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Photo Credit: Dance Machine by Lee Su-Feh. Photo: courtesy of Battery Opera.

Call for Proposals

The PSi25 Call for Proposals closed Dec. 31, 2018.


Extreme fluctuation is a basic aspect of life in Calgary. Situated between the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the plains of the Prairies, nestled in the bed of the powerful Bow River, Calgary’s landscape is perhaps the most visible manifestation of this characteristic. An elastic and resilient ecosystem is demanded of an environment where springtime flooding is followed by prolonged drought and wildfires in the summer, and where winter chinooks can result in 30-degree temperature fluctuations in a single day. This reality is well known to the region’s Indigenous population, while settler cultures continue to acclimatize. The economy, political imagination, educational systems, professional opportunities, and performing arts industry follow a comparable pattern of highs and lows, fluctuating between plenty and scarcity. It is with growing concern that we recognize this defining pull to extremes reflected on a far larger scale in global environmental, political, economic, and humanitarian contexts. As polar oppositions continue to intensify, with ever fewer checks and balances in place, we invite the PSi community to address the demands that extreme fluctuation places on the elasticity of connective tissues/processes, as well as the available modes of response.

Elasticity involves the ability to be shaped by an external force and to return to an original configuration if that force is removed. It refers to the adaptability and plasticity of networked connections, and although elastic tissue has a snapping point, it is far more resilient than inflexible materials.  

We call for proposals of panels, papers, performance presentations, and workshops involving scholarly and creative reflection on the subject of elasticity as it applies to a wide range of performance studies topics, areas and contexts. These include, but are not limited to:


  • The performance of resource-sharing, from the transfer of nutrients in root systems to alternative forms of social organization

  • Modes of resistance, resilience and revision within social, political, cultural and artistic dynamics

  • Collaboration as an adaptation in social and artistic organizational structures and processes

  • Elasticity as personal, cultural and/or creative strategy

  • Creative strategies and techniques that enhance neuroplasticity and their transferability to other domains

  • The elasticity of negotiations between artist/performer and the public

  • Performance space as a malleable factor, both for artist and public

  • Indigeneity, reconciliation and performance

  • Productive economies and creative practice

  • Networking places, performers and audiences

  • Cultural policies and global impacts

  • How spaces, environments and climates shape social, political, cultural and artistic performance

  • Design as the ‘stage’ for elasticity, resilience, recovery … the return from ‘breaking points’

We welcome proposals that demonstrate conceptual and/or formal elasticity – that is, which respect and reflect but also adapt and extend the established practices of traditional conference proceedings. Individuals and groups are invited to submit proposals within the following formats:


20 minutes individual presentations (may involve performance elements requiring minimal technical support).


90 minute curated sessions involving 3 – 4 pre-selected individual paper presentations (or the collaborative equivalent; may involve performance elements requiring minimal technical support).


60 minute individual or group sessions, presentational and/or immersive/participatory in nature, involving modest technical support within a studio/rehearsal hall configuration. May involve an optional, integrated lecture component.


60-90 minute individual or group sessions, facilitating experiential knowledge.


20 – 90 minute individual and/or group sessions adopting alternate, site-specific and/or experimental approaches. Venues and support are to be negotiated with the conference organizers.

Note: separate calls for proposals will be distributed by participating PSi Working Groups. Individuals interested in contributing to one or more of the established Working Groups should contact the group convenors directly.



Proposals should be maximum 300 words in length, in addition to the following information:


Name(s) of presenter(s)

Geographic location

Institutional affiliation (if any)

Email address and phone number(s)

Technical and venue support required/requested (as detailed as possible)

Short Bio(s) for each presenter (maximum 50 words each)


Please note: while the final abstracts will be published in both English and the original language of participant(s), we request that proposals be submitted in English.


The extended deadline for submissions is Monday, December 31st, 2018. Please send all proposals to indicating your choice of presentation format in the subject title (e.g. “PAPER,” “PERFORMANCE,” “PANEL,” etc.)

Conference Convenors

Pil Hansen
Bruce Barton
School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary

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