[UDPDATE] The International Conference Performance studies – literary studies – somaesthetics; December 12th-14th 2014

full name / name of organization: 
The Doctoral Students’ Research Group of Literary Theory , The University of Wrocław/Doktoranckie Koło Naukowe Teorrytków Literarury, Uniwersytet Wrocławski

The Doctoral Students' Research Group of Literary Theory is pleased to announce


The International Conference

Performance studies – literary studies – somaesthetics


With Professor Richard Shusterman as the keynote speaker


Performance studies, whose origins lie in the philosophy of language and theatre studies, have in the past decades become closely connected with a host of other disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, ethnography, cognitive science, and neurolinguistics. This phenomenon, sometimes aptly described as the performative turn, is in full swing at the moment, spreading  both in the humanities and far beyond them.

The primary subject of performance studies is various aspects of performativity, and the field itself combines wildly diverse methods and methodologies without uniting them into one perspective. The performative turn leads both to a change of the epistemic paradigm adopted by researchers and a reorientation of their actor positions. The distance between the researcher and the subject she or he studies becomes blurred and the emphasis is put on the authentic engagement of the scholar.


According to many researchers, the performative turn is aimed at breaking down the walls of the textual prison to which the postmodern paradigm has tried to condemn the real, and thereby at restoring the subject and literature to their performative power. We embrace this idea of transdisciplinary performance studies, which, on our interpretation, interestingly corresponds with various contemporary philosophies of the body. While we recognize the theoretical and practical value of many of those philosophies (Deleuze and Guattari's theory of the body without organs would be a good case in point), we would like this conference to engage in particular with somaesthetics, a philosophical field founded by the American pragmatist Richard Shusterman, who will deliver the opening lecture at the conference.


The main aim of the conference, then, is to reflect on the possibilities of applying the achievements of performance studies and Shusterman's somaesthetics to literary studies. We believe that the categories developed in the former two fields may prove beneficial to the latter. We also hope that the conference will mark the beginning of a comprehensive discussion on such possibilities, and, moreover, that it will facilitate a deeper integration of somaesthetics and performance studies with literary studies.


We encourage proposals both for theoretical papers and for interpretive papers on particular literary works.


Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • performance studies and the theories of the subjectivity in literature (author, scripteur, reader)

  • the performativity of the literary canon,

  • the performative turn in the humanities: a breakthrough/turning point or just a new name for a few old things?

  • the performativity of gender in literature,

  • the liminality of literature,

  • the performative turn and the affective turn

  • carnivalization and corporeality in literature,

  • the status of theory after the performative turn,

  • performance studies and the concept of the "work in progress"

  • the ethics and politics of literature from the vantage point of performance studies and somaesthetics,

  • performance studies and posthumanism,

  • the status of literature from the perspective of performance studies and somaesthetics,

  • literature as performance or happening,

  • the theory of drama and literary studies ,

  • poetry slam as performance and a bodily experience of literature,

  • the performative  power of literature,

  • representations of bodily experience in literature.


We welcome proposals from scholars at all stages of their academic careers, but we especially encourage submissions from post-docs and PhD students.  Participation in the conference is free of charge.

We intend to publish a post-conference volume.


Contact: dkntlconference@gmail.com


Language of the conference: English


Timeline has been extended:

Proposals (250-400 words) due: October 26th 2014.
Notification of acceptance: October 29th 2014.
Submission of full papers (up to 20 pages): December 10th 2014.
Date of the conference: December 12th-14th 2014.
Participation in the conference is conditional on the timely submission of a full paper (i.e. by Dec. 10, 2014).
In response to an interest in the conference we decided to organize a Polish session. The publication of papers will depend on submitting an English translation of a paper. The Polish session's timeline:
Proposals (250-400 words) due: October 27th 2014
Notification of acceptance: October 29th 2014
Submission of translated papers: December 20th 2014




Venue: The University of Wrocław, Institute of Polish Philology, Plac Nankiera 15, Wrocław, Poland




The event is funded by a research grant (2376/M/IFP/14) from the Faculty of Letters, the University of Wrocław.