Stories, Journeys, Dance

Poster - Torsha - Revised


Position: The Power and Politics of Witnessing; Deadline extended–Proposals due January 17th, 2014

6th Annual Graduate Theatre Syndicate Symposium
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
February 28th – March 1st, 2014

The Graduate Theatre Syndicate at The Ohio State University proudly presents Position: The Power and Politics of Witnessing in conjunction with the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute and The Ohio State University Department of Theatre’s production of The House of the Spirits by Caridad Svich. We are currently inviting proposals for the 2014 Graduate Theatre Symposium on February 28th and March 1st in Columbus, Ohio. Caridad Svich will deliver the keynote address. Proposals for traditional conference papers, workshops, performances and more interactive or experimental formats are welcome and encouraged.

Our position in the world impacts not only our experience of the world, but our expression within it. We seek to interrogate the ways in which position, in its many meanings, has impact upon this experience, particularly through memory and witnessing. How does one’s positionality (the position from which one experiences the world – ie. gender, ethnicity, culture, orientation, faith system, socioeconomic background, etc.) affect the narrative of memory? As artists, how might we negotiate our position both in the creation of work as well as in the process of collaboration? How might the notion of position evoke pedagogical considerations?

We invite proposals which focus on the concept of position, memory, and witnessing in ways that might include, but are not limited to:

Position as…

Perspective – a point of view, an argument, a fortification, contextualization, positionality, gender/sex/sexuality, memory.

Society – power/rank/status/authority, privilege, relation to Other, what is appropriate or customary, arrangement.

Embodiment – physical form, body in space, stance, posture, posing, property of the body, athlete, dance, condition, place, locality, geography, environment, memorial.

Occupation – participant, observer/witness, employment, engagement.

Words for consideration: (im)position, (de)position, (pro)position, (juxta)position, (ap)position, (inter)position, (re)position, (super)position, (pre)position, (trans)position.

Proposals are due by January 17th, 2014. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250-words, along with your name, contact information, affiliation, type of proposal (paper, workshop, performance, other) and any A/V requests. Submit proposals and any questions to Elizabeth Wellman at

Katey Borland publication announcement

Prof. Katey Borland has a chapter in the forthcoming book Salsa World: A Global Dance in Local Contexts. Click here for the flyer.

Salsa World A Global Dance in Local Contexts

Since its emergence in the 1960s, salsa has transformed from a symbol of Nuyorican pride into an emblem of pan-Latinism and finally a form of global popular culture. While Latinos all over the world have developed and even exported their own “dance accents,” local dance scenes have arisen in increasingly far-flung locations, each with its own flavor and unique features.

Salsa World examines the ways in which bodies relate to culture in specific places. The contributors, a notable group of scholars and practitioners, analyze dance practices in the U.S., Japan, Spain, France, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Writing from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, and performance studies, the contributors explore salsa’s kinetopias—places defined by movement, or vice versa—as they have arisen through the dance’s interaction with local histories, identities, and musical forms.

Taken together, the essays in this book examine contemporary salsa dancing in all its complexity, taking special note of how it is localized and how issues of geography, race and ethnicity, and identity interact with the global salsa industry.

Contributors include Bárbara Balbuena Gutiérrez, Katherine Borland, Joanna Bosse, Rossy Díaz, Saúl Escalona, Kengo Iwanaga, Isabel Llano, Jonathan S. Marion, Priscilla Renta, Alejandro Ulloa Sanmiguel, and the editor.

SYDNEY HUTCHINSON is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Art and Music Histories at Syracuse University.

New courses announced for Spring 2014

See the course list on this site for information about Imaging Performance (Art 5135), Postcoloniality, Neocolonialism, and the Global Stage (Theatre 5771.06), and Dance and Physical Theatre, 1900-present
(Theatre 7899.05).

CFP Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies (April 11-13, 2014)

Call for Papers

Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies
April 11 – 13, 2014
Performance Studies, NYU
Keynote Address by Professor Fred Moten and Sianne Ngai

Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor,
and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.
—Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1

To live and to labor are the twinned imperatives to which we are always already given. Together, they animate a rhythm of material production and reproduction across time. Marxism and performance studies both offer ways of thinking through the imbrication of life and labor. On one hand, Marxist theory historically attends to the capture and distribution of life: to the maintenance and reproduction of labor power, as well as to the processes of commodification and consumption that produce value for capital. On the other hand, performance studies is a field in which questions of life and labor are central, surfacing in discourses of force, liveness, endurance, iterability, and the everyday: it is concerned with not only what things mean, but what they do. By bringing Marxist and performance theory together, this conference asks how thinking about life and labor between these two bodies of literature can help us attend to the world at hand.

How does performance analysis bring together the living body and the working body? How do Marxist and Marxist-inspired philosophies articulate and reimagine labor, value, and revolutionary struggle, particularly in relation to the social, aesthetic and political dimensions of performance and performativity? Marxism, in its many iterations, offers a methodology of thinking about materiality, temporality, and movement that revivifies an enduring question in performance studies: What can a body do? This question not only makes explicit the convergence between Marxist and performance theory, but also makes central critical traditions of black, feminist, and queer Marxism in which relationships between life, labor, and capitalism have never been incidental. The material experience and historical condition of race, gender, and sexuality is, in this sense, the premise that animates our Marxist considerations of what it means to live, labor, and perform.

To live labor is to negotiate the extended processes of reproducing ourselves and others. To live labor is to engage the material conditions that traverse personhood and thinghood. To live labor is to attend to the forces, resonances, and energies that intertwine in the affects and objects of everyday life. For this reason, Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies invites submissions that explore the intersections of performance studies and Marxist philosophies. Papers may intervene at points of seeming incompatibility, address convergences, or look forward to emerging discourses relating to this nexus.

Topics may engage, though are not limited to:

•Queer failure and futurity: nonproductivity and reproductivity, utopianism and time

•Feminism and reproductive labor: “undifferentiated” matter and sexual difference

•Consent and contracts: the marriage contract, the labor contract, and the non-consensual and non-contractual relations of trans-Atlantic slavery

•Capitalism, racialization, and racism

•Work and non-work: time-wasting, narcissism, and boredom as collective practices

•Materialism and immaterialism: from surface readings to speculative realism

•Contagion and speculation: the transmissibility of debt, theories of abjection, excess as a surplus value

•Value and magic: commodity fetishism as it troubles personhood and thinghood, vibrant matter, animacies, and enchantment

•Bodily capacity to embodied materiality: disability, labor, and dance

•Matter and movement: vibrational ontology, repetition and difference, temporalities of revolution

•Subjecthood and the question of sovereignty: biopolitics, necropolitics, and bare life

•Repetition and reproduction: speech acts, performativity and periperformativity, iterability and resignification

•Living in common, working apart: the commons, communism, collectivity

•Autonomy and mass-production: the art object and the factory line

•Doing abstraction: financialization and performative force

•The arts and the university as a market: institutional critiques and critical perspectives on the performative turn within the arts and humanities

Please submit a 300-word abstract and one page CV to by December 1st 2013.

PSi#20: Avant-Garde, Tradition, Community

July 4-8, 2014, at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in Shanghai

This first PSi conference in China, and the second one in Asia, explores avant-garde, tradition and community as parallel, intercultural and co-located terms that have crossed borders wherein relationships between arts and cultures are renegotiated and transformed. Avant-garde, tradition and community are positioned as umbrella terms with a broad relevance in global performance studies, while also having unique and enduring connections to Asian performance and modernity. We invite consideration of these themes in comparative and intercultural studies, studies across western and non-western sites and in relation to globalization, modernity, and contemporaneity.

PSi#20 welcomes papers, panels, workshops, and performances exploring many issues related to the three key words in various cultural and intercultural contexts..

Topics may include:

•How are notions of the avant-garde, tradition and community linked within a larger global understanding of performance and performance studies?

•How do these themes relate to perceptions and practices of performance in different places and cultures?

•How are notions of the avant-garde and tradition understood, theorised, practiced and debated where you are?

•How do Asian and other non-western praxis relate to discourses and experiences of performance in the broadly defined sphere of Western avant-garde praxis?

•How is the avant-garde associated with traditional performance? Opposed, derivative, parallel, with blurred edges?

•How are the terms avant-garde, tradition and community defined in the 21 century? In local, regional and global contexts?

•How do notions and/or expressions of cultural difference influence our perceptions and experience of these terms? What are the border crossings and blockades to an intercultural understanding of these terms, in the wake of globalization?

•How meaningful are the terms in the context of cultural, geographical, and historical boundaries? Do we need new terms and formations?

•Does performance studies in your institution involve artists off campus? Does it involve non-academic, non-artistic communities?

•How do performing/performance artists view non-artistic communities – consumers, beneficiaries, participants, or/and collaborators?

•What are the relations between aesthetic performance studies and social performance studies?

More information

For a more extensive description and the full Call for Proposals, please check:

Deadline for proposals: 20 NOVEMBER 2013, midnight (Beijing Time).

Please send your inquiries to:

We look forward to seeing you in Shanghai.

Hemi Encuentro 2014–Manifest!: Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas–Application deadline extended to Oct. 9, 2013

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and Concordia University invite scholars, activists, and artists of all disciplines to examine the practical, ethical, aesthetic, and theatrical, and performative dimensions of manifests and manifestations throughout the Americas at the ninth Encuentro, to be held in Montréal, Québec, June 21-28, 2014.

Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas

How are performances mobilized and syncretized in civic, community, and cultural contexts to create manifold forms of political expression? How do public, theatrical events produce ‘evidence’ that manifests ideas otherwise invisible, hidden, or unspeakable? What new manifestations, manifestos, festivals, and manifs emerge via our changing visions of political spaces, intellectual arenas, and the everyday street? The 2014 Encuentro invites artists, activists, and scholars to engage with and investigate the aesthetic, social, and choreographic techniques that transform political ideas into collective images, through actions, embodied utterances, and ways of being.

Such questions resonate in the host city of Montréal, where la manifestation has a rich and ongoing history. We invite your manifestations, provocations, and proposals for work group participation, roundtables, exhibits, urban interventions, workshops, and performances.
Among others, the term MANIFEST! contains the following potential valences:

The published list of a ship’s, train’s, or airplane’s cargo or its passengers, as in the inventory of a slave ship; synonym for the verbs to show, to appear, or to publish, manifestar; as a noun, synonym for evidence, appearance; as an adjective, clearly revealed to the eye, mind, or judgment; open to view or comprehension.

A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer; a political, religious, or artistic statement proclaiming a cause, position or stake in a conflict; a genre of public speech—manifeste in French, manifiesto, in Spanish—associated with radical social movements and aesthetic vanguards.

Short for manifestation, the French language word for street demonstration.

Short for festival, and with strong referential affinities to fiesta or festa, denoting celebration and ritual performance in Spanish and Portuguese.

A racialized ideological trope coined and disseminated in the mid-nineteenth century to encourage and justify the white settlement of the entire North American continent, and the subjugation or extermination of the native peoples therein through colonization, relocation and genocide.

The incorporation of a spirit, such as an orisha or the Holy Spirit, in the body of a medium.

Prefix referencing the Latin root word for “hand,” as in manual, manicure, manipulation.

Encuentro participation is by application only.

To apply, see the Application Guidelines and Work Group descriptions on our website and then fill out the Online Application Form.

The application deadline for the Encuentro is September 25, 2013.

Once accepted, participants will be required to pay a registration fee, which covers tickets for all performances, exhibits, workshops, lectures, discussions, Trasnocheo, and receptions. For participants residing in the US, Canada or Europe, the registration fee is $350 USD and the discounted fee for enrolled students is $300. For participants residing in Latin America, the registration fee is USD$150 and the discounted fee for enrolled students is USD$100. Payment deadline will be in March 2014.

Fees are waived for artists whose performance, exhibit or installation is accepted and programmed into the Encuentro schedule.

To find out more about the Hemispheric Institute, visit

“Watching is anything but….” spectacle and agency in Jérôme Bel’s “Disabled Theater”

Dr. Ann Cooper Albright
Thursday, October 3
Ohio Union Great Hall Meeting Room 2
Reception at 4pm, Presentation at 5

flyerA dancer and scholar, Ann Cooper Albright is Professor of Dance, and Chair of the Department of Dance at Oberlin College. Combining her interests in dancing and cultural theory, she is involved in teaching a variety of dance, performance studies and gender studies courses that seek to engage students in both practices and theories of the body. She is founder and director of Girls in Motion an award winning afterschool program at Langston Middle School and co-director of Accelerated Motion: Towards a New Dance Literacy, a National Endowment for the Arts-funded digital collection of materials about dance. She is the author of Engaging Bodies: the Politics and Poetics of Corporeality (2013); Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing (2010); Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loie Fuller (2007); Choreographing Difference: the Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance (1997) and co-editor of Moving History/Dancing Cultures (2001) and Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind (2003). The book, Encounters with Contact Improvisation (2010), is the product of one of her adventures in writing and dancing and dancing and writing with others. Currently, Ann is working on an interdisciplinary book entitled Gravity Matters: Finding Ground in an Unstable World.

Sponsored by Abilities, Disability Studies, and the Human Rights Working Group at the Humanities Institute

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION Dancing the African Diaspora — Theories of Black Performance

Dancing the African Diaspora — Theories of Black Performance
February 7-9, 2014 Duke University, Durham, NC

What sorts of embodied practices constitute African diaspora dance?
In what ways has black dance been recognized and acknowledged?
What sorts of historical events have placed dance into enactments of black struggles for civil rights and recognition of citizenship?
How does dance, as a field of study, define African diasporic movement?

This two-day conference seeks to explore African diaspora dance as a resource and method of aesthetic identity. The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance aims to facilitate an interdisciplinary discussion that captures the variety of topics, approaches, and methods that might constitute Black Dance Studies.

“Dancing the African Diaspora” suggests multiple needs and interests. We are interested in papers/presentations that consider dance practices throughout the African diaspora, and the specific contexts that engender them. We are also interested in dance as an approach to the African diaspora itself. This convening situates black dance as constituted by theories of black performance. We invite you to explore black movement as a technology of African diasporic identity-making.

Presentations are invited along any theoretical line of inquiry concerned with African diaspora dance. We welcome papers that engage any site or topic related to black movement and those that represent a rigorous engagement with a number of disciplinary and methodological perspectives.

Possible Topics include
” Definitions of African diaspora dance
” Black dance, virtuality, and technologies of mediation
” Aesthetics
” Dancers, dances
” Pedagogical politics
” Identity and community making
” Gender and sexuality
” Colonialism, neoliberalism, commodification

Deadline for Proposals October 1, 2013
Confirmations sent October 15, 2013
all questions
to submit a proposal:

The conference committee intends to produce a volume of materials presented at the conference in an edited anthology.

Conference Committee|Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) Founding Members
Takiyah Amin, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Shireen Dickson, Jasmine Johnson, Raquel Monroe, C. Kemel Nance, Carl Paris, John Perpener, Will Rawls, Makeda Thomas, Andrea E. Woods Valdés, Ava LaVonne Vinesett.

Sponsors for this event include:
SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology in residence at Duke; Humanities Writ Large @ Duke; the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance @ Duke; the Corporeality Working Group @ Duke; the Duke Dance Program; African and African American Studies at Duke.

Autumn courses announced!

Courses intersecting with the overall aims and objective of Performance/Politics for Autumn 2013 can now be found under the “courses” tab. Find offerings from Dorothy Noyes (The Ethnography of Performance), Katie Graber (Music at the Limits of Citizenship), Harmony Bench (Global Dance Studies), and Jennifer Schlueter (Mass Entertainment, Modernism, and the Rise of Realism).

Are you teaching a course this Autumn that we should include on our site? Email Harmony (bench.9).