CFP: EXTENDED DEADLINE: Artistic Research in Modern Languages & Culture, Bangor (30.09.2019)

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Extended Deadline

Event title: Artistic Research in Modern Languages & Culture: a two-day conference held at Bangor University, 16-17 April 2020. 

Organiser: Dr Sarah Pogoda (Bangor University) and Alex Mangold (Aberystwyth University) 


Call for X (Paper, Performance, Installation, Exhibition, …) 

Artistic Research (AR) is a highly contested term. It has recently experienced a peak in academic discourse and research policy, particularly when it comes to envisioning new ways of accelerating impact via Public Engagement (PE). Strikingly, however, neither PE nor impact are well-defined terms; they have come to stand in as labels for a rather unspecified effort to make research outputs This also applies to the methodologies and practices used when talking about PE, `impact´ or, indeed, about AR in general.  

Although one could argue that AR has recently become more established as a means for assessment and output at Art Colleges across the UK (not least due to its introduction as ‘Practice as Research in Theatre and Performance departments), both artists and academics face enormous pressure when it comes to justifying their art as research. In other words, universities are mostly unprepared to recognise research that is not grounded in well-established (subject specific) methodological practices. As a consequence, researchers are continuously exposed to a double-bind: On the one hand, they are forced to adjust positively to new imperatives relating to PE, on PE, not least in line with upcoming REF and TEF exercises. On the other hand, artistic practices and their outputs are not yet fully legitimised as certifiable knowledge or as a worthwhile academic methodology.   

Scholarship of creativity in knowledge production is becoming increasingly popular across all disciplines. It has been emphasised by a number of colleagues (e.g. Borgdorff 2012) how the potential of creative practices for research can contribute to the accumulation of knowledge and to positive impact results. However, only few initiatives have so far tried to implement this theory into academic practice. It seems that a lot of artistic research has so far been confined to the rehearsal rooms of theatre departments and/or to the seminar rooms of the most established art schools. This does not only decelerate innovation; it also affects the academic subjectivity of those researchers who engage with AR and endeavour to conceive of ground-breaking new ways of thinking about research. As a result, researchers in AR feel increasingly marginalised.  

For April 2020 we are planning to hold a conference inviting scholars, researchers and artists to discuss their artistic practices in research and teaching, and to explore their approach in relation to ML&C research and teaching. In this respect, the conference seeks first to initiate a platform for examining the benefits of practice-led, participatory methodologies for ML&C, and to investigate its transformative force for an overall disciplinary renewal.  

Our key commitments for the conference are:  

1) to explore the methods of AR for ML&C in theory and practice;  

2) to identify and discuss the benefits, restraints and shortcomings of AR for ML; 

3) to articulate and perform new ways of thinking and practice in ML&C knowledge generation; 

4) to reflect on how the projected transformative potential might affect academic identities and research projects;  

5) to encourage and equip scholars to pursue AR further and to accumulate practice and knowledge to make a persuasive case for potential change within their institutions and disciplines;  

6) to forge links amongst academics and institutions in order to establish an open-minded platform for experimental research methods for ML&C research environments; 

7) to encourage different kinds of research output in order to promote diversity and enforce recognition for REF and TEF. 

The conference invites researchers from all ML and related subject areas who engage in AR directly through practice – lecture performance, participatory activities, installations, digital displays, exhibitions or any other artistic formats. Submissions will cover – although they are not limited to – the following areas of enquiry:   

  • What are the methodologies of AR and how can they best be applied to ML&C research? 

  • AR as a catalyst to revitalize disciplines and increase knowledge production 

  • AR as a tool to identify blind spots in traditional academic research frameworks 

  • The resilient potential of artistic practice to re-negotiate the identity of scholarship in ML&C and its institutional research environments 

  • AR as means to transform academic institutions from within and to challenge the established order  

  • AR as a means of exploring the academic self/selves 

  • How accumulation of creative practices in research might change grant policies, funding schemes and recognition criteria for research outputs  

  • The wider impact of the proposed shifts in academic practices on social, political and cultural contexts and their relevance for ML&C. 

Drawing upon the aims of this conference, submissions are expected to depart from the traditional conference paper format. Instead, the conference will be a self-reflective laboratory, i.e. a performative research experiment itself. We invite submissions to be of an artistic format (e.g. Lecture Performances, Participatory Activities, Installations, Exhibitions, Digital Displays, Happenings and other) in order to re-define the norm of academic conferences. As such, the conference will not only form a public space for showcasing research results; it will pursue AR in practice. By doing this, the conference format will generate new knowledge, venture into transforming established academic practices and be a prototype for future endeavours in its field.  

All speaker-performers can expect pre-conference supervision and exchange about the artistic presentation format of their choice, if they so wish. The philosophy of the conference is to create a supportive space for experimentation.  

Alex Mangold and Jennifer Wood (Aberystwyth) are currently preparing an edited volume on ‘Language & Performance’ for publication with Palgrave (2020). Speakers may submit a written version of their work or a chapter/essay in relation to it for consideration after the event.     

Further to this, the conference will depart from the more traditional “keynote speaker” feature in favour of workshops and performance. These are designed to equip researchers with the skills required for AR project development: 

1.) Alex Mangold (Aberystwyth University): Pace and the performative nature of translation in ML&C 

2.) Julian Klein (Director of the Institute for Artistic Research, Berlin): Methods of Artistic Research (tbc) 

3.) Hartmut El Kurdi (Hannover, Germany): Panicman. 

Please sent a short abstract (+/- 2000 characters) and a short bio (5 sentences) to the organisers by 30th September 2019: 

Sarah Pogoda: 

Alex Mangold: 

Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Johannes Schmidt] betreut –