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[ecrea] cfp: 1968-2018 Protest, Performance and the Public Sphere

Tue Jan 09 18:33:50 GMT 2018

*1968 | 2018*


*Protest, performance and the public sphere*

An interdisciplinary symposium

7-9 June 2018

University of Warwick

In 1968 a wave of popular protest swept across Europe, India and North and South America. It was accompanied by demonstrations, interventions and performances, and marked the irruption of political protest in the public sphere in a way that changed culture, thinking and policy.

Recent events have seen a resurgence of the popular voice (as evidenced variously, for instance, in the outcomes of the Brexit referendum, the US and French presidential elections, events in Catalonia, and the Hindutva political narrative in India). They have been accompanied by a sense of crisis concerning civic and political process, and the galvanising of radical public protest of different kinds.

On the fiftieth anniversary of /les événements/ and the various socio-political actions of 1968, this symposium asks what we can learn from these events. It considers what resonance 1968 has for contemporary political movements, how ‘the public’ engages with political process in current scenarios, and the extent to which popular protest, performative intervention and the public sphere are intertwined today. It also examines how civic and political change come about. What difference does protest make, and how does it get performed in specific political contexts?

The symposium programme will include a visit to /Trying It On/ at Warwick Arts Centre, the world premiere of a solo show written and performed by David Edgar. In the piece Edgar reflects on the 50^th anniversary of 1968 from the perspective of his own 70^th birthday in 2018.

Proposals for contributions that bear directly on one or more of the themes above are welcome. These might address

  * Specific instances of political and performative demonstration in
    1968 and/or in contemporary contexts.
  * Considerations of the ‘popular’, then and now.
  * Trajectories of ‘left’ and ‘right’ manifestation.
  * The changing nature of the public sphere, in an age of social media
    and a ‘post-truth’ environment.
  * Notions of radicalism, resistance, revolution and civic/social
  * Notions of citizenship and the responsibilities of citizens.
  * Expressions of nationalism, anti-nationalism, and ideas of the
    national interest.
  * Scenes and instances of intervention.
  * Considerations of political frameworks (social democracy,
    authoritarianism, neoliberalism).
  * Trajectories of performance in relation to cultural and political
  * Contemporary protest as drawing upon memories of past protests.
  * Implications of re-accessing protest memory through conserving and
    exhibiting of protest artefacts and media re-circulation.
  * The role of creativity, storytelling and imagination in
    materialising and sustaining protest memory.

We welcome proposals for posters; 5-minute provocations; papers and presentations of 15 minutes; or panel discussions of 30 minutes (in this case, we envisage each panel comprising three or four speakers who will be named in the proposal). Our aim is to facilitate discussion across areas and disciplines, leading off from the presentation formats indicated.

Please submit proposals to (1968-2018 /at/ by 29 January 2018.
Please also include a short bio of approximately 150 words.
Presenters will be notified by 23 February.
Symposium registration will be open from 23 April.

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