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Borderlines IV: Keynote announcement


performance animality animals humans non-human technology Anthropocene techno-animality political stage dissent Doo Sung Yoo anthropocentrism hybridity

Borderlines IV: Resisting, Persisting, Performing is the fourth annual interdisciplinary conference hosted by De Montfort University’s Performance Research Group. With papers, presentations and performances from across Drama, Dance, Film, and Art History and Visual Culture, this conference investigates performance’s capacity to defiantly, if carefully, withstand and investigate the enforced construction or policing of borderlines. In so doing, it will engage with: bodily borders and resistance to ownership; exclusion, restriction and borders; enforced or resisted gendered borders;dynamics of power and navigating geographical, environmental and spatial borderlines; acting as resistant witness or revolutionary agent to the modulating or enforcing of borders; invisible borderlines and legislative structures; extending or troubling borders through technology or different media; impenetrable or porous borderlines between body and voice or text and action; transgressing disciplinary borderlines; reconfiguring / reviewing the borders between life and death; processes and techniques that create or dismantle borders. Professor Jennifer Parker Starbuck (Roehampton University) will deliver the keynote speach on ‘Bodies and Border Crossings: Animality, Performance, and the Anthropocene’ (details below).

Further information and a finalised schedule will be revealed soon!

This is a free event – all welcome, but please contact Alissa Clarke ( to reserve a place.

Jennifer Parker-Starbuck is Head of the Department of Drama, Theatre, and Performance, and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Roehampton, London. She is the author of Cyborg Theatre: Corporeal/Technological Intersections in Multimedia Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, paperback 2014), Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field (co-authored with S. Bay-Cheng and D. Saltz, University of Michigan Press, 2015), and co-editor of Performing Animality: Animals in Performance Practices (Palgrave, 2015). Her ‘Animal Ontologies and Media Representations: Robotics, Puppets, and the Real of War Horse’ (Theatre Journal, Vol. 65, Number 3, October 2013) received the ATHE 2014 Outstanding Article award. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Theatre JournalPAJWomen and PerformanceTheatre TopicsInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and CriticismWestern European Stages, and others. She is a contributing editor for PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, and an Advisory Board member of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. Parker-Starbuck currently serves as the co-Editor of Theatre Journal.

‘Bodies and Border Crossings: Animality, Performance, and the Anthropocene’

Examining cross-species performance encounters of ‘technologized animality’ (between humans, animals and technologies), this talk frames a ‘becoming-animate’ that takes place through ideas of representation, presentation, and dissention in performance. In an age described as the Anthropocene, the non-human animal figures crucially in political and ethical imaginings of any possible future, and this talk frames certain forms of techno-animality on what Rancière calls a ‘political stage’ as a form of dissensus. Animals are frequently subsumed within hybridized/technologized practices, yet this talk argues that if considered as dissenting figures, animals might disrupt growing conflations between animals and technologies. Analysing the proliferation of performance engagements with animality, including bio-technological experimentations, ‘dead’ animals (a turn to taxidermy), robotic/technologized animals, living animals, and human-animal hybrids, this paper navigates a shifting terrain to foreground how animality is shaping human-centric performance practices and lives. In (Korean/US) artist Doo Sung Yoo’s animal-machine hybrids, specifically his robotic pig-heart jellyfish, ‘animals’, controlled by humans, are at their least ‘animal’, but it is this disturbance to form that provokes its possibility as dissenting agent in Anthropocentric work.