Indigenous Performance Research in the Americas: Bodies and Power is a working session on Indigenous performance and methodologies at the upcoming 2010 ASTR in Seattle, Washington.
While 2009 and 2010 are watershed years in Indigenous performance research – with the
publication of one monograph and three collections of articles – the field is still emergent, with
little professional support for dialogues among researchers about methodology, focus, or ethical
considerations. As co-conveners representing different generations of scholarship, we hope this
session accomplishes two goals: First, the short-term goal of bringing together scholars of
Indigenous performance who are at various stages in their professional development (senior
researchers to graduate students); and second, a long-term goal of contributing to a foundation
upon which future dialogues can build.
In keeping with the conference theme of “Embodying Power: Work Over Time,” we propose a
set of possible questions that begin with the concepts of embodiment and power, including
questions that focus on the role of the scholar in the research process, a highly debated topic in
Indigenous Nations Studies discourses. However, because Indigenous Americas performance
research is still relatively new, we will also consider proposals from participants whose current
research may not intersect precisely with these concepts. Thus, participants might consider any
of the following topics, or suggest their own:
• In what ways do scholars transcribe embodied memory?
• How do scholars mark indigenous bodies, or reveal the ways in which Indigenous bodies
have been “marked” historically?
• How is power transferred/transformed from the stage to the page in Indigenous
• How does Indigenous performance challenge colonial power relations in the Americas?
• How does Indigenous performance negotiate power as it relates to culture and identity?
• How is the actor-spectator interaction imagined in Indigenous performance?
Working Session Format:
In advance of the conference, participants will share 5-7 page “position” statements, articulating
their methodological approach, their subject or focus, and the significance of their research to
Indigenous performance. Via e-mail (or another internet-based discussion forum) participants
and the co-conveners will identify common concepts, arguments, key terms, or topics through
which to structure an interactive two-hour session at the conference.
We anticipate that some participants in this session may have also participated in the seminar
session convened by Ann Haugo at the 2006 ASTR Conference (Indigenous Americas:
Performance Research in Local and Transnational Contexts), and we hope that this working
group will provide an opportunity to sustain a dialogue about Indigenous performance research
Applicants should send proposals of 500 words or less (in Word attachments, with affiliation and
full contact information) by May 31st, 2010 to Ann Haugo (firstname.lastname@example.org) AND Tiffany
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