Regina: Call for Participation Announced

Call for Papers, Study and Workshop Circle Proposals

Performing Turtle Island:

Fluid Identities and Community Continuities

Sept. 17, 18, 19 2015

University of Regina & First Nations University of Canada, Regina SK

Performing Turtle Island: Fluid Identities and Community Continuities brings together established and emerging scholars and artists to focus on how Indigenous theatre and performance are connected to Indigenous identity and community health.  This Call is looking for proposals for academic papers as well as proposals for Seminars and Workshops - sharing circles for practical and performative exchange. We are interested in proposals that touch on innovative approaches to performance, education, research, health and healing and community consultation.

THEME: The central theme that the Conference takes up in the form of a national symposium of Canadian Indigenous performers and playwrights, scholars and artists is unknowing. Included in this is the notion of trans-identity – what it means to signify across a range of identifactory practices.  As Canada approaches its 150th birthday, the nation prepares to celebrate its place as a home to people from all over the world.  At the same time, we ask: where does Indigenous identity and community fit in to the construction of the country’s identity? Indeed, what do we mean by Indigenous identity, and, given the proliferation of newcomers, what do we mean by Canadian identity?  In the face of growing international mobility and a radically changing Canadian demographic, it is important to take another look at how identity is constructed on Turtle Island within the ideational borders that designate Canada. The overriding questions for the conference are: what are performative acts from an Indigenous perspective, and how do we move outside of the boundaries of how one makes and considers traditional performance? While we are concerned with traditional Indigenous performance, we aim our focus more on contemporary forms that express Aboriginal identities and trans-identities across diverse cultural and social contexts and how engaging Indigenous theatre and performing arts through a multidisciplinary perspective helps promote Indigenous cultures as a valuable source of knowledge, meaning, recognition, and identity inclusiveness.  

The conference will be simultaneously local and global: situated in Regina, the conference will also function as the primary Canadian node of Performance Studies International’s Globally Dispersed Conference 2015: Fluid States: Performances of UnKnowing.  This will provide a way for our conference to interact live and online with multiple performance, symposium, conference, and festival programs across Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia, and the Pacific. In this way,  Performing Turtle Island will be a multi-platformed event that is simultaneously actual and virtual, local and globally disseminated, interactive and docked on a website.


Topics may include but are not restricted to:

  • Translation: Bridges to communication or contamination?

  • Excavating, performing, and reinterpreting land, water and environment

  • Deconstructing and reconstructing the past

  • Em(body)ment in performance

  • Gender, Indigeneity and performance

  • Preserving, disseminating, archiving, and publishing indigenous performance as text

  • Towards a new “poetics”

  • Health and healing through performance

  • Hybridizations

  • Education and indigenous performance

  • Language:  Dramaturgical and performative necessity, tactic, challenge, and/or effect

  • Crossing racial boundaries (in writing, casting, performance and/or response):  why, when, where, who, how?

  • Surviving and thriving as playwright/ artist on Turtle Island


Submission deadline: December 15, 2014.

Send proposals for papers, or to lead study or workshop circles (300 words) to:

Dr. Moira Day

Dr. Mary Blackstone

After the workshops and seminars have been selected, a subsequent call for registration for these circles will open on Feb.1 with a deadline of April 15 – to be posted on the conference website -

Details on registration and accommodation to follow.

Submission Guidelines to Seminar/Workshops

Who can apply? Registration for Study and Workshop Circles will be open to artists and practitioners, university or college faculty and graduate students.  As Study Circles involve considerable work prior to the conference itself, it is recommended that only graduate students at the dissertation stage of their graduate work consider participating (MA or PhD). In the interests of involving the maximum number of participants possible under tight time and room restrictions the committee feels it will be necessary, except in exceptional cases, to accept only one proposal per applicant. Thus while applicants are welcome to submit more than one proposal, they should clearly indicate which they would prefer to do if only one can be accommodated.

How and when will I be notified of acceptance? Those who have submitted proposals to present papers (20 min.) as part of panels, or to organize seminar/workshops  (90 min.) will be informed of their acceptance by January 31st, 2015. Those applying to participate actively in study and workshop circles will be notified by the committee, after consultation with the individual leaders, by April 30, 2015 and receive a formal letter of invitation to participate in the conference program. Leaders will immediately convene their seminar group by providing the enrolled seminar and workshop participants with directions and deadlines. 

What is expected of me? By accepting a place in a seminar or workshop, each individual agrees to produce original work, to engage directly with the topic and objectives announced by the seminar or workshop leader, to observe the leader’s directions and deadlines, and to attend the seminar or workshop meeting at the conference.  Assigned work may involve research papers, common readings, performance exercises, digital projects, and other undertakings approved by the conference committee.

Seminar and workshop leaders set deadlines for assigned work to be circulated to other group members about a month before the conference and then for responses and feedback to be exchanges among participants prior to the conference itself. This is to allow sufficient time for seminar and workshop members to read or in other assigned ways work with shared materials. When the seminar or workshop gathers at the conference, there should be no need for papers to be read aloud or summarized in detail. Seminar and workshop leaders are asked to confirm advance participation to the conference committee 3 weeks prior to the conference as only those who have completed advance work will be listed in the conference program.

Please note that completed conference registration is a prerequisite to all participation in panels, seminars, and workshops.

Who may attend sessions? At the conference, all seminars and most workshops will be open to auditors. (General registration to begin May 1st, 2015). Those taking part in one seminar are welcome to sit in on others, as the schedule allows. Seminar leaders will provide hard copies of paper abstracts so that the discussion is easier to follow.

Why should I participate? Such seminars can be effective forums in which to develop material for scholarly publication as they offer an opportunity to try out ideas and receive useful responses. Seminar participants are therefore encouraged to revise their work after the seminar and submit it for publication in conjunction with the conference proceedings.  It may also be possible for individual seminars to consider the publication of the groups’ papers in a volume of collected essays.

There are more ways to participate in Performing Turtle Island.

Are you in being a Visiting or Local Correspondent to Performing Turtle Island?

The call for Local and Visiting Correspondents is also now available here.


[Photo: Where The Thunderbird Lives, Curtain Razors + Skookum Sound System, (c) Carey Shaw]






Tags: History Tradition and Performance  Indigeneity and Performance  Performance Studies in the Americas   Religion Spirituality and Performance  

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