The Laboratory des Arts et Philosophies de la Scène (LAPS) is an independent structure, based in Paris, composed of a research group that encourages debates, collaborations, and the exchange of ideas between its members and associated performing artists, who share a common goal and interest: to explore the relation between philosophy and the performing arts. By way of annual seminars, international conferences and artistic collaborations, the LAPS strives to bring together theoretical research with theatrical practice, organizing a back-and-forth between philosophical concepts and the stage in order to produce a genuine “working philosophy.” Once a month, the LAPS unites a collective of researchers in philosophy, theater studies, human and social sciences, and performance practitioners.
The goal of this organization is to reinforce the points of contact between scholars and students from the departments of literature, English studies, philosophy and theater studies who do not always have the opportunity to gather around a cross-disciplinary problematic. This vision has been inspiring the conference organisers for several years: their theses turn around this theme, and since the 2012 conference at Ulm, a team of scholars who could have felt isolated in their commitment to interdisciplinary began to coalesce. From that point on, the Labo LAPS – of which the conference organizers are active members – has become a platform for encounters and the creation of innovative collective projects.
The new field of research, developed in Great Britain and the US under the name of Performance Philosophy, now provides the opportunity to maintain solid and lasting collaborations with different organisations and to establish genuine human connections with our international counterparts (encounters made during various conferences and events in Paris, London and at Harvard) who share the desire to promote this new discipline.
This conference was thus conceived as the culmination of numerous exchanges, not the least of which offers the possibility of further development in the form of a publication project (the Performance Philosophy network has signed a book collection with Palgrave MacMillan). We therefore do not consider this conference to be a one-time event, but rather the putting into place of a founding reference and framework for long-term research collaborations.
Besides the monthly seminar “Philosophies of Performance” held at the Maison de la recherché (centre Serpente), the LAPS team is currently invited to participate in a residency combining theory and practice devoted to the relation between puppetry and philosophy, on the invitation of l’Institut National de la Marionnette de Charleville-Mézières in February 2014, as well as to the organization of the 2015 conference on “Puppetry and Philosophy” which will be held at the University of Toulouse 2 Le Mirail.
The organisation of the conference relies upon the participation and sponsoring of several research laboratories of Paris 4 :
The PRITEPS (« Programme de Recherches Interdisciplinaires sur le Théâtre et les Pratiques Scéniques ») of Paris 4 is an interdisciplinary theater research program: its very purpose is to unite Language Studies (English, Italian and French), Comparative Literature, and Philosophy scholars every year around a common theme.
The idea for this conference actually begin to form among PRITEPS participants and, for the last two years, this laboratory has been following each organisor’s research progress as regards the relation between theater and philosophy: consequently, the research laboratory has invited the conference organisors to animate a PRITEPS session on March 11, 2014 in which Flore Garcin-Marrou, Liza Kharoubi and Anna Street will collectively give a presentation entitled “Critique of Theatrical Reason / Theater of Critical Reason”.
The laboratory VALE (« Voix Anglophones : Littérature et Esthétique ») regroups scholars of literature and aesthetics within the English Studies department at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Within VALE has arisen the THEATER GROUP, directed by Elisabeth Angel-Perez (member of the conference Advisory Committee) and Alexandra Poulain. This specific research team studies English-language theater through the lens of theoretical texts and dramatic writings and is also incorporated in the PRITEPS’s “Living Show” focus.
The organisation of the conference relies upon the participation and sponsoring of EMOI-CERILAC of Paris 7, HARp of Paris 10, ICTT of the University of Avignon, but also the CIEPFC.
Committed to interdisciplinarity, the laboratory CERILAC (« Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Interdisciplinaires en Lettres, Arts, Cinéma ») includes and studies literature, art and cinema by way of all the human sciences: philosophy, psychoanalysis, linguistics, anthropology, history, and sociology while promoting transversal focus and reflection.
The ICTT (“Cultural Identity, Texts and Theatricality”) from the University of Avignon examines identity and its representation within minority groups and within societies in transition which have been modified by migratory movements. The application of a critical approach which seeks to explore the domain of cultural identity naturally takes into account both literary and theatrical texts which are necessarily anchored in a social, and thus historical and political context, and nourished by the study of language. From 2012 to 2016, theatrical creation as a dynamic process will be at the centre of the research carried out by the group and will be situated in the context of the gloabalisation of culture which raises pressing questions about the construction and the representation of identity in new aesthetic, cultural and linguistic spaces.
Crossdisciplinary, the laboratory HARp (« Histoires des Arts et des Représentations ») of the University of Paris 10, focuses on a dialog between the fields of history, art history, theater studies, film studies, and aesthetics. Fonded on the concepts and techniques of representation and performance from the Middle Ages until now, their research throws light on the intimate connections between theoretical approaches and practical issues.
The CIEPFC (International Centre of French Contemporary Philosophy) is the research centre of the Ecole Normale Supérieure’s philosophy department (USR 3308 CNRS/ENS Cirphles). The department’s main research area is XXth century French philosophy. Chaired by Frederic Worms. The CIEPFC supported Dimitra Panopoulos and Flore Garcin-Marrou in the organisation of the conference « Images and functions of theatre in French contemporary philosophy ».
This conference obtained several awards from different programs:
The City of Paris sponsoring program for scientific events
The Institut des Amériques supporting research program. The Americas’ Institute (IDA) created a teaching and research network, through international cooperation and collaboration, which aimed at federating studies on North and South America.
Performance Philosophy is an international research network for the new field called « Performance Philosophy ». Its goal is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices related to this developing discipline between international researchers: including students, emerging scholars, established scholars and practitioners. PERFORMANCE PHILOSOPHY takes an inclusive, interdisciplinary and pluralist approach to the field. The network welcomes members concerned with any aspect of philosophy, whether from the Continental or Analytic traditions, and with any discipline or definition of performance, including but not limited to drama, theatre, dance, performance art, live art, and music.
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