Archives, Artists & Absences

Kaurna Country, Adelaide 27 November 2023

The Performing Arts Heritage Network (PAHN) will meet and share 20-minute work-in-progress papers focusing on the intersection of history and heritage in any material, format, genre, or level of society. Proposals should also reflect some engagement with the nature of collection(s), in line with the wider ADSA Conference. We also welcome proposals for panel discussions.

PAHN invites abstracts of 250 words responding to the questions below or other scholarly or creative provocations raised by ADSA’s conference theme to be submitted via this form by the extended date of Monday, 31 July 2023. We invite proposals for 20-minute paper presentations, artistic research presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions, and any other formats that might suit the diversity of research and practice in our field. To assist with travel and other costs, PAHN will award up to two bursaries of $500 each to presenters based on the submitted abstracts.

We offer the following prompts and possibilities as starting points for thinking about and responding to this year’s conference theme:

  • What is the value, service, and function of the archive to performance history and to performance practice?
  • Where are the blind spots, the partialities, the shadows, the echoes in the archives, and what does this mean for our discipline?
  • What has been deliberately forgotten in the archive and the repertoire? How might the archive serve as a gatekeeper or oppressor?
  • How do we, as artists, creators, and performers, contribute to a living archive?
  • How are we documenting and archiving our performance and scholarly practice in personal scrapbooks, photo albums, and desk drawers, and how might this complicate, decentre, or queer our view of the archive?
  • How do anniversaries and other periodisations help to construct archives?
  • How can the archive inform, interrogate, or complicate teaching and training?
  • What have we chosen to document, capture, and privilege in our practice as artists and scholars, and what have we chosen to neglect, reject, or deem irrelevant?
  • How does the rise of AI and the development of the digital humanities inflect the future of datasets, repositories, and archives of performance?

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