Call for Proposals

Rationale and Structure

In this stream, we consider how experiencing and expressing care impinges on bodies and things. Further, how does performance intervene in the crises of care wrought by the geopolitical, environmental, and economic challenges facing our world? By foregrounding the feminist legacy behind the study and mobilization of care—as epistemological attitude, unremunerated labor, and ethics—we propose to investigate the intersections of performance practice and theory with social and structural bonds of dependency and neglect, the im/material labors of sustenance and wellness, the precarity and resilience of bodies and ecosystems, and the productive and disruptive relations of humans with their environments. We attend not only to the material culture of theatre and performance but also to multiple materialisms (Marxian-historical, feminist, cultural, new), as well as the immaterial economies and choreographies of labor, performance, and institutions. Although corporeality is a subset of materiality, it brings the notions of dynamism, assemblage, and transformation across temporalities into the conversation. Within the scope of this shared ontology and urgency between things and bodies, we hope to traverse aesthetics, politics, dramaturgies, production processes, sociality, and scenographic and somatic methodologies of performance. Thus, participants might investigate the ways the performance of care interacts with the dominant body politics, addresses current or historical ecological crises, fosters or reconfigures intersubjectivity and transindividuality, infuses rehearsal processes and the somatic dynamics between performers and audiences, shapes the affective and immaterial labor of performance, and transforms or reifies the relational dynamics of subject and object. Throughout these inquiries—and the conference as a whole—we will also attend to the ways artistic and academic institutions care (or fail to care) and how we might enact radical practices of care in collaboration and education.

The Materiality & Corporeality stream seeks to generate an awareness of how our own practices as scholars and artist-researchers are materialized in the world and embodied in our processes. In the morning sessions, which will take place in classrooms at Rijeka University, we will have panels for papers and performative presentations. In the late afternoon, we will open the RiHub space for a circle of exchange and reflection between the stream participants. In the subsequent session, we will host a critical conversation on the dematerialization of institutions in the arts, academia, and activism with invited panelists and stream participants. The conversation will feature breakout sessions with the audience to exchange methods. The evening program will feature a performance.

Call for Proposals

We propose several lines of inquiry on performance and care as a creative and social articulation of embodied and material responsibility/responsiveness:

  • What role have theatre and performance practice and theory had, recently and historically, in the awareness of precarity around bodies and ecologies? How can performance express and enact care towards the capitalist, patriarchal, and colonial crises of migration, extraction, and extinction?
  • If caring is defined by a turn to one another, being concerned with and taking responsibility of common well-being, what kind of performances, artistic and otherwise, would cultivate this inter-subjectivity? How does such a notion of intersubjectivity expand beyond humans? What kind of shifts would these call for in the way we perform with body and matter?
  • What does it mean to make and read performance with care for materiality (including but also beyond scenography, design, puppetry)? Similarly, how do performance makers and researchers attend to bodies (including but also beyond somatic practices, choreography, dance)? How can this knowledge be transferable for a new politics of care?
  • What does it mean to “take care” of performers and collaborators? How (not) to express and enact care across corporeal differences of ability in the studio and in performance? What is the relationship between care and safety, vulnerability, intimacy in the creative process?
  • What does it mean to “take care” of the audiences? Is this antithetical to the unpredictability and the ephemerality of performance? In what ways has a disregard for care or an embrace of danger and unpredictability shaped the aesthetics, assumptions, and values of contemporary performance and performance criticism?
  • In what ways can the modes of spectatorship and attendance in performance, theatrical or political, express care, or the absence of it? What kind of dramaturgical potential lies in rendering the audience as caretaker, and what are the real stakes of it?
  • How might we rethink and untangle the equivalences between care, affective labor, feminized labor, immaterial labor, and performance as definitive of neoliberal economies? What kind of dramaturgies and choreographies enables us to think of care as im/material and corporeal labor?

How do artistic and academic institutions care? What are the physical and economic conditions of performance-making and its pedagogy? How does the austerity, racism, and patriarchy in arts and education create abusive environments in our field? How might we redefine new standards and establish codes of conduct for collaboration and education?

Presentation Guidelines

We invite contributions in the formats of 20-minute papers and 20-minute presentations of artistic research. We also welcome 90-minute panel proposals (papers, presentations, or a combination of both formats).

How to Apply

To submit a proposal for the stream Materiality and Corporealityplease fill out the online application form, which can be found here.

The deadline to submit a proposal is December 31, 2019. All other conference dates and deadlines can be found on the conference timeline.

Please direct any questions regarding your application to