PSi 16 - Toronto

Hello all

As the week of PSi#16 approaches, I am writing to inform those who are attending of the Graduate Students Committee's organized events in Toronto this year.

Firstly, the Graduate Students Committee and the Emerging Scholars Committee have planned 2 lunch-time professionalization sessions for emerging scholars.

They are "Traversing the Academic Job Market" on June 10, Thursday, and "Publishing a First Book" on June 11, Friday. Both are from 1-2.30pm. Speakers of the sessions include Jill Dolan, Peter Eckersell, Patrick Anderson, Maaike Bleeker, Tracy C. Davis and Harvey Young.

The Graduate Students Committee Annual Meeting will be held on June 12, Saturday at 1-2.30pm. We invite you to come and to contribute your feedback and suggestions on how the committee could better serve your needs.

In the same evening, fellow graduate students will perform in "Salon Theorique", the grad cabaret organized by Michelle Carriger at 8pm at the Robert Gill Theatre in the University of Toronto.

Following that we invite you to join us for the Graduate Student Social on the upper floor of Molly Bloom's Irish Pub from 9pm onwards.
Address: 191 College Street ( 1 block from the theatre)

See you in Toronto!


Call for papers

Graduate students are involved in curating a number of proposed events and panels for the next PSi conference. If you'd like to participate, please contact the individual organisers directly.

*Proposed Panel Series on Race and Performance for PSi 16*

Call for Panel Proposals

The Graduate Students Committee and the curators of a panel proposal
on the topic of race and performance titled "This Performance is Not
Political: Private Bodies Made Public" welcome and encourage
submissions for more panels that speak to the complexities of
performance and race, ethnicity and indigeneity for this year's
Performance Studies international #16 conference in Toronto.
Panelists do not need to be Graduate Students. The theme of the
conference is "Performing Publics" and will take place June 9-13th.
This panel series seeks to address a dearth of conversation about
race and representation within PSi that became evident during PSi #15
and to (dis)engage with the practical and political structures that
marginalise people of colour and non-"Western" researchers.

Questions or issues the panel and papers might address include:

Public performances that highlight or ignore race

Locating the political in social formations of race and ethnicity as
a category

The relationship between race and the "inter-culturalism" of
performance aesthetics

Collisions of race and technologies of space

Counter-publics of race and ethnicity

Intersections of media, documentation, and performance

Demographics of race in public or private spaces

Implications of universalism and the "international" in performance

Interaction of scholarship and practices of “performance” around race
and ethnicity

- How to participate:

1. Send an abstract of your panel proposal (250 words plus
participants and paper titles) to Lauren Rhodes by Nov. 10th and the
group will make sure to submit your panel as part of the panel series
and provide feedback. ude.notgnihsaw.u|sedohrml#ude.notgnihsaw.u|sedohrml

- Read more about this year’s PSi theme and Panel proposals here:

-PSi’s website:


Public Philosophy: A Manifesto Workshop
A PSi Performance and Philosophy working group contribution to
PSi 16: Performing Publics

Co-ordinators: Beth Hoffmann and Laura Cull


From Latin, manifestare: “to make public,” "to reveal, disclose, clarify"
From Italian, manifesto (1644): "public declaration explaining past actions and announcing the motive for forthcoming ones," originally "proof"; from Latin, manifestus (see manifest)

Etymologically, the manifesto has immediate associations with performing and the public. Manifestos are traditionally understood to involve putting ideas on show, making thoughts conspicuous, or with publicising a particular philosophy or worldview. In turn, as Martin Puchner has noted, the terms manifesto and theatre are bound together by an ‘alliance in visibility’. Both manifesto and theatre ‘refer to the act of making visible: “manifesto” is derived from the Latin verb manifestare, which means “to bring into the open, to make manifest” and “theatre” from the Greek theatron, “a place of seeing”’ (Puchner 2002: 449).

Puchner has also discussed the performative nature of the manifesto, as that which construes words as having the power to change the world, rather than merely represent it. In particular, he suggests, the manifesto wants to manifest a ‘futurist performativity’ in which ‘the present act of revolt’ – the manifesto performed – is understood to mark ‘the beginning of a new future’.

Having been much beloved by the historical avant-garde, and subsequently critiqued for its totalizing ambitions, the manifesto now is enjoying something of a revival. Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Manifesto Marathon at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2008, for instance, showed little interest in irony. Likewise, Critical Art Ensemble have celebrated the speed of the manifesto in relation to the slowness of the book (CAE 2000: 140).

The PSi Performance and Philosophy working group invites participation and contributions to A Manifesto Workshop to be held at PSi 16 in Toronto.

This workshop will explore the dimensions of the manifesto’s performativity:
• an act of self-situating and self-explicating;
• writing towards an invisible public or a people-to-come;
• as a critical practice;
• thinking the manifesto as a genre vs. the manifesto as a highly contextualized act;

Our exploration will commence with a series of interrelated questions:
• can we parse the different registers of visibility the manifesto mobilizes?
• what is the manifesto’s relationship with the hidden, the subaltern?
• how can we understand its seductive resonance as well as the philosophical anxieties that it carries with it for those who wish to engage it in the 21st century?
• can our work with the manifesto help expose the kinds of publics that our “performance studies community” addresses/fails to address?

The workshop will operate in two parts: (1) Seminar with sub-groups who will read around prior to arrival at the conference — and (2) Presentations in manifesto form. In particular, the co-ordinators are interested in facilitating a “relay” of manifestos prior to the conference, such that we might perform a public manifesto “conversation” between multiple parties. In this instance, a manifesto could be a letter, object, image, or any combination of these that can be passed along to another for a response.

If you would be interested in contributing to this workshop, please submit a 250 word statement expressing research/aesthetic interests in the historical study of manifestos and the creation of new ones to the workshop co-ordinators by Nov 7th 2009.

Beth Hoffmann: ude.umg|2amffohb#ude.umg|2amffohb
Laura Cull:||lluc.arual

PSi 16 Performing Publics
9-13 June 2010
PSi 16, Performing Publics, will take place in Toronto as part of a collaboration between York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts and the Ontario College of Art & Design.

The conference will investigate the power of performance to intervene in, reshape, and reinvigorate the public sphere at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We invite proposals that take up notions of “public” in a variety of ways, pointing to the critically generative and fraught aspects of the term as it has been adopted within performance studies.

The conference will theorize the relationship between performance, “official” public culture (public culture framed and sanctioned by state and/or corporate institutions), and the production of what Michael Warner calls “counter-publics” (social formations developed in opposition to the discourses and interests of the official public sphere). As such, it will explore the coming together of individuals as a social totality – as a community, nation, organization, etc. – and the enactment of public as a form of social activism, as a means of rehearsing, querying, and producing alternative forms of local and global citizenship. In both contexts, performance has the potential to frame affective and critically nuanced responses to public events, issues and crises and thus to model politically and ethically engaged forms of public life. The conference also seeks to problematize the idea of “publics” as it has been applied to performance by exploring the limitations of this term and the kinds of social exclusions that it often has been used to rationalize.

Guiding questions will include: How are we hailed by various publics, and how does this shape our behaviors and social interactions? How are publics spatially and temporally constituted? In what ways do publics participate in forms of activism, civic engagement, and “poetic world-making” (Warner)? What affects and effects are produced by such utopian interventions? Our discussion of these issues will reflect the vibrant history of urban intervention and “public spacing” movements in Toronto in which artists and activists have worked together to change the shape of our shared local and civic spaces.

Proposals might address (but are not limited to):

- publics and counter-publics

- issues of public space

- performance and civic engagement

- performance as an act of public witness

- performance and public relations

- the audience (live or virtual) as public

- public events: rallies, protests, flash mobs, etc.

- the relationship between the public and the private

- the role of gender, sexuality, race, and class in performing publics

- public feelings and affects

- performative utopias and utopian performatives

- site-specific performance and urban intervention

The conference will be staged during Toronto’s annual Luminato Festival, and will provide several opportunities for participants to experience and reflect on its dynamic arts programming. Luminato is a multidisciplinary festival that celebrates music, dance, theatre, film, literature, and the visual arts, and showcases the work of local, national, and international artists. As part of its mandate to offer “accidental encounters with art,” Luminato is committed to presenting a variety of free events in public spaces. These public art projects run concurrently with exciting performance premieres at venues throughout the city.

Paper proposals (Due November 15):

Proposals for individual papers should include a 250-word abstract. Conference papers are normally allotted 20 minutes. Traditional and performative papers are welcome.

Panel proposals (Due November 15):

Panel proposals and proposals for other discursive formats (roundtable discussions, position papers, etc.) should include a 250-word abstract, along with the names, paper titles (if applicable) and affiliations of participants. Panels are normally allotted 1.5-2 hours. Proposals that interweave traditional and performative papers are welcome.

Shift proposals (Due November 1):

Continuing the explorations of PSi 15, we invite proposals for “shifts”: innovative session formats that push the boundaries of the well-constructed panel. These may include workshops, performances, and interactive events. We welcome shifts that engage with “Performing Publics”—e.g., site-specific projects that activate public space, the urban landscape, or the immediate environs of the conference site. Proposals should include a 250-word abstract. Please note that shifts and panels will receive the same basic level of AV support, and there will be a limited number of places for shifts at PSi 16.

All proposals should be submitted online by filling out the PSi 16 “Proposal Form” at:

Questions about the conference can be directed to: moc.61isp|ofni#moc.61isp|ofni

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