantly shifting environmental reality? Can PAR forge a pathway for a posthumanist view?
  • Can critical and political questions that need urgent deliberation in our time in relation to race, gender, sexuality, Indigeneity, and disability find different epistemic, embodied and relational shifts through PAR?
  • In what ways can PAR work with African, Indigenous, decolonial and Southern traditions and practices to create new pathways in academia?
  • How have PAR practitioners re-engaged during pandemic with questions of liveness, mediatization and emerging technologies? Has the pandemic reconfigured embodied ecologies of practice, labour and care?
  • Will the urgencies of care, addressing deep systemic and global inequalities and environment concerns, now result in axiological shifts in our knowledge paradigms outside of the usual deliberations around epistemics and ontology?



The PAR Working Group functions as a ’laboratory’ where members collaborate and interweave aspects of their individual practice/research. In 2022 this will occur in two distinct formats:  DOCUMENTED WORKSHOP or PERFORMANCE CONVERSATION. Therefore, there are two types of proposals, depending on the desired format, as indicated below. We ask that all submissions clearly indicate the preferred participation format (Documented Workshop or Performance Conversation) at the top of the proposal.

1) DOCUMENTED WORKSHOP: Participants have the option of taking part in the collaborative creation of a documented workshop process. Based upon the initial submission of individual workshop ideas (see below), groups will be formed to collaborate through a structured pre-conference process of materials-exchange, online discussion and workshop planning. This process will lead to an interactive PAR session, followed by a facilitated feedback and reflection session.

To apply to participate in a DOCUMENTED WORKSHOP process, please submit a proposal for a practical workshop plan (250 - 300 words) that explores one or more of the questions raised in this call. The proposal should include a clear description of the workshop process and objectives, as well as an explanation of how the exercise(s) reflect your current PAR priorities and preoccupations.

2) PERFORMANCE CONVERSATION: Participants have the option of taking part in the facilitation of performative “conversation” (broadly interpreted). Based upon the initial submission of paper proposals (see below), groups will be formed to participate in an online pre-conference dialogue and sharing of research, leading to an interactive group presentation and a facilitated feedback and reflection session.

To apply to participate in a PERFORMANCE CONVERSATION, submit an abstract for a document/paper related to your PAR practice (for instance, a detailed project proposal, description and/or analysis, PAR methodology statement, etc.). Abstracts should be 250-300 words and engage with one or more of the questions raised in this call.


The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 January 2022. All applicants should follow the instructions regarding abstract submission found on the conference website:

Once you have submitted your abstract via the Cambridge University Press website, please send a copy your proposal to Please include a 100 word bio and full contact information in this email. All questions about the working group, the CFP, or the conference can be sent to the same address.


PAR Working Group Co-Conveners:

Bruce Barton, Manola Gayatri Kumarswamy & Johnmichael Rossi (Outgoing)
Göze Saner, Kabi Thulo, Mark Tatlow & Laurelann Porter (Incoming)

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