CFP: Bergen Conference 25-27 Nov 2020

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ASSOCIATION OF NORDIC THEATRE SCHOLARS CONFERENCE IN BERGEN 25th to 27th NOVEMBER 2020

The research milieu in Theatre Studies at University of Bergen has instigated a research project for the study of Scandinavian independent theatre from the 1960s to the 2010s, defined as SCAN-AESTHETICS which has been developed with Scandinavian colleagues. Together we have identified a research gap regarding the study of independent theatre and performance groups not only in the countries traditionally defined as “Scandinavian”, but within the Nordic-Baltic region in general. SCAN-AESTHETICS is henceforth to be understood as a catchword to cover the Scandinavian and Nordic/Baltic dimension seen as region.

The main question addressed in the project and the forthcoming conference is:

How has the non-institutional theatres /independent dance, theatre and performance field emerged and developed in Scandinavia and the Nordic/Baltic region? This understanding of the field of performing arts also includes popular art, musical theatre, cabaret and circus.

This main question branches out into two sub questions:

  1. a)  What were/are the aesthetics, working methods and artistic philosophies of the performing arts groups?
  2. b)  How have cultural policies within each country developed in response to the emergence of the independent performance field in Scandinavia, the Nordic countries as such and the Baltic?

In our project we have defined three distinct time periods, but contributions dealing with historiographical background prior to 1960 will also be welcome, such as research on the avant-garde, circus and cabaret in general. The three identified time-periods are:

  •   1960-1980: the anthropological turn and political theatre
  •   1980-1995: the aesthetic turn: project theatre and performance theatre
  •   1995-2020: the new authenticity and the (re-)turn of the social in the performing arts

These periods, however, can be different and may be adjusted to the different parts of the Scandinavian and Nordic/Baltic region. Contributions challenging this periodization are particularly welcome.

SCAN-AESTHETICS aims at producing new knowledge of how the independent performing arts groups in Scandinavia and the Nordic/Baltic region developed, and influenced each other through the study of:

  1. 1)  their aesthetics: study of performances, training programs and publications made by the groups.
  2. 2)  discursive analysis of the correspondence between the groups: their letters and touring itinerary, in addition to the analysis of newspapers and journal publications referring to cross-national influence between the Scandinavian and Nordic/Baltic groups.
  3. 3)  the formation and development of cultural policies in relation to the field of non- institutional theatre, dance and performance. SCAN-AESTHETICS will ask which models each country adopted and if these models were influenced by other Scandinavian counterparts.

Abstract submissions should be sent by April 15th 2020 to professor Knut Ove Arntzen at the University of Bergen: knut.arntzen@uib.no

Local arrangement committee: Professor Knut Ove Arntzen, Associate professor Keld Hyldig, Doctoral research fellow Ragnhild Gjefsen, Lecturer Anna Blekastad Watson