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Bodies in Question, Australian Drama Studies Association
Hamilton, New Zealand, June-July 1998


BODIES IN QUESTION The theme of the conference, "Bodies in Question," reflects the growing concern in theatre scholarship and practice with interrogating the many ways in which "bodies" are conceived and positioned in our work. On a fundamental level, the performer's body in space, communing in a direct and live manner with the audience, is what characterises theatre and distinguishes it from other art forms. Thus to the performer and the audience member, the body is at the very heart of performance. To those concerned with culturally-determined bodies of knowledge, the body may suggest bodies of work, a single canon, multiple canons, or indeed no canon at all. To practitioners and critics living and working in environments where many cultures co-exist and interrelate, the term "bodies" may suggest the many different bodies inscribed by race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. These and other constructions of "bodies" will provide a backdrop for many of our encounters with theatre and performance at this conference. GUEST SPEAKERS Keynote speakers include Rustom Bharucha, the worlds leading critic of interculturalism as it is often practiced in the West, and renowned Shakespearian scholar Andrew Gurr from the UK. In addition, the conference will also feature two prominent New Zealand theatre practitioners: Hone Kouka, the country's leading Maori playwright; and Sally Rodwell of Red Mole, New Zealand's oldest alternative theatre company. FESTIVAL OF NEW ZEALAND THEATRE The ADSA conference overlaps with the Festival of New Zealand Theatre, an independent but related event, which is scheduled from 19 June to 5 July, 1998. This festival brings together performance groups from around the country to present a range of theatre which reflects the many cultures which comprise contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand. BI-CULTURAL IDENTITY OF THE WAIKATO The Waikato region, in the heart of New Zealand's green North Island, is an important centre for Maori culture in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The Tainui tribe owns the land on which the University of Waikato is situated and the university is the home of a burgeoning School of Maori and Pacific Development which is rapidly becoming recognised as a global centre for indigenous and development studies. This conference will reflect the bi-cultural nature of performance in this part of New Zealand and will be preceded by a formal Maori powhiri (or opening ceremony) on the campus marae (the land on which a traditional meeting house is situated). TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS Most conferees will probably elect to stay in the officially designated conference motel. Graduate students and student actors may wish to be billeted with drama students or stay in a hostel or on a marae. Shuttles will be offered at pre-arranged (and pre-booked) times to pick up conferees from the Auckland airport and bring them to their accommodation in Hamilton (about a 90 minute trip). Conferees travelling from Sydney or Brisbane may find it more convenient to travel directly to Hamilton on Freedom Air. Booking information will be passed on in March to those responding to this call for papers. CONTACT DETAILS Deadline for Offers: 27th February 1998. Papers should generally be either 20 or 30 minutes long, workshops two hours. Please forward a title and 200 word abstract by 27th February 1998, indicating preferred length to: Dr. William Peterson Conference Convenor Drama Department University of Waikato Private Bag 3105 Hamilton NEW ZEALAND Fax: 0064 7 838 4922 Email: