Boundaries: Transgression, Authority, Performance Conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, Monday 22nd June, 9.45am – 6.30pm

The Performance Research Group warmly invite you to Boundaries: Transgression, Authority, Performance, an interdisciplinary conference to be held at De Montfort University, Leicester on Monday 22nd June. See below and attached for the programme and details of the keynote speaker, Professor Gerry Harris (Lancaster University), and a link to a map of the campus. Please contact Dr Alissa Clarke ( for further information and to reserve a place.

Boundaries: Transgression, Authority, Performance

De Montfort University, Monday 22nd June 2015, 9.45am – 6.30pm.


Location: Hugh Aston Building, Room 3.96 and Room 3.95

9.45 – 10.00                  Arrival (Room 3.95) – Tea and coffee


10.00 – 10.05                Welcome (Room 3.96): Rob Brannen – Head of School of Arts


10.05 – 11.25                Panel 1: Boundaries and States of Being (Room 3.96)

Chair: Kerry Francksen


‘“The Ontology of Performance” or “The Performance of Ontology”?

 Arguing for a recognition of the performativity of Being’

                                    Martin Leach


‘Crossing Boundaries: Re-performance, Life/Death, Mourning/Melancholia’

Sarah Julius


‘Running through the in between Spaces of the Exhibition

Ramsay Burt and Katye Coe


11.25 – 11.45                Break (Room 3.95)


11.45 – 13.05                Panel 2: Enhancing / Blurring Boundaries of Spaces and Places (Room 3.96)

Chair: Craig Vear


‘Dancers Transgressing National Boundaries in Dance’

Michael Huxley


‘Immersive Theatre and Blurring the Boundaries between Worlds: How Punchdrunk built Hollywood in Paddington’

Alison Gibbons


‘Building Bridges for Others to Cross: Community, Performance and Education’

Jayne Stevens


13.05 – 14.15                Lunch in Room 3.95


14.15 – 15.15                Keynote – ‘Crossing Borders? The Vagina Monologues and One Billion Rising’ (Room 3.96)

Professor Geraldine (Gerry) Harris –Lancaster University


15.20 – 16.45                Panel 3: Bound(less) Bodies, Genders, Sexualities (Room 3.95 and Room 3.96) Chair: Elinor Parsons


‘The performance of being: the emerging practice and perception of a speaking female contemporary dancer’ (Room 3.95)

Marie Hay


‘“She Stole Everything but the Camera”: Demonstrating Mae West’s Powerful Embodied Performance Presence’ (Room 3.96)

Alissa Clarke


‘Bringing Out The Gimp’ (Room 3.96)

Gary Needham



16.45 – 17.05                Break (Room 3.95 and PACE Building)




Location: PACE Building, Studio 2


17.05 – 18.05                 Panel 4: Extending the Boundaries through New Technologies / the Sciences Chair:  Simon Featherstone


‘From Within: An Artist Talk’

Annie Cattrell


Farewell Sun! Adieu Soleil! (2015)

Composed by Craig Vear


18.05                            Closing Remarks

                                    Tracy Cruickshank – Associate Head of School of Arts / Head of Drama



18.30                            Dinner – Shivalli Restaurant, Welford Road (payment required)






Geraldine (Gerry) Harris is Professor of Theatre Studies at Lancaster University. She has published widely on the politics and aesthetics of Theatre, Performance and Television Drama. Her books include Staging Femininities, Performance and Performativity (1999), Beyond Representation: The Politics and Aesthetics of Television Drama (2006), Feminist Futures? Theatre Theory, Performance,co-edited with Elaine Aston (2006), Practice and Process: Contemporary [Women] Practitioners, co-authored with Elaine Aston (2007) and A Good Night Out for the Girls: Popular Feminisms in Contemporary Theatre and Performance, co-authored with Elaine Aston (2013).



Crossing Borders? The Vagina Monologues and One Billion Rising

The V-Day campaign to ‘end violence against women and girls’, established in the US in 1998 and based around Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues (1996), has always provoked controversy amongst feminists commentators and scholars. This debate has widened and increased since 2001 when V-Day stated its aim to become a ‘global movement’, an ambition embodied most recently by One Billion Rising (OBR) launched in 2013.

Focusing on OBR but with reference to critiques of The Vagina Monologues, this paper is concerned with V-Day’s use of theatre and performance as part of contemporary popular (some might say populist) multi-media, multi-platform ‘global’ activism. This is explored with reference to theories of transnational feminism and the political possibilities and problematics of this sort of cross- cultural border crossing. A primary concern is to examine re-occurring assumptions about the relationship between politics and aesthetics evident in debates around V-Day’s activities and, in particular, the way these assumptions are bound up with notions of authorship and authority. Taking account of the fact that V-Day’s most vocal scholarly critics are from fields other than theatre and performance, these debates also raise questions about the interdisciplinarity, a term which actually remarks the continuing existence of discipline boundaries.



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