Critically Kinaesthetic: Performing Bodies of Political Engagement

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York University, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Dance Studies
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Critically Kinaesthetic: Performing bodies of political engagement

York University, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Dance Studies

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
April 16, 2014

The York University Theatre and Performance Studies third annual graduate student symposium invites paper, performance and workshop proposals from any discipline relating to this year's topic of Critically Kinaesthetic: Performing bodies of political engagement. This interdisciplinary symposium will examine the body as both expressive, and generative, of political meaning. "Critically kinaesthetic" refers to embodied knowledge systems and their engagement in both aesthetic and political spheres.

What kinaesthetic strategies are used by individual and collective bodies to engage, theorize, and re-imagine social realities? How do individual political bodies and/or the body politic generate new knowledge and transmit inherited knowledge? Recent protests and social mobilizations have demonstrated, in various ways, the possibilities of collective movement and stillness as strategies for political intervention. How have past and present social movements employed aesthetic, kinaesthetic and choreographic techniques to galvanize political energy into action?

The bodily actions of a group, or an individual, have the potential to create and transmit new knowledge and information; both the political body and the body politic may engage in varying ways of experiencing, engaging, theorizing and ultimately changing social realities. We invite imaginative investigations of the body and its movements as sites of ideological expression/sedimentation from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

embodied knowledge and colonial/post-colonial resistance;
- trauma, violence and performance;
- embodiment and cultural memory;
- theatre, performance and civic engagement;
- choreographies of resistance;
- diaspora and human geographies;
- environment and cultural geography;
- embodiment and empowerment;
- critical pedagogy of the body;
- embodiment and technology;
- performance and cultural politics;
- embodied belief systems and community practice.

We are pleased to present this symposium in collaboration with the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series, through which we welcome Erin Manning as our keynote speaker. Erin Manning will be delivering her keynote address "Choreographing the Political" which will move through her trilogy of books, from The Politics of Touch through to Always More Than One.

Please respond to this call by submitting your 250-300 word abstract and a 100 word bio to on or before December 5th, 2013. Please clearly indicate whether you are proposing a paper presentation, performance, or workshop and include your technical requirements. Paper presentations are limited to 15 minutes. Performances are limited to 30 minutes, with the exception of durational performances. Workshops are limited to one hour.

Details about the symposium can be found at