Representing Gender in the Performative Arts: An International Conference

Date: November 12 – 13, 2009
Venue: University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

This conference is designed to bring together two main strands of current research in cultural studies: Gender Studies and Word & Image Studies. The purpose of the conference is to investigate the representation of gender through the interaction between words and images in West-European drama, dance and other performative arts from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century. With this approach, we expect to reach a fuller understanding of the dynamics behind cultural change that we witness through the act of representation itself.
In Gender Studies, the (social/cultural) history of women has been written within the last two or three decades; the knowledge gained from these investigations forms the starting point for the present conference that will explore the continuous presence of conflictive relationships, divergences, ambiguities, (self-)parody, and so on, which signal departures from conventions and stereotypes. In Word and Image Studies the focus has traditionally been on textual/visual interaction and intermediality; however, this project will expand the field by investigating the elements of dissimilarities, divergences or the conflictive dialogue between the media which will constitute an important new contribution to the Word/Image paradigm.
Therefore, the focus of the conference will be: exploring gender identity expressed by the interaction between words and images in drama, dance, and other performative arts. These can take the form of parallel responses to representational conventions of a particular period and place or function as a counter-reaction to conventions such as, for example, parody or self-parody.

We welcome proposals addressing any of these issues. Please send proposal and a brief curriculum vitae to the organisers: Valerie Robillard,; Rina Walthaus,

Conference fee (includes conference material, lunches, coffee and tea): EUR 50. PhD students: EUR 20.

Organised by the University of Groningen (Groningen, The Netherlands):
Dept. of English Language and Culture (Dr. Valerie Robillard)
Dept. of Romance Languages and Cultures (Dr. Rina Walthaus)