Keynote Speech: Dance Studies on the Move: Disciplinarity, Life Sciences and the University

Keynote Speech: Dance Studies on the Move: Disciplinarity, Life Sciences and the University

Dr Kelina Gotman (Kings College London)

Respondent: Dr Stephen Farrier (RCSSD)

Friday 15th January 2016 10:00AM – 11:15AM

Rehearsal Room 1-2

The recently announced “Undisciplining Dance” symposium at the University of Auckland, and the recent multi-site “Fluid States” iteration of Performance Studies international (PSi) testify to a new vigorous movement in these fields to rethink disciplinarity and (transnational) geographic culture. But more work remains to be done to historicize these (post-) disciplinary imaginaries and to rethink the foundations of dance and performance from within a global, multidisciplinary context not separated from scientific methods of research significantly founded in the same “anecdotal” practices cultural theorist Sean Cubitt argues serve as the humanities and social sciences’ special purview – one he claims distinguishes these areas of inquiry from science today. This talk argues not only that dance and performance studies have long been embedded in a mobile, transnational scientific literature and transhistorical biopolitical imaginaries; but also that these imaginaries were forged with writing and research methods just as anecdotal, rhizomatic and cross-disciplinary as current-day performance studies and dance. The trajectory (or choreography) of these disciplinary cross-peregrinations thus compels us to rethink the imagined borders of our current research practices and myths, the cultural trenches scientific, social scientific, humanities and arts scholars and artists continue to build up and to imagine we are able occasionally radically to trespass. At its most militant, this talk argues for a reconsideration of the way dance, theatre and performance among other disciplines must continue to be construed across fields; and the way the history of fields and research practices themselves must always be taken globally and relationally.