GENDER AND CREATION IN THE HISTORY OF PERFORMING ARTS GENRE ET CRÉATION DANS L’HISTOIRE : ARTS VIVANTS, ART DE VIVRE
DECEMBER 12-14, 2013.
ÉCOLE DES HAUTES ÉTUDES EN SCIENCES SOCIALES, PARIS, FRANCE

Elizabeth CLAIRE (CRH-EHESS-CNRS),
Catherine DEUTSCH (Univ. Paris-Sorbonne),
Raphaëlle DOYON (LABEX CAP, CRAL-HICSA)

Call for Papers (Extended Deadline)
This international conference offers a transdiciplinary reflection on the history of gender in the performing arts
(dance, music and theatre). With the aim of generating collaborative research and international exchange with the
French scientific community, we have purposefully defined as broadly as possible the periodization, as well as
geographical and cultural parameters of this conference. Our definition of “performing arts” is explicitly inclusive,
seeking presentations principally about the history of theatre, music and dance, but also circus, popular culture, ritual performance, set and lighting design, and creative contributions by artists working with textiles, costume, make-up.
Studying the history of creativity in the performing arts through the prism of gender invites a series of questions: in what way might the fragmentary nature of the traces left behind a performance has contributed to the gendering of
its history? How can historians fully comprehend the complexity of past performed events and the process of their
creation? How might the difficulties of identifying or naming female creative contributions to art-making reveal a
sexual division of labour in the creative process? How has the construction of gender identities fashioned and been
fashioned by the content of the works and their embodied performances?

We will focus on three major themes:

(1) Gesture and Interpretation investigates creative practice, the moment of embodying performance;
(2) Creating Art and Constructing the Self looks at the normalization of the creative act, the reception of a
performance and its inscription in discourse, finally, the relationship between performer and performed;
(3) Transmission and Heritage seeks to understand how the creative act is embodied and inscribed over time,
passed on from one generation to the next, given a place in the historiography of performance.

1. GESTURE AND INTERPRETATION
We aim to look at theatrical, musical and danced gestures in relation to the gendered body. The notion of interpretation here refers to the performance of a tradition, a text, score, or choreography, as well as the way in
which the performing act is perceived and received by an audience. We wish to examine the mechanisms that have
lead to a hierarchical distinction between performer and creator, particularly in cases where this distinction has
underpinned the marginalization of certain performance practices considered “feminine,” private or amateur and
thus traditionally not identified as art.

2. CREATING ART AND CONSTRUCTING THE SELF
Here the focus will be on discursive, iconographic and other representations of performance practices that might
reveal a gendered logic in the perception of creativity and the reception and normalisation of the creative act. We will
explore the way in which the creators of performances are positioned by, or position themselves in relation to, the
act of creation as well as its inscription in discourse. We invite terminological studies that discern, for each of the arts
in question, how these creative practices were perceived and represented. We also seek studies that expose gendered
strategies of resistance to these normative constraints, as they were employed in creative practice and interpretation.

3. TRANSMISSION AND HERITAGE
We propose to investigate how the creative act gets remembered, including the voluntary amnesias and mechanisms
of forgetting that have led to a gendering of the historical discourse about creativity in the performing arts. To
investigate the history of these silences, these absences, we seek proposals that discuss and identify the gendered
nature of this process of invisibilization in the historiography of these arts. We also hope to articulate how accepted artistic practices might contribute to a gendering of the very cultural heritage they perpetuate and invent. How does the transmission of creativity, a gendered cultural phenomenon, participate in the construction of knowledge itself? And how has the historicisation of cultural praxes been influenced by this gendered inheritance?

Proposals must be submitted before July 20, 2013 to: genre.artsvivants@gmail.com

For paper proposals, please include your name, institutional affiliation (where applicable), a working title and a paragraph proposal of approx. 200 words.
For panel proposals provide additionally a panel title and description of approx. 250 words.
Proposals will be accepted in WORD or PDF format only. The languages of the conference will be French and English with translation available. Submissions may be in either language.
Please note that travel grants will be awarded to a select number of Ph.d. candidates and/or emerging scholars who indicate financial need when submitting their proposal