RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. Call for proposals Themed Issue: On Access in Applied Theatre and Drama Education (23,3. August 2018)

RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance

Call for proposals

Themed Issue: On Access in Applied Theatre and Drama Education (23,3. August 2018)

Guest Editors: Colette Conroy, University of Hull, UK, Adelina Ong, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, UK and Dirk Rodricks, OISE/University of Toronto, Canada.

This themed issue is an invitation to examine and interrogate access, an ordinary concept that grounds and motivates work across a variety of fields. One possible model might posit access as a physical act of opening a door to a pre-existing room: the politics of diversity in arts funding might be one example of this. Other notions of access could involve the dismantling of the conceptual and material world to make way for more fluid notions of access that alter the shape of society. Yet it may seem easier to understand access more by what it is not rather than what it is. The need for access is rooted in inaccessibility; through barriers. How might this deficit notion limit the ways in which we imagine access and accessibility in pedagogic, creative and research practices? How does one account for the relationship between access and power? Vincent Tinto (2008) posits that the utility in access lies in its ability to be a ‘revolving’ rather than an ‘open’ door. We extend Tinto’s theorisation to advocate for access and accessibility that is sustainable and persistently supportive.

Access is limited by capital but there are other dimensions to power at play in the ‘ever-shifting geometry of social/power relations’ (Massey 1994: 149), such as one’s ethnicity, gender, perceived mental health, physical impairments or learning abilities. But even as one is granted conditional access, does this reinforce the exclusion of others? Does access reinforce compliance to social expectations that suppress dissent? What role might theatre/drama play in creating such access, and what is the experience of space and place after gaining access? What control does one have within the sphere accessed, and is it possible to change the conditions of access for others from within? Are tradeoffs made in order to gain access, and if so, what is lost in the process?

Access is a concern of cultural disability studies and disability activism. The aesthetics of access or access-aesthetics is a practice that assumes and interpellates disabled audiences, creating multiple and simultaneous rich and integral experiences that can be experienced differently but simultaneously by different spectators. Does access as an artistic discipline offer a formal as well as an ethical transformation of culture and cultural artefacts? Is access concerned with hermeneutics, with the appeal to meaning, or with the creation of a more inclusive sensorium? What impact might access-aesthetics (and participation) have beyond the artist’s intervention or performance? Access can be seen both as necessary (if we cannot gain access we remain outside) and also naïve; an insufficient response to the problems it seems to solve. Is access a political stepping stone or a theoretical trip hazard?

Access is not one single moment or just one thing. It is layered and relative to time and place. It offers the potential to place different aesthetics, pedagogies, and practices in conversation with each other. It allows for a multiplicity of stories because no two individuals have an identical relationship to the similar access they share. Sara Ahmed’s (2004) work on the ‘cultural politics of emotion’, offers a useful provocation to this issue: rather than what it is, what does access do? This call invites proposals that demonstrate how social theatre and drama education practices mobilise and engage with “access” conceptually and empirically. Contributions might address the following provocations:

How do artists, practitioners, educators, and scholars engage with issues of access in our aesthetic and intellectual practice?
Which practices take up or displace the values (and impact) of cultural capital or elitism in a neoliberal world?
What sorts of practices and operations enhance or enable access and accessibility?
Is access always a social good?

In responding to these questions, proposals might focus on:
The social (de)construction and performance of access/Philosophy of access
The ethics of access
Access aesthetics and sustainable social impact
Theatre, drama, and the politics of mobility, including access to free markets and movement of labour
Access, education, and drama in neoliberal times, including access agreements/legislation
Access at the intersections of social identities
Issues of “voice” and “story”
Access as translation
Access and the environment/environmentalism
Measuring access and accessibility
(Un)Tangling the “creative commons” – Drama research and public culture
Cultural disability studies
Limits, or expanded dimensions, to national imaginaries created by access.
Digital access/the intellectual accessibility of research and scholarship
DIY, makeshift, and “pop-up” theatres
Disruptive modes of creative enterprise

The themed issue will feature a mix of research articles (c6000 words), documents ( up to c1500 words) and online outputs (10 – 15 minutes approximately). Documents may include project descriptions, manifestos, provocations, letters and/or photo essays as well as other modes of expression. Online outputs might include recorded conversations with and between researchers, drama educators and theatre-makers involved in cross-cultural multi-site projects, annotated clips of performance, etc. All research articles will undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by at least two anonymous referees.

Please send 300 word proposals for articles, documents and online outputs, with short biographies to Adelina Ong [adelina.ong@cssd.ac.uk].

Expressions of interest: 16th December 2016
First drafts: 1st August 2017
Final drafts: January 2018
Final copy deadline: May 2018
Publication: 1st August 2018

Ahmed, S. (2004) The Cultural Politics of Emotion, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.

Massey, D.B. (1994) Space, Place And Gender, Cambridge, Polity.

Tinto, V. (2008) Access Without Support is not Opportunity, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, University of Texas at Austin, May 26, 2008.

Please contact us with any questions or suggestions: C.Conroy@hull.ac.uk

For information about RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance and its remit please visit: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/crde20/current


Call for Papers and Presentations for TaPRA Postgraduate Symposium 2017: ‘Spaces For / Places In’

Call for Papers and Presentations for
TaPRA Postgraduate Symposium 2017
‘Spaces For / Places In’
3rd February 2017
Edward Boyle Library, Level 13
University of Leeds

Postgraduates and early career researchers are invited to contribute to the 2016 Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Postgraduate Symposium titled ‘Spaces For / Places In’. The symposium will take place at the University of Leeds on Friday, 3rd February 2017 and seeks to investigate the inclusions/exclusions of spaces made and places imagined and negotiated in theatre and performance practice and research.

‘The process of reclaiming space for art must begin with the sea that is within the artist and the art lover’ (Sasitharan 1996: 55). Speaking at the 1995 Substation Conference themed ‘Space, Spaces and Spacing’, established theatre practitioner T. Sasitharan cautioned against ways of thinking about the arts that are constrained by rhetoric that gives priority to economic considerations. As artists, theatre practitioners and theatre/performance researchers cope with post-Brexit uncertainties, how might these anxieties also limit that imagination of what is possible? Is there space for failure in research? Will spaces for experimentation diminish and what role might we play in defending, reclaiming and creating new or alternative spaces? How might virtual spaces (for documentation, simulation and communication) shape future places of theatre and performance practice and research? What is the place of practice in institutions and what role do we play in its dialogue with impact?

Jen Harvie’s Fair Play (2013) notes that the increase of pop-up theatre and art projects in ‘semi-derelict buildings…risks fetishizing the apparently authentic, creating a sense of neo-bohemian’ (Harvie 2013: 126). What spaces have we created, in physical, social and virtual terms? How does theatre architecture (pop-up or otherwise) limit/expand production possibilities and who might it include or exclude? Is there space for diversity? What is the nature of interactions between architecture, theatre/production design and the atmosphere of places designed for performance? What are the places that have inspired our practice and research and what is it that makes these places significant? Are these places claimed or allocated? Improvised or built for purpose?

Building on themes and conversations that emerged from the TaPRA Conference in Bristol in September 2016, we ask: what is our place in time? What are the spaces we have created for our research? As postgraduate and early career researchers – how do we make our practice and research matter?

We invite presentations that engage with the theme of ‘Spaces For / Places In’ in all forms of theatre practice, performance, performance studies, formal and informal performer training, stage craft and theatre/drama in education. Themes might include, but are not limited to:

● Alternative (theatre) spaces: Theatre and performance in and beyond the auditorium; virtual spaces; alternative locations; creating with communities; new architectures; facilitating flexible spaces; generating atmospheres.
● The place of voices, bodies, and identities: reclaiming narratives; reshaping and augmenting archives; rewriting histories, rereading literatures; finding origins.
● Space for audiences: children and infants in theatre; relaxed performances; accessible performances; participation, immersion, anonymity.
● Places for inclusion/exclusion: diversity in practice, research and institutions.
● Space(s) for creative processes: collaboration; devising; improvisation; writing; training; scenography; dramaturgy; research; technology; games; sound; light; voice.
● Representative spaces, imagined spaces, safe spaces: freedom of speech; political expression; dissent and regulation; spatial justice; national theatres; touring.
● Spaces of theatricality and the place of performativity in politics, urbanism, commerce, online.
● Spaces for urgency, errancy, transgression and liminality.
● Global, local and/or glocal in practice and research
● Place of nonhuman, posthuman and beyond human: places for new forms of thinking.
● Spaces for research and research methods: new forms of training; research and practice beyond institutions, alongside organisations, outside buildings and in front of establishments; practice as research; models for investigation; the unexplored.
● Applications, implications and limitations of opening spaces and places for/in/of/through/beyond…

Abstracts will also be considered towards publication in JAWS, The Journal of Arts Writing by Students. The award winning, international journal, published by Intellect Books (http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journa…/view-Journal,id=243/), will aim to publish two full papers as well as a selection of abstracts in a forthcoming performance focused issue. JAWS is the only arts journal entirely written, edited and peer reviewed by current students and first year graduates. Publishing across art and design at a postgraduate level, JAWS acts as writing-studio. A space for early-stage academics to explore and share ideas and flex their peer review muscles over emerging themes and trends in arts research.

Papers (15mins), provocations (10mins) and alternative presentations from postgraduates at all levels of study, and early career academics, are welcomed. The symposium is free for TaPRA members and £10 for non-members; this includes membership for the academic year 2016/17. All membership must be paid online via the TaPRA website prior to the symposium: http://tapra.org/membership/

Abstracts should be 250 words in length. When submitting your abstract, please also include a short biography (no more than 50 words) and a brief note on technical requirements (if any) in the same document. Those wishing to engage with alternative approaches to presenting research, such as performance lectures, are asked to include an additional 100 words detailing your intended presentation methods. All correspondence should be directed to Adelina Ong and Yaron Shyldkrot at postgraduate@tapra.org.

The deadline for submitting your proposal is 5pm on 16th December 2016. We will be unable to accept submissions after this deadline. Notifications will be sent by early January 2017.

We also invite proposals for a Pecha Kucha session (20 slides lasting 20 seconds each) featuring Practice-as-Research image-based provocations or artistic practice. Presenters will not need to speak alongside these images. If you would like to take part in the Pecha Kucha session, please send a 50-word biography and short description of your research, practice or project to postgraduate@tapra.org. The final slideshow must be in .ppt or .pptx format and must be submitted by 30th January 2017.

If you would like to be considered for a limited number of travel bursaries, up to the value of £25, then please specify that this is the case in your submission email. Priority will be given to those travelling farthest.

Adelina Ong and Yaron Shyldkrot
TaPRA Postgraduate Representatives