Call for Papers “Culture in Action”: Between Performance and Ethnography”

As part of the RAI Art, Materiality and Representation Conference at the British Museum/SOAS, 1st-3rd June 2018, we are pleased to invite papers for the following panel:

Culture in Action: Between Ethnography and Performance (P059)

Convenor: Stella Papakonstantinou (DILOS SCHOOL OF ACTING, Athens, Greece)

Short abstract

The scope of this panel would be to attract academics and artists who have conducted ethnographic research on performance in the fields of theatre, dance and music. Their presentations will be paper-based supported by any kind of relevant audiovisual material to illustrate their work.

Long abstract

Theatre, dance and music provide a fruitful ground of observations in culture specific contexts and since they all derive from ritual and tradition, they also provide a great body of knowledge for both performers and observers. The specific panel aspires to bring together researchers and artists who view performance on theatre, dance and music through the lens of ethnographic case study and thus share any practical, theoretical and methodological knowledge they accumulated during their research, with a wider audience. Performance and ‘acting’ in theatre, dance and music is about transformations and metamorphoses through which stories are narrated and a message is conveyed to the audience. Theater, dance and music ethnographers are able to observe the analogies between the action that takes place in a performance and the human condition, within a specific cultural context.

The presentations are going to be distributed equally among researchers of theatre, dance and music performance with a fifteen-minute paper-based presentation of their work accompanied by a ten-minute audio/visual material. The material can be a short film, photographic footage, recorded visual or audio interviews with performers or anything else that the participants think fit in order to illustrate their work, generate fruitful discussion and exchange of ideas. The integration of audiovisual footage on the one hand and of performance and ethnography on the other, will assist in looking critically at the multiplicity of forces that shape artistic work on the canvas of social interactions.

Please send abstract proposal by January 8, 2018 to the online form:

Proposals need to consist of a paper title, a short abstract of less than 300 characters and a longer abstract of 250 words. Upon submission of the proposal the author receives an automated email confirming receipt. If you do not receive this email, please check the online form to see whether your name appears on the list or not, if your name does not appear on the list then it means that you need to redo the process.

For any questions please email: Stella Papakonstantinou at

Further details about the conference can be found at:

Art, Materiality and Representation 2018,,

Royal Anthropological Institute, the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas of the British Museum and the Department of Anthropology at SOAS

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