Call for Papers

Performance in/and the Street

A Graduate Symposium at York University (Toronto, Ontario), 26 April 2013

The Second Annual York University Department of Theatre Graduate Symposium on
Theatre and Performance in/and Canada

Performance in/and the Street

In recent years, with the popularity of such global movements as Occupy and
SlutWalk, the issue of public protest and performance has been at the forefront
of debates about how we engage with and in public spaces. This symposium will
take up the issue of street performance/performing the streets in light of
these recent phenomena. Jan Cohen-Cruz defines street performances as ones
which “take place in public by-ways with minimal constraints of access.” With
this definition of open access in mind, we hope to problematize issues
surrounding the relationship between public and private space via examples of
both activist and commercial street performances and other public acts of
social engagement on the streets.

This symposium is guided by a number of questions, including: How is the digital
expanding our understanding of street and public performance? How has/does
street performance relate to political, social and environmental change? In
what ways are public and private spaces contested via street performance? How
can/have street performances both reinscribe(d) and challenge(d) nationalistic
sentiments? How does street performance take up the issue of globalisation?
What tactics and practices are common to street performances? How have tactics
been updated and altered through continued street performance interventions?
How does street performance engage both public and private spaces? How does
public and/or corporate funding (or lack thereof) influence street performance?

We invite proposals that take up any aspect of performance and/in the street.
Proposals may consider (but are not limited to) the following topics:

– site-specific/site-generic performance
– corporately-sponsored public art events
– food and street festivals
– street performance’s relation to questions of gender, race and class
– historical examples of street performance
– public protest
– street art
– environmental theatre
– flash mobs, lip dubs etc.
– parkour
– public memorials


We invite papers, curated panels, workshops and performances (including
durational pieces and installations) that address street performance in both a
Canadian and international context. For performance proposals, please include a
description of the piece and any technical/space requirements. Please also
include what type of environment you envision your performance in as we may
program some presentations off-campus.

Please send proposals of 250-words or less by December 31, 2012 to: Please include your full name, email
address, affiliation and any A/V requests along with a short (100 word) bio.