Performing Arts in Contemporary Asia: Tradition and Travel

Call for Papers

Royal Holloway University of London, in partnership with CHIME

(European Foundation for Chinese Music Research) and the APAF (Asian

Performing Arts Forum) presents the 16th International CHIME

Conference on


Performing Arts in Contemporary Asia: Tradition and Travel

July 6 – 9, 2011


Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), Egham, Surrey (UK)

This conference aims to disseminate fresh research into the movement

of traditional performers, their mediums and artefacts around the

globe, with particular emphasis on contemporary Asia, and a sub-focus

on China. A region constituting the world’s most populous continent,

Asia has historically been connected in terms of empire, trade and

more recently, migrant workers. However, examinations of performances

and tradition have tended to focus on local emplacement rather than

physical and cultural mobility. In contrast, this conference targets

questions of travel and traffic in global and local dynamic relation.

Topics of study range from routes formed by itinerant performers to

the funding and facilitation of cross-border exchanges initiated by

contemporary companies and festivals. The conference will also

consider cultural flows emerging in the wake of new developments such

as communications empowerment, heritage management and

detraditionalised practices.


In particular, debate will be initiated on how traditional

performances in Asia are developed, inserted into, and travel within

global, postcolonial circuits that encompass issues of seasonality,

feedback, contemporaneity and pan-Asian identities. Informal networks

between individuals and grass-roots communities; formal political

relations between states and organisations, and accompanying economic

flows will be examined. These broader forces influence how performers

engage with cultural difference and changing notions of



Abstracts of around 300 words are now invited for twenty-minute

presentations on the conference theme. Proposers may also submit panel

sessions of a maximum of 120 minutes (including discussion). In this

case, an abstract of around 300 words should detail the focus of the

panel as a whole, with abstracts of 100-200 words for each

contribution. We will also support a number of poster sessions in the

course of the conference, enabling work in progress to be shared using

video/image as well as other media. A brief description of the

material and technical requirements should be submitted for this.


The deadline for submission of abstracts is March 20, 2011. An early

acceptance policy will be implemented for those in need of conference

confirmation for grant or visa applications. Papers and (especially)

panels addressing the theme of the conference (while referring to

sufficiently specific research) are explicitly encouraged. The

conference will deal with the following major sub-themes (in arbitrary



1.  Intercultural and pan-Asian identities

2.  Globalisation, diaspora and the West

3.  Curators and regional arts festivals

4.  Cross-border flows and transnational performance spaces

5.  Arts funding, political blocs, patterns of national and

international patronage

6.  Embodied heritage, modernity and invented tradition

7.  Virtual networks vs travelling performances

8.  Education and transmission in the modern world

9.  Post-traditionality

10. China and India as re-emerging cultural powerhouses


Abstracts should be sent electronically via the following site:


For more information, please contact Dr Shzr Ee Tan on