CATR Conference 2022
Performing Emergence: RePlay, ReCollect, ReExist
"Dragon Big Bang" [detail] photograph by Candace Dueck, University of Lethbridge
St. Thomas University
Online May 27-28
University of Toronto, Scarborough
Online June 6-7
University of Lethbridge
In-Person/Online June 12-14
Performing Emergence: RePlay, ReCollect, ReExist sends the clarion call to scholars and artists to share their emerging research related to all aspects of theatre and performance studies, practice, and mentorship. We are open to all theatre and performance subjects of interest. But we are particularly intrigued by “Emergence.” Post-nationalist, afro-futurist writer adrienne maree brown draws from an eco-biology perspective, saying, “In the framework of emergence, the whole is a mirror of the parts. Existence is fractal—the health of the cell is the health of the species and the planet” (brown 2017). Far from pure novelty, Robert Daniel Austin and Lee Devin observe that for artists, “Inclusion of past actions into materials of creation is the force that drives emergence” (Artful Making 2003), while Josette Féral observes that, “Ces technologies sont souvent liées à l’émergence de nouvelles formes scéniques” (Pratiques performatives 2012). How does “Emergence” relate to how theatre and performance practices reflect on, interrogate, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its interwoven emergencies, including health care crises, climate change, classism, and economic disparity? Moreover, we ask how do Indigenous and racialized experiences, sexual orientation, and gender identity continue to be impacted by these emergencies?
Emergence, in part, speaks to Adolfo Albán Achinte’s concept of “re-existence,” in which groups question and make visible “practices of racialization, exclusion and marginalization, procuring the redefining and resignifying of life in conditions of dignity and self-determination, while at the same time confronting the bio-politic that controls, dominates, and commodifies subjects and nature” (translated in Catherine E. Walsh’s “The Decolonial For”). We might ask, through what means can performance forge a path of re-existence? Consider: RePlay (historical re-enactment, dramatic repetition, original practices, second runs, theoretical retakes, emerging into performance), ReCollect (gathering energy, synergy of activism, taking pause, personal and cultural memory, critics and critical traces, amateur and nonprofessionalizing discourses, archival emergences), and ReExist (Indigenous sovereignty and ways of knowing, social justice, inequality, renewals of scholarly disciplines and performing arts industries, interventions into pedagogy, leadership, and mentorship, conversations about careers outside theatre and performance studies and practice, dramatic and dramaturgical emergencies).