About the Conference

May 8-10, 2009
Fulton Recital Hall, Department of Music
Goodspeed Hall, University of Chicago
1010 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and
The Franke Institute for the Humanities

The conference aims to investigate the multifarious relationships that emerge between texts and performances across a wide range of art forms and media. This formulation immediately raises questions: can a distinction between text and performance be maintained? If so, under what theoretical and disciplinary conditions? Can the act of writing a text be construed as performative? Can the repetitive and reproductive tropes of performers be understood as textual? How do issues of materiality and temporality affect the constitution of a text and the rituals of its manifestation on stage or screen?

Such issues have been tackled by individual scholars in the realms of music (especially opera), cinema, theatre, dance, the visual arts, and media studies, but they rarely have the chance to speak directly to one another across disciplinary borders. The conference thus aims not only to establish terms for negotiations between text and performance, but also to develop a rich, multi-faceted range of approaches that reflect our panelists’ wealth of expertise. We anticipate that the connections and dialogues that emerge when our group of internationally renowned scholars comes together will make this conference a fascinating and enjoyable event for all participants, and we hope you’ll be able to join us!

Conference Chair
Philip Gossett

Roger Moseley

Keynote Speakers
Robert Levin
David H. Bell

Mark Franko
Matthew Jesse Jackson
Steve Jones
Jeffrey Kallberg
Martin Puchner
Lesley Stern
Tiffany Stern

Peter Shultz