Saint Mary's College of California and San Francisco State University's Center for Camp Studies invites proposals for panels, roundtables, and performances for a conference on camp to be held in October 22-25, 2009. The Center welcomes papers that explore any topic related to the study, teaching, and performance of camp, and encourages submissions that examine the aesthetic and political significance of camp performance. The conference will include four days of panels and performance.
Incongruity is the subject matter of camp, theatricality its style, and humor its strategy. -Esther Newton, Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America (1972)
If "incongruity is the subject matter of camp," then it is only fitting that this year's Many Camps conference address the artist/theorist split, a divide that is rarely challenged by academia. As Esther Newton's research in Mother Camp underscores, camp artists are, by the very nature of the approach, theorists; not only does their work provide the basis for academic work on camp, the field of camp studies is built upon their early articulations about their way of being in the world. Conversely, as Oscar Wilde's The Critic as Artist posits in its very title, the critic is engaged in an aesthetic endeavor. In the spirit of transforming and challenging this arbitrary, yet compelling, duality between artist and critic, this year's conference will be blending academic panels with performances, including sessions where artists can share their work in a variety of formats and opportunities for theorists to perform. We hope the conference's mixed format will encourage conversation between academics and artists and open up the definition of camp to include atypical contexts, whether culturally, historically, or creatively.
The focus of this year's performance element will be Women as Camp Subject. Pamela Robertson Wojcik, from University of Notre Dame, will be the keynote speaker. Performers include Split Britches (Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw), Adelina Anthony, Fauxnique (Monique Jenkinson), and Maris Bustamante. A roundtable discussion with the artists will follow the final performance. The deadline for proposals for performances and panels is April 1, 2009. The deadline for papers is June 1, 2009. Proposals must include audio/visual requirements and any other special requests. Subsequent a/v requests may not be honored. In order to streamline the committee review process, please submit abstracts for proposals for sessions and for papers over email. Proposals for performances or creative sessions should be sent to Michael Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals for academic panels and papers should be sent to Lisa Manter at email@example.com. Questions? Email Lisa Manter (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Bettinger (email@example.com).
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