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Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network

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The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network brings together people from a wide variety of disciplines in Cambridge and beyond who are engaging with performance as a concept, from music and literary studies to anthropology, architecture and medicine. It asks how these varied interests might relate, intersect and interact.

Interest in performance reflects a movement away from thinking in terms of immutable objects and singular subjects. It focuses attention on collective contexts. It also models a different way to mean: so performances, theatricality, theatre, and the arts in practice are relevant, too. But the group’s main focus is on the potential of the idea of performance as an umbrella approach to culture: a ‘kind of thinking in its own right’ (Cull/Minors 2012).

What does it mean to frame, stage, display or enact? In what sense might all forms of self-consciously public statements – art, politics, academic discourse – be seen as performance?

How is our post-print digital era, with its forces of equivalence and convergence, prompting reconsideration of traditional categories and boundaries – ie of the disciplinary itself?

How do we understand objects (fixed, a record) when they cannot exist separate from their experience on the part of somebody or other (time-bound, embodied)?

How do we understand the subject when it depends on imagined and actual collectivities to position itself?

Each session will be organized around two short but very different presentations, followed by a discussion. We hope that these discursive encounters might suggest some of the potential benefits of greater dialogue between disciplines, and between the academy and creative practice more generally.

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