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UBC Colloquium 2011

Shift, Mix, Blur: Improvising Across Boundaries

October 20 to 22, 2011 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Improvisation, Community and Social Practice research initiative ( invites proposals for presentations at its fourth Vancouver colloquium, “Shift, Mix, Blur: Improvising Across Boundaries,” which will take place on October 20 to 22, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Improvisation offers a salient point of entry for theorizing a broad range of pressing issues of cultural concern: power and resistance, identity formation, transcultural collaboration, multiculturalism, alternative pedagogies, community development, human rights, and new networks of social interaction. At this colloquium, we invite researchers, students, and artists to investigate how improvisational practices are structured and how meaning arises and is exchanged through improvisation. How does improvisation facilitate global and transcultural conversations? How are diverse identities, cultures, and viewpoints brought together through improvisational theatre, music making, dance, visual art and literary performance? How do artistic and social practices get transformed as they encounter, test and move across limits and boundaries? What tactics and strategies do improvisers in various contexts employ, and to what ends? How are such conversations both enabled and resisted through improvising?

Presentations can range from theoretical to practical, from aesthetic to political in their aims and methods, and interdisciplinary work is welcome and encouraged. We are especially interested in provocative, informed work that deals with improvisation in as unlimited a sense as possible. Submissions are invited from academic and non-academic writers, artists, performers and critics.

Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words — finished presentations and papers should conform to a 20-minute delivery — by July 31, 2011 to Dr. Kevin McNeilly, or to Dr. Julie Smith,

Notification of acceptances will be given by August 15, 2011. Early submissions are welcome.

This colloquium is presented in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver 125, the Vancouver Poetry Conference 2011, and the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival.

Musical improvisation is a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action.

– Ajay Heble