CfP: Performer Training Working Group, TaPRA, 2022 — Passing it On: Genealogies and Legacies of Training

Deadline for Proposals: 1 April, 2022

Conference: 12-14 September, 2022, University of Essex.

Training isn’t easily contained within a single person. Although the individual subject is often the nexus where training is realized, it generally depends upon a community for its sustenance, upon trainers to pass the disciplines on, upon trainees to carry them forward, and upon successive generations to rediscover and renew the practices. The focus of this year’s meeting of the working group is about these processes of passing training on.

This discussion leads on from our focus in 2021’s conference on Training and Agency. From one perspective the genealogies and legacies of training might represent the structure against which individuals assert their agency. However, from another point of view these ideas might provide alternative structures that empower individuals through collectivity, tradition and community. What might be the narratives of training through which an individual ascribes meaning to their own practice? Could these narratives offer people and communities a site of resistance to an individualizing capitalist culture?

The question of ‘passing it on’ is also vital to the realm of Practice Research in the field of training. If new knowledge is generated within a researcher or collective’s training processes, how is this documented and how might this be shared with the wider discipline and discourse around training? How are insights gained through training ascribed value by the academic and community of practitioners?

Submissions might focus on questions asked when the process of transmission of training concerns the crossing of cultural boundaries. Are the practices inevitably transformed by the different cultural contexts they are transmitted to? Might original ‘ownership’ of practices be difficult to establish and problematic? Are there ethical obligations or expectations amongst communities of practice that the values of an originating culture be respected? Might there be a value to reconstructing extinct training practices? Can we revive new versions of past practices from fragments and relics? Might we curate new versions of existing practices – what is selected to survive, and what is allowed to fall away? Who has the authority to make such decisions? Are these constant processes of renewal that are necessary to keep training practices alive and what are the costs and benefits of these? Might striving for ‘pure’ transmission lead to the ‘original’ practice being deadened?

For full details of how to apply, conference fees, and bursaries are available on the TaPRA website here: