TLA Plenary – Call for Papers

2010 Annual Conference of the American Society for Theatre Research-Theatre Library Association-Congress on Research in Dance

Seattle, Washington, November 18-21, 2010

Harnessing the Power of Performance:

Documentation Strategies for Theater and Dance

Throughout history, capturing performance through various media has been challenging.   Performance historians have based their work on archeological artifacts, paper records, oral history and memory, audio recordings, and film documentation of dance and theater performances.  Each method – in itself ephemeral – presents challenges due in part to limitations inherent in its physical characteristics:  images fade, paper crumbles, and memory fails.

This session will address and assess past, current, and future methodologies for harnessing the power of performance – and the extent to which these approaches and strategies support or impede research.  We invite papers addressing the many forms of documentation – from depictions of Athenian performances on vases to computer-generated dance notation/animation.

Papers might consider:

  • How do documentation strategies negotiate, undermine, or emphasize power?
  • How do developments and changes in technology impact performance studies?
  • How do cultural politics and the power of societal perceptions of theater and dance affect performance documentation?
  • How do documentation strategies or models strengthen or undermine our understanding and appreciation of performance?
  • How have theater and dance practitioners, librarians and scholars collaborated to develop effective documentation strategies?
  • What are the limitations and drawbacks of video and film documentation of performance?
  • How will the proliferation of born-digital objects impact documentation of theater and dance?
  • Do artists have the ethical right to resolve that their work may perish with them?

Please submit one-page Proposal as e-mail attachment by February 15, 2010 to:

Susan Brady, Chair, TLA Plenary Program Committee

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University