I am pleased to announce that we have extended the deadline for submissions
for "Performing Under Pressure": Life, Labor, and Art in the Academy.
Abstracts are now due *January 20, 2012. *We would love to have a prominent
disability studies presence, so by all means, apply and circulate widely!
*DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 20, 2012*
“Performing Under Pressure”: Life, Labor, and Art in the Academy
13-14 APRIL 2012, DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE ARTS AND
PERFORMANCE STUDIES, BROWN UNIVERSITY, PROVIDENCE, RI
We work here. But where is “here,” and how do we define the “work” that we
do? Beginning with these questions about the corporate university,
“Performing Under Pressure” intends to make visible the invisible work of
students and scholars (when most academics don’t call themselves workers).
We enjoin academics and artists in the humanities, social sciences, life
sciences, and physical sciences to think about their field and the work
they do, by: paying attention to what pressures are in play across class,
racial, gender, and sexual lines and how such performances play out in the
institutional framework in which we do our work; critically reflecting on
how images of ourselves as students, academics, and teachers are
constructed; and considering how these identities remain distinct from, and
are also sustained by, the institution that gives rise to them.
Let’s attempt something like a Brechtian exposure of the university’s
workings; in creatively thinking about the things we do, and how they are
done. We’ll explore the economic basis for the university, and how it is
covered over by long-held assumptions about what goes on at an educational
institution; it is not for nothing that Brown University’s governing body
is “The Corporation.” The university reflects the stratifications of
labor--these people pay (students in unfunded MFA and MA programs, who will
leave the academy to join the “real” economy) and these other people get
paid (funded PhD students and professors who remain in the “unreal”
university economy)—even while it retains the veneer of pursuing knowledge
for knowledge’s sake. Or, more troubling: becomes an incubator for “real
world” skills for graduates who will become actors in the finance world.
(The Brown website advertises: “A Brown education is a catalyst for
creativity and entrepreneurship.”)
Possible topics include:
The labor—affective, immaterial, and other—of the scholar in the neoliberal
Artists, performers, and culture workers in the university
How “life” is constructed by and within the academy, with reference to
race, gender, dis/ability, etc.
University-based arts funding practices, forms of curation, and valuation
Government and non-government sources of research funding
Collaborations with business and connections to the knowledge economy
The global university as it participates in forms of off-shoring
Campus sites that reflect on real world institutions: galleries,
laboratories, markets, newspapers, and political forums
This two-day conference will feature keynote speakers including Nicholas
Ridout* *(Queen Mary, University of London) and Patricia Ybarra (Brown
University), plenary paper sessions, forums with invited speakers in a
“long table” format, and performance events.
Submissions welcome from all humanities and social and hard science
disciplines and approaches. We are asking for you to present your work to
the conference if you can also bring a discussion of the labor that went
into it, and of the negotiations behind it. We are looking not for studies
of the university per se, but papers and proposals that reflect on our own
practice. Please select one of the following options and email your
response along with a short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Papers: Please submit a 300-word abstract for a 20-minute paper relating
to one or more conference themes.
2. Long Table: Please submit a short (200 words or less) description of
your research topic(s) and a list of key terms relevant to your work.
THE DEADLINE FOR ALL ABSTRACTS AND INQUIRIES IS JANUARY 20, 2012.
Please save the dates, plan to join us, and share this announcement with
your colleagues and contacts.
For more information, or to watch the conference take shape in a shared
planning space, direct your web browser to: *
Department of Theatre and Performance Studies
cell: (850) 217-6617