[csaa-forum] Experimental Histories, Hobart Oct 3-4

Katrina Schlunke katrina.schlunke at sydney.edu.au
Wed Sep 14 09:04:10 ACST 2016

 Experimental Histories: Performance, Colonialism and Affect

3rd and 4th October, 2016


A/Prof Penny Edmonds (UTAS) and A/Prof Katrina Schlunke (USYD)

penny.edmonds at utas.edu.au and katrina.schlunke at sydney.edu.au

In her perceptive examination of the encounter between history, performance and colonialism, American theorist Diana Taylor argues that performance ‘transmits memories, makes political claims, and manifests a group’s sense of identity’. Crucially, Taylor reminds us of the critical political and interventionist work of performance, especially those of Indigenous peoples, and associated artefacts and creative expressions which challenge us to look beyond traditional text-based sources, to ask: ‘If … we were to reorient the ways social memory and cultural identity…have traditionally been studied…what would we know that we do not know now? Whose stories, memories, and struggles might become visible?’ 1

This two day symposium is concerned with looking again at how we have come to know the colonial past. To attempt to know the past 'experimentally' is to make way for the emerging archive of previously overlooked embodied and affective actions, objects, everyday experiences and performative challenges to the colonial that were ignored or already accounted for. This means making a space for the stories of the bodies, objects, animals, constructed ‘heritage’ sites and environments that became entangled within colonialism. Such an approach requires a reconsideration of the ways in which the past is presented. This symposium will critically interrogate the ways that the past is re-imagined, interpreted, commemorated and/or subverted through affective performances of heritage and history. We seek to explore new forms of creative expression and writing that are reflective of the affective force of the emotional past, as well as new ways of performing and 'playing' the past that produce different pedagogical effects.

1 Diana Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Duke U.P., 2003)


‘Experimental Histories’ Postgraduate Workshop, 5th Oct

In this workshop we will explore what is meant by an ‘experimental’ history and how the concept and surrounding ideas might be useful in the organisation of your thesis projects at both a conceptual and writerly level. HDR students will be asked to consider the ways in which a range of diverse approaches to the past including histories of the present, genealogies, new historicism, history from below, popular and public histories, new museology, new materialism, re-enactment, ‘artful’ histories, fictocriticism, and memory work have thrown up challenges to how we do research but have also provided an exciting new set of research tools. We will consider the particularities of the Australian context and offer a set of discussion points and writing exercises to explore this fascinating terrain.

Convenors: A/ Prof Katrina Schlunke and A/ Prof Penny Edmonds

Date: 5th October 1.30-4.30pm

RSVP: Essential as places are limited. HDR Students only please.

Venue: Sandy Bay Campus, University of Tasmania

Cost: Free


A/Prof Penny Edmonds at penny.edmonds at utas.edu.au

Venue: Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

For both events RSVP is ESSENTIAL due to limited places.

Hosted and Sponsored by

Creative Exchange Institute CxI and

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