Silence, Sound, Rhythm, and Performance

Mark  Ledbetter's picture
Call for Papers
January 24, 2019 to January 27, 2019
New York, New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Literature, Philosophy

Silence, Sound, Rhythm, and Performance

Hyatt Place Downtown Asheville, January 24-27, 2019


Peter Brook says, “A stage space has two rules: (1) Anything can happen and (2) Something must happen.” Life is similar, and life’s performance takes place in the midst of silence, sound, and rhythm. Of course we understand silence, sound and rhythm, and their relationship, in a variety of ways. Confucius says that, “Silence is a true friend that never betrays,” while Jean-Jacques Rousseau claims that, “Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.” And Dr. King adds, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”


Plato only muddles the issue when he says, “Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” We might well ask, “Does arrhythmia and disharmony do the same?” Which may well bring us back to Brook and the performance of life. “Drama,” (we could easily add, living), “is exposure; it is confrontation; it is contradiction and it leads to analysis, construction, recognition and eventually to an awakening of understanding.”


The Southern Humanities Council Conference invites proposals for papers on any aspect of the theme “Silence, Sound, Rhythm, and Performance.” The topic is interdisciplinary and invites proposals from all disciplines and areas of study, as well as creative pieces including but not limited to performance, music, art, and literature. (Please note that the name of our organization simply reflects its having been founded in the U.S. south; no presenter is expected to present anything “southern,” though southern topics are also welcomed. Conference attendees come from all over the United States and Canada.) Submit proposals of 300-500 words through our website at (preferred), or to Mark Ledbetter at Proposals are due by December 20, 2018. Topics are not limited to but may address any of the following areas, and may integrate the theme in trans-disciplinary or interdisciplinary ways, that is, the paper may address the theme from particular perspectives OR a paper may address the integration of two or more dimensions of the theme.


Possible topics may include but are not limited to any aspect or combination of “Silence, Sound, Rhythm, and Performance.” and . . .

Art History,
The Visible/Invisible, Dis/Ability,
Nostalgia/Melancholia, Memory Dependence/Interdependence, Theatre/Drama (theory and live performance), Dance, Childhood,
Gender Race/Ethnicity, Sex/Sexuality,
Social Class, Religion/Spirituality, Music (theory and live performance),
Cinema, Culture, Education/Educative, Geography/ies, Philosophy,
Character, Friendship,
Sense of Self, Psychology, Metaphor, Community Performance, Travel,
Folk History,
Imagination, Human/Animal/Machine,  the Symbolic, New Media, Hospitality,
 Love, Pleasure/Desire, Sociology, Cultural differences . . .

Contact Info: 

Submit proposals of 300-500 words through our website at (preferred), or to Mark Ledbetter at Proposals are due by December 20, 2018.

Contact Email: