TaP PGR Conference: Performance and Prosperity

5 April, 2024 | by [email protected]

The Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London, is holding its second annual Postgraduate Research Conference on Friday, 5 July 2024. We invite papers and/or presentations of practice research to celebrate the wealth and breadth of PhD research taking place across the department and beyond.

The theme this year is Performance and Prosperity; our keynote presenter is be confirmed.

The conference is open to all PhD researchers; our aim is to find out about the plurality of ongoing research concerns that are taking place in our department, university and across the UK. While we expect the theme to inspire important conversations, you are welcome to present your research with its own focus (alongside or in dialogue with the theme) or to respond directly to the theme. We particularly welcome contributions from students preparing for conferences who would benefit from the opportunity to rehearse in a supportive environment.

The conference day will begin with the keynote presentation, continue with postgraduate panels of slides presentations (~15 minutes) or practice presentations (~30 minutes) followed by a joint Q&A, and culminate in a plenary discussion. During the break between panels, poster presentations (~5 minutes) can be explored freely. All presentations will take place in person and refreshments will be provided. A Zoom option may be available for those who wish to attend remotely (details will be provided closer to the date).

Submission Guidelines

● The conference does not require full written papers, and you are welcome to present your research with its own focus. The goal is to share, to practise, and to improve.

● Those interested in presenting should send the title, abstract and personal information via the google forms [https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfnqc82x0zU2RMGj17w5f7J7DK6AVLa__VUV8DPrYMmCElJFg/viewform].

Important Dates

● Abstract Submission Deadline: 5 May 2024
● Notification of Acceptance: 12 May 2024
● For more details, please contact the convenors [Hui Tse Liu: [email protected]; Shimeng Wang: [email protected]; Huiyue(Hayley) Wen: [email protected]].

Conference details


TaP PGR Conference: Performance and Prosperity


Goldsmiths, University of London
8 Lewisham Way
United Kingdom


Friday 5th July 2024

Conference format

In person

Title of panel

TaP PGR Conference: Performance and Prosperity


Sunday 5th May 2024

Conference abstract

Facing the increasingly urgent social and ecological issues plaguing societies worldwide, the need to expand our understanding of “prosperity” beyond the conventional focus on material and financial gain has never been greater. Economists Katharina Lima de Miranda and Dennis K. Snower argue against the idea that human well-being can be achieved simply by “[…] satisfying preferences for the consumption of goods and services” and, in turn, emphasise how the ability to cooperate and socialise has largely contributed to the success of our species (2020, pp.1-3). Similar arguments for the recoupling of social factors to our conception of prosperity can also be found in Prosperity in the Twenty-First Century, which maintains that the over-emphasis on achieving prosperity through material desire and possession would overlook the relational and interconnected quality of prosperity and thus “[…] be unsustainable socially, economically and ecologically” (Moore et al., 2023, p. 32). The role of theatre, performance, and research within theatre and performance, becomes paramount within this context. Scholars have endeavoured to investigate how performance and prosperity correlate; for example, Bartley advocates for public actions against the erosion of UK welfare system and repeated calls for austerity (Bartley, 2020), and Parry-Davies exposes the performative nature of immigration infrastructure and questions the ontological status of immigration law in upholding a xenophobic sense of citizenship and national prosperity (Parry-Davies, 2021). Practitioners and researchers have a unique opportunity to contribute to the dialogue on redefining prosperity by exploring themes of social solidarity, agency, environmental sustainability, and indeed the material conditions that contextualise performance practices and research; all have long been topical within the field of theatre and performance practice and research (Alston, 2013; Benedikt, 2023; Braeckman et al., 2020; Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, 2020; Harvie, 2013; Lavery, 2016; Lavery and Delijani, 2015; Reason, 2015; Yarrow, 2012). In this complex synergy of human creativity and societal advancement, the agency of theatre and performance and the pursuit of prosperity emerge as inextricably interlaced. The interrelation of performance and prosperity is particularly poignant at times when the value of arts and humanities studies and practices has been increasingly deemed irrelevant and "unproductive" in comparison to STEM fields in hegemonic rhetoric around the world (Goldstein, 2021). This larger context challenges us to contemplate our roles within the collective narrative of humanity, whether that means reconciling the demands of the global system with our individual longing for freedom, or navigating the inherent tension between the weight of responsibility that accompanies power and the rights owed to every individual. This conference seeks to delve into how the practice and research of theatre and performance contribute or speak to prosperity, in the sense both of social cohesion and economic viability. We are particularly interested in submissions that address the following themes: 1. Prosperity as Solidarity: How can theatre and performance promote or contribute to unity, inclusivity and empathy within communities? What impact do theatre and performance have on social equality, particularly through educational programmes? 2. Prosperity as Agency: How do theatre and performance serve as platforms for both individual and collective agency, inspire action and change, and foster autonomy and decision-making? 3. Prosperity as Ecological Sustainability: How do theatre and performance impact environmental awareness and education and promote sustainability? What are sustainable eco-theatre production design and operation practices? 4. Prosperity as Financial Sustainability: What are the funding challenges faced by theatre and performance and how do and can governments support the viability of theatre and performance? How can theatres secure funding and sponsorships, what strategies can be employed to maximize their financial impact and what are their effects on economic stability? 5. Community Prosperity: How do theatre and performing arts influence tourism, local businesses, and regional economies, economic growth? What are the economic repercussions of theatre accessibility on diverse communities? 6. Prosperity and Labour: How does a prospering theatre and performance industry contribute to job creation and income? What are the economic implications across various genres and modes of production? How do digital and virtual performances benefit audience expansion? What strategies can overcome financial obstacles and foster intersectoral partnerships for growth?


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Essential not Optional: Celebrating the Creative Arts in Higher Education