Dances With Things: Scriptive Objects in Quotidian Performance

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Pella Felton/Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association Conference
contact email: 

Updated: May 15/12022

Dances With Things: Scriptive Objects in Quotidian Performance

Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association Conference

November 11-13

UCLA Luskin Conference Center and Hotel 

Los Angeles, California.

In her groundbreaking 2009 Social Text article "Dances With Things: Material Culture and the Performance of Race," Robin Bernstein introduces the notion of scriptive thing as something that "broadly structures a performance while simultaneously allowing for resistance and unleashing original, live variations that may not be individually predictable." Where objects can reveal, archive, or portray the culture, Bernstein argues that things "script meaningful bodily movements, and these citational movements think the otherwise unthinkable." This session invites papers that focus on the relationship between both quotidian and sublime "things" and the performance and formation of race, gender, and other structures of cultural identity.

Potential topics for papers include, but are not limited to:
- Clothing and affectations as orientalist, tropicalist performatives
- Toys, dolls, games, and racial construction
- NFTs, Gifs, and digital blandishments
Musique Concrete or sound objects as scriptive things, 
- Performativity in theatrical props, sets, and scenography
- Performance remains, souvenirs, and fetish objects

Abstracts may be submitted at More information about the Pacific Modern Language Association can be found at HTTPS://

For additional information contact Pella Felton at

The Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) is a non-profit American academic organization, and also is the Pacific Coast regional affiliate of the Modern Language Association (MLA). We host annual conferences, which host between 850-1000 members each year.

PAMLA is dedicated to the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of ancient and modern languages and literatures.