CFP: Cultural Mobility of Performance and Perfomativity Studies

Some disciplinary interferences going on in the beautiful city of Cracow in May next year.

Call for papers

Cultural Mobility of Performance and Perfomativity Studies

28-30 May 2018, Jagiellonian University,

 Cracow, Poland


In recent years we have witnessed a growing academic trend towards decentralizing the power of American universities as leading centers of performance studies. As new performance studies departments crop up all around the world and a new field of study known as “performativity studies” emerges, we would like to reflect on the processes of cultural mobility of notions, theories and methodologies developed in the study of performativity in diverse cultural contexts. We believe that sharing case studies from different countries would enable us to scrutinize specific translations, applications and hybrid connections that occur in performance and performativity studies in particular cultural contexts.


The main interest of our conference is how concepts and theories of performativity perform in local contexts (Are they applied selectively and to what ends?) and how they change or modify hitherto accepted academic disciplines (theatre studies, sociology, historiography, social sciences etc.). To what extent are the terms coined and used in specific English-speaking cultural contexts (performance, performativity, counterfactuality, situated knowledges, cultural scenarios, remains, re-enactment and more) operative in other contexts and how they hybridize with the terms already rooted in local languages?


Moreover, we’re interested in the process of positioning performativity studies in new contexts. In what knowledge configurations (or university departments) do they emerge and what are the consequences of their position?


Finally, do performativity studies allow for fundamental changes in academic vocabularies where traditional terms used in local contexts acquire new meanings and new vivid metaphors are imported?


Another question is the undisputed domination of English as the contemporary Latin which has become the main platform for the exchange of thoughts in present-day academia. To internationalize their research, scholars must model and adjust their propositions, findings and case studies in such a way that they are comprehensible to an English-speaking reader who – it should be stressed – may not necessarily be a native speaker of English. In this context, what is the gain-and-loss account of globalizing performance and performativity studies?


Specific focus points of our conference are the following:

  1. Performance and Performativity Studies as a Situated Knowledge

How to ensure efficient exchange of knowledge in performance and performativity studies where categories and methodologies are no longer homogenous, global and transparent. Which uses of performance and performativity studies as a situated knowledge (which reveals its own culturally determined point of view) have the potential to contribute to the “new objectivism” in the academia?


  1. Performativity in Translation

Translators of the works from the field of performance and perfomativity studies are invited to share reflections on their active role in “implanting” concepts in new contexts and creating hybrids between new and existing terms.


  1. Decentralizing English-Speaking Performance and Performativity Studies

Can the dominant role of English (its metaphors, categories and etymologies) be effectively decentralized in local performance and performativity studies? What can we gain from adapting English terminology, expanding its semantics and exploring its metaphoric potential in local contexts?


  1. Performance and Performativity Studies in Academia

How are performance and performativity studies positioned within institutional divisions of university departments and what are the consequences of their position (“homelessness” and vagueness of performance and performativity studies and their relations with other academic disciplines)? Would it be more efficient to create international research centers, academic consortia and associations?


  1. Internationalizing Performance and Performativity Studies

What are the consequences of the institutional pressure to internationalize performance and performativity research and to network with scholars from different parts of the world? How are theoretical approaches and case studies adjusted to the needs of English speaking readers as the English becomes the contemporary Latin? What can be gained and lost in the process?



Abstract submission (max. 250 words ): 31st December 2017 to:


The list of participants to be announced on 30th January 2018


Conference fees:

Overseas participants: 110 euro early registration up to 28th February 2018, late registration 130 euro up to 30th March 2018

Participants from Poland: 430 PLN. early registration up to 28th February 2018, late registration 520 PLN up to 30th March 2018.

Conference place: Jagiellonian University, Collegium Maius, ul. Jagiellońska 15, 31-010 Kraków

The presentation should not exceed 20 minutes including illustrative materials.

Language of the conference: English


The conference will be followed by a monograph edited by Ewa Bal and Mateusz Chaberski to be published in an international academic publishing house. Selected papers will be submitted to a themed issue of an academic journal from the ERIH list.


Organising committee:

prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Sugiera,

prof. dr hab. Dariusz Kosiński,

dr Ewa Bal,

mgr Mateusz Chaberski

About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018) and The Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media (due 2020 with Polity Press). Tony is the organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK (see archive on this blog). As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Tony has been project lead on a number of funded projects that bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach. These activities have included large conferences, symposia and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres, co-organized with community groups and local authorities. Tony occasionally blogs at: Full academic profile:
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