CFP, "Performance and Form" grad symposium @ Harvard, 4/26/19

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    Christofer Rodelo

    Per(form)ance: A Graduate Symposium on Performance and Form
    Harvard University Theatre and Performance Colloquium
    April 26, 2019

    CALL FOR PAPERS (submissions due by 2/15)

    The Harvard University Theater and Performance Colloquium seeks fifteen-minute papers from graduate students for a symposium on the topic of “performance and form.” We will gather during the day on Friday, April 26th to share work and work-in-progress. Papers will be grouped into panels of three or four participants by topic.Theater and performance studies has long been preoccupied with the relationship between embodiment/corporeality and textuality/form as it pertains to the study of expressive cultures on and off the stage. These distinctions have been made and unmade at the level of scholar, department, and institution by works that span time periods and geographic locations. Inspired by interrogations of formal thinking across the humanities, especially those working in critical race, feminist, and queer studies, this working session charts a reinvestment in studies of form and genre within theater and performance studies. Specifically, we ask how emergent scholarship in the field, as Kyla Wazana Tompkins writes, can invest in “materialist aesthetics grounded in historical reading but uninterested in Kantian ideals of beauty, or in tracking constancy in the classically formalist sense, or in protecting art from its messy interconnections with the world.” We seek papers that think broadly about the role of form and its relationship to sociopolitical life as mediated by dramatic works, performance art, literature, popular culture, and other forms of cultural production.

    Paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

    – Form and performance in everyday life

    – Form and the ontology of performance

    – Performance and ways of reading

    – Literary performances: literary texts whose form is somehow performative

    – Form, history, and performance

    – Theatrical formalisms

    – Archiving form: navigating the material objects of theatrical and popular works

    – Form, politics, and performance

    We hope to have interesting and informal discussions about these questions, and to share food and conversation. If you are interested in participating, please send a brief (200 words or fewer) abstract and bio to Christofer Rodelo ( and Emma Adler ( by Friday, February 15th. Participants will be notified by Friday, March 1st.

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