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Cultures of Performance in Modern Austria
Annual International Symposium of the Modern Austrian Literature and Culture Association

University of Washington, Seattle, WA, April 24-27, 2008

Call for Papers

The theme "Cultures of Performance in Modern Austria" reflects the shift
in paradigm in the humanities as well as the social sciences from
text-based models of culture to the notion of performance. Traditionally,
culture has been described in terms of its textual character and analyzed
for its inherent structures as well as for the meaning of its individual
elements. By focusing on the performative dimensions of culture, however,
it can also be articulated as a set of dynamic practices. In such a view,
all kinds of exchanges, negotiations, and transformations constitute
cultural events. Concepts such as play, masquerade, spectacle, etc.,
emphasize the interactive dimensions of cultural practices.  Performance
as an analytic concept should be particularly productive within the
Austrian context, given the significance of theatricality in the Austrian
cultural tradition. "Cultures of Performance" approaches this tradition in
the broadest possible way. Some of the issues that might be addressed in
individual papers or sessions are:

--performances in literature, film, art and music
--history of theater and performance
--theatricality of identity (gender, nation, region, ethnicity, sexuality)
--topographies of performances
--performing medias, medias in performance
--aspects of ritual and spectacle
--relationships between performance and texts
--performativity as a new perspective in cultural studies
--performance in comparative view (literary, musical, artistic)
--analysis of specific performances, performance artists, etc.
--intercultural performances

The keynote address will be held by Herbert Blau, Alice B. Lockwood
Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English and Drama at the
University of Washington, author of The Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of
Theater, 1976 - 2000 (Minnesota 2002), Sails of the Herring Fleet: Essays
on Beckett (Michigan 2000), Nothing in Itself: Complexion of Fashion
(Indiana 1999), To All Appearances: The Ideology of Performance (Routledge
1992), and many other books and essays on drama and performance theory,
postmodern literature, cultural theory, and the avantgarde.

Proposal deadline: October 15, 2007

Please send 250 word abstracts (email-attachments) and a one paragraph bio
to:  Heidi Tilghman
 referencing "MALCA 2008 proposal" in
your subject line. It is also possible to propose entire sessions (1 chair
+ 3 paper presentations of 20 minute each). Conference languages are
English and German.

The conference committee is planning to select outstanding papers as basis
for peer-reviewed essays that will appear in a special "Cultures of
Performance" issue of the quarterly Modern Austrian Literature.

Conference organizers: Brigitte Prutti, Heidi Tilghman, Sabine Wilke

The conference is sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, The
Austrian Cultural Forum, the Center for West European Studies, and the
Department of Germanics.

Hinweis für KonferenzteilnehmerInnen aus Europa:

TeilnehmerInnen an der MALCA Jahrestagung werden gebeten, Reise- und
Aufenthaltskosten bei ihren jeweiligen Heimatuniversitäten zu beantragen.  
Wir bitten um Verständnis, dass die Veranstalter gemäß den Gepflogenheiten
an nordamerikanischen Instituten für derartige Kosten nicht aufkommen
können. Es wird jedoch auf die Möglichkeit hingewiesen, Anträge auf
Reiseunterstützung beim Austrian Cultural Forum in New York oder bei der
ÖFG Wien einzureichen. Die Tagungsgebühr, die nordamerikanischen Usancen
entsprechend von allen TeilnehmerInnen zu entrichten ist, sieht als
Gegenleistung einige Essen, die Pausengetränke, das Rahmenprogramm u. ä.
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