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Animal Encounters: Performance, Animality and Posthumanism

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TaPRA Theatre Performance and Philosophy Interim Event 2014
One-day international conference event organised by Roehampton University and TaPRA Theatre, Performance & Philosophy Group in association with the University of East London (Centre of Performing Arts Development)
Date: Saturday 31 May 2014, 9:30am-7:30pm
Venue: Roehampton University, Grove House, Froebel Campus
Life is a domain which possesses a wealth of being-open, of which the human world may know nothing at all.” Heidegger in Fundamental Concepts

The question of human nature in philosophical enquiry confronts the binary opposition of human and animal. From Nietzsche’s critique of the metaphysical precedence of humans as biological evolutionary models in relation to animals as ‘other’ to the works of George Bataille, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari among many others, animals and animality profoundly enact posthumanist, non-anthropocentric perspectives while they simultaneously restate humanist conceptions conceived in a human-animal binary. This one-day conference seeks to untangle the philosophical paradox of ‘becoming animal’ in relation to performance. We ask: how does performance challenge the dimension of human subjectivity in its encounter with animals and animality?

Featuring paper presentations, a film screening, performative presentations, and a roundtable discussion, the event aims to explore the philosophically tense and often antagonistic relation placed on animals in relation to performance, performers and the theatre. Pointing a spotlight on broad issues of human-animal relations, interspecies performance has more recently offered a space for greater affinities and relations. This event re-thinks and un-thinks the philosophical paradox of the human – animal encounter and confronts the animal in performance in relation to human, posthumanism, and the ‘being-open’ to possibilities in the future.

Conference keynotes include: Lourdes Orozco (Author, Theatre & Animals, University of Leeds); Kira O’Reilly (Performance Artist). Conference speakers include: Alessandra Abbattista (Roehampton University); Giovanni Aloi (Editor of Antennae); Silvia Battista (Royal Holloway); Aurelia Baumgartner and Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe (Lincoln University);Fay Brauer (University of East London); Gabriella Calchi-Novati (Trinity Collage Dublin); Clair Chinnery (Oxford Brookes University); João Florêncio (Goldsmiths, University of London); Esther Köhring (Universität Würzburg, Germany); Garry Marvin (Roehampton University), Maria O’Connor & Mark Jackson (Aut University); Mark Robson (University of Dundee); Mariel Supka (Roehampton University); Lisa Woynarski (CSSD, London University)

For the full conference schedule and registrations go to: https://animal-encounters.eventbrite.com