21 September, 2023 | by Rushi P

Annual Conference hosted by the School of Performing Arts at the University
of Malta, in cooperation with the Centre for Dance Research, Coventry
University, UK

The seventh Annual Conference of the School of Performing Arts (University
of Malta) considers knowledge in relation to performing arts practices.
More specifically, the conference aims to explore, question, and discuss
the different types of ‘knowledges’ that emerge from or are involved in
performing arts practices including creation, production, performance, and

The conference’s focus on performing arts practices—dance, theatre, and
music—acknowledges an affinity with Performance Studies, which originated
in American universities as a new ‘knowledge formation’
(Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1999) with the aim to integrate performance into
interdisciplinary scholarship and offer a counterbalance to the emphasis on
texts and literature within cultural studies. The conference focus on
practices is also strongly connected to developments originating around the
same time for artistic research in the context of European higher
education. The debates about artistic research have posited basic questions
about the constitution of knowledge and its valorisation (Borgdorff 2012).
The conditions and opportunities for artistic research in higher education
continue to evolve, but many questions about its status and relevance, in
connection to knowledge production in particular, remain.

The aim of Performance Knowledges is to offer an opportunity to refresh
some of these discussions and debates through a focus on performing arts
from the perspectives of transmission, composition, and praxis. This is a
chance to include research cultures working at the borderline with the
social and cognitive sciences, where the vantage point of the performing
arts should provoke a robust discussion of embodied and relational forms of
knowledge. It also encourages participants to rethink how in composition
and transmission processes knowledge is diversified into different types,
including tacit knowledge—with emphasis on process and experience (Polanyi
1958). This should include addressing the question of skill—which is so
often overlooked in academic debates about the subject.

We are looking for presentations that engage with questions of varieties,
generation, transmission, and implications of performance knowledges. We
are looking for inter- and multidisciplinary approaches that might
contribute to the analysis of ways of knowing in the performing arts, and
to the scholarly study of collaborative encounters between directors,
choreographers, composers, performers, designers, and spectators. We are
particularly interested in alternative and diverse conceptualisations of
practice-generating knowledges, as well as knowledge-generating practices,

Presentation topics might include, but are not limited to, issues and
themes of performance knowledges in relation to practices, methodologies,
and technologies. We welcome submissions across a number of areas that
address the multifaceted understandings of knowledge as emergent in
theatre, dance, and music, including but not limited to:

– the artist’s perspective on languaging and documenting practices
– embodied cognition and moving beyond dualism in the practice of the
performing arts problematising
– hegemonic knowledges, implications for performing arts
– training processes and compositional strategies as intangible heritage
– practice turn in contemporary theory, communities and ecologies of
– habits, skills and contexts for tacit knowledge acquisition and
– perspectives on and from diverse atypical modes and mixed abilities
– historical, analytical, and theoretical understandings of embodiment
in the performing arts
– case studies of creators, performers, spectators, and other agents of
– technologisation and the impact of digitisation on performance
– translation, transformation and/ or appropriation of performance forms

Confirmed keynotes:

Professor Bruce McConachie (University of Pittsburg)

Professor Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht University)

Abstracts of a maximum of 300 words should be submitted in Word Doc by 16
December 2019 to the conference convenors on these addresses: Lucía Piquero
( and Scott deLahunta (
Acceptance will be confirmed in January 2020. If an official invitation is
required earlier for research funding purposes, please contact the
convenors and ensure that you submit your abstract as early as possible.

Abstracts should include a brief biography (additional 125 words maximum),
presentation format whether conventional 15/20-minute presentations or
lecture-demonstrations (participatory elements are welcome), and any
technical equipment you might require.

Important dates:

Deadline for submissions: 16 December 2019

Notification of acceptance by 20 January 2020

Dates of the conference: 11-13 March 2020

Conference website (soon live): Link