Performing Complaint: Working on theatre and performance institutions

CATR 2022: Performing Emergence: RePlay, ReCollect, ReExist

Seminar: “Performing Complaint: Working on theatre and performance institutions”

Organizers/moderators: Signy Lynch (unaffiliated scholar), Jenn Boulay (U of T), and Sarah Robbins (U of T)  

Preferred mode of delivery: online synchronous

Call for Seminar Participants

Drawing inspiration from Sara Ahmed’s latest book Complaint!, thisseminar invites participants from a wide range of backgrounds to share responses—including papers in progress, artistic works, and personal narratives—that engage with the theme of complaint as it relates to effecting change in Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies (DTPS) departments and institutions.We invite respondents to lend Ahmed’s “feminist ear” to reflect on processes of complaint and the “institutional mechanics” that they illuminate, and to consider how we might learn from them to work towards more just and equitable spaces for theatremakers, arts workers, students, and faculty.

The session has multiple goals. Firstly, we aim to build solidarity among and provide support to individuals working to effect change in institutions (including through decolonial, anti-racist, and equity-based practices). Secondly, we aim to use the language and framing of Ahmed’s book to cultivate a forum for critical reflection and knowledge-sharing towards both scholarly and practical ends. We intend for this seminar to join Ahmed’s project of working on the university (and other theatrical institutions). 

The seminar session will be open to participants only due to the sensitive nature of some of the responses we anticipate. Seminar participants will share their short written or pre-recorded video reflections with each other prior to the conference session. During the three-hour session, participants will each be given 5-10 minutes to summarize their contributions, followed by a moderated group discussion and reflection. There may be additional outputs as collectively agreed upon by participants. We will have support available in the room, if participants need to speak to someone.

To apply for this seminar, please send a brief statement (written or video, no more than 250 words or two minutes) to organizers Jenn Boulay, Signy Lynch and Sarah Robbins. In your statement, please mention your institutional affiliations/position (for example, graduate student at X University, or administrator at Y theatre company) and explain how you would like to engage with the seminar theme, as well as any access needs you have. In your statement, as well as the session, we are asking participants to reflect on institutional mechanics, and not to single out individuals as subjects of critique.

Please send statements to Signy Lynch.

Posted by Dospel & GanjaParker