New Group: Performance Philosophy

A new professional association and international research network
for the field of Performance Philosophy.

This new association is open to all researchers concerned with the relationship between performance & philosophy. It is free to join and anyone can become a member by visiting the PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY website at


Recent years have seen an intensification of research activity examining the relationship between performance and philosophy undertaken by researchers across the disciplines, in academia and in practice, in a number of different countries. The creation of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY responds to this activity with a kind of performative deixis which points to the existence of a new emergent field of Performance Philosophy, at the same time as it calls such a field into existence. That is, the convenors of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY contend that what is at stake is not just a ‘turn’ or trend within the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies – and, as such, a one-way conversation – but the emergence of Performance Philosophy as a new field in its own right involving not just Theatre and Performance researchers but researchers based in Philosophy and a wide range of other disciplines.

And this new field is entirely open. What counts as Performance Philosophy must be ceaselessly subject to redefinition in and as the work of performance philosophers. Performance Philosophy could be: the application of philosophy to the analysis of performance; the philosophy of performance and/or the performance of philosophy; the study of how philosophers and philosophical ideas have been staged in performance or how ideas and images of performance have figured in philosophy; the theoretical or practical exploration of philosophy as performance and/or as performative; and likewise, experiments emerging from the idea that performance is a kind of philosophy or thinking or theorizing in itself. But it could also be much more besides. The ambition of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY is to support the interrogation of this ‘more’, to facilitate researchers to create and question the nature of this open field.

PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY takes an inclusive, interdisciplinary and pluralist approach to the field. The network welcomes members concerned with any aspect of or tradition within philosophy, whether from the Continental or Analytic traditions, from a focus on Eastern or Western modes of thought, or from other areas including but not limited to Theology, Critical and/or Literary Theory, Cultural Studies, phenomenology, and post/structuralism. In the same way, PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY welcomes members working with any discipline or definition of performance, including but not limited to drama, theatre, performance, dance, performance art, live art, applied theatre, music, film and new media, as well as performativity and performance in/as everyday life. The only criteria for membership and participation are an interest in the field and an openness to the breadth and variety of different approaches to Performance Philosophy that the field encompasses.

Aims and Activities

The core aims of PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY are:
·      to nurture and develop the emerging field of Performance Philosophy internationally
·      to facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices related to Performance Philosophy between international researchers including students, emerging scholars, established scholars and practitioners.

We hope to achieve these aims through a range of activities, including via our
·      website
·      mailing list
·      conferences and events
·      PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY journal (tbc) and
·      PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY book series (tbc)


PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY is structured as a network, made up of
·      self-organizing research groups, and
·      a committee of core convenors

The research groups within the network can either be geographic or institution based (eg. the Brown group) and/or thematic or based on the work of a particular performance philosopher (eg. the Deleuze, Guattari and Performance group). Any member or group of members can apply to create a new research group via the website.

The role of the convenors is to oversee the functioning of the network as a whole and to lead on the development of Performance Philosophy projects such as the journal and book series. Nominations for new convenors will be invited from the membership after 2 years (in 2014).

For further information, please see the Performance Philosophy website or contact Laura Cull: l.cull [at] surrey[dot]ac[dot]uk.