Call for papers: A World of Popular Entertainments

International Conference, 10 & 11 June 2009, the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

The title of the conference embraces the “globality” of popular entertainments. Yet the meaning and definition of both ‘popular’ and ‘entertainment’ remain widely contested as well as retaining pejorative connotations that are at odds with their transnational significance. We would welcome participants from a range of complementary disciplines: theatre and performance studies, health, history, psychology, fine art and music as well as performing arts curators and archivists to engage in the analysis as well as the celebration of popular entertainments.

The conference will explore, but not necessarily be confined to, such issues as:

• the role of popular entertainments in community and personal well-being
• spaces and spatiality of the popular: the unbounded venue
• popular entertainments and tourism, travel and leisure
• popular entertainments in a mediatised culture
• circulation, exchange and transmission: cosmopolitanism, trans-nationalism and mobility
• censorship, surveillance, regulation and control
• tradition, memory and nostalgia
• ‘the popular’ reinvented
• popular audiences
• audience / spectator agency
• historiography of the popular
• popular entertainments and the archive: presence and absence
• nation-building, national identity, and popular entertainments
• spectacle and celebration
• popular science and history
• skills and their transmission: the practices of the popular
• economics of the popular
• risky business: violence, cruelty, aggression, risk and danger
• performing the popular

Abstracts of papers to be considered should be submitted to the convenors electronically by no later than FRIDAY, JANUARY 30 2009.

All abstracts of papers accepted for the conference will be published in hard copy. Participants will be invited to submit their papers for publication in a peer-reviewed e-journal devoted to popular entertainments that will be launched in 2009.

Conference convenors:
Gillian Arrighi
Victor Emeljanow
Rosalind Halton

The School of Drama Fine Art & Music has a close association with the Arts Health Centre for Research & Practice at the University of Newcastle

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