What is Performance Philosophy? Staging a new field

What is Performance Philosophy?

Staging a new field


University of Surrey,

Guildford, UK

11-13th April 2013

Co-organized by Laura Cull (University of Surrey),

Eve Katsouraki (University of East London) and

Dan Watt (Loughborough University)



Confirmed keynote:                          Professor Martin Puchner (Harvard)

Author of The Drama of Ideas



What is Performance Philosophy? Staging a new field will be the inaugural conference of the new professional association, PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY. The aim of the conference is to explore the scope and diversity of research being undertaken by scholars and practitioners concerned with the relationship between performance and philosophy broadly construed.


The organizers welcome proposals from researchers working with any discipline or definition of performance, including but not limited to:


  • Art performance / Performance art / Live Art
  • Dance
  • Drama and dramatic literature
  • Film, video and new media
  • Music
  • Performativity and performance in/as everyday life
  • Theatre and applied theatre


Likewise, we invite proposals from researchers concerned with any aspect of or tradition within philosophy including but not limited to:


  • the Continental and/or Analytic traditions,
  • Eastern and/or Western modes of thought
  • Theology
  • Critical and/or Literary Theory
  • Cultural Studies
  • Phenomenology
  • Post/structuralism


What is Performance Philosophy? It could be:


  • the application of philosophy to the analysis of performance;
  • the philosophy of performance and/or the performance of philosophy;
  • the study of how philosophers and philosophical ideas have been staged in performance or how ideas and images of performance have figured in philosophy;
  • the theoretical or practical exploration of philosophy as performance and/or as performative; and likewise, experiments emerging from the idea that performance is a kind of philosophy or thinking or theorizing in itself.


But it could also be much more besides. The ambition of the new association, PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY and this inaugural conference is to support the interrogation of this ‘more’, to facilitate researchers to create and question the nature of this open field. In particular, the conference aims to address a series of key questions:


  • Is Performance Philosophy a ‘field’? If so, what are the parameters of the field – how might the field define itself?
  • What is the relationship between performance and philosophy? Is performance a kind of philosophy and philosophy a kind of performance?
  • How have performance and philosophy engaged with one another in the past and how are they engaging with one another now?



The conference organizers welcome proposals for:


  • 500-word proposals for individual conference papers (20 mins + 10 mins discussion)
  • 1500-word proposals for panels (eg. 3 x 20 mins presentations + 30 mins discussion)


Alternatively, individuals and groups can submit proposals for:


  • 1500-word proposals for 90 minute sessions in other formats, including but not limited to performances, participatory workshops, reading groups, roundtables, etc.


The conference organizers would particularly like to encourage applicants to explore interdisciplinary collaborations, combining where possible contributions from researchers based in different disciplines.


All presentations can include practical demonstration or performance, but please note that technical support will be limited. To discuss your requirements prior to submitting a proposal, please contact Laura Cull l.cull@surrey.ac.uk


The deadline for proposals is December 15th 2012

Decisions by January 15th 2013

Please submit your proposal to Laura Cull l.cull@surrey.ac.uk


NB: All contributing delegates will be required to finance their own travel, accommodation and registration fee (will be confirmed asap). PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY is not a profit making organization so registration fees will be kept as low as possible whilst still covering the costs of running the event and providing low cost postgraduate registration.


You do not have to be a member of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY to submit a proposal but it is free to do so and membership is open to all – simply visit our website http://performancephilosophy.ning.com/


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