Since the inception of the International Vocal Arts Workshop, a day has been devoted to a symposium in which students, performers, and scholars have presented papers, workshops, and discussions around a chosen theme of interest.

Symposium at the International Vocal Arts Workshop
Jeunesses Musicales Croatia, Grožnjan
29 May 2016

* * *
Call for Proposals

Submit proposals of 300-500 words to Symposium Coordinator Kimmy Szeto at by 1 April 2016
Include a CV or a brief biographical note

The Theme of the 2016 Symposium is "Performing the Other"

The image of the “Other” often calls forth attraction and a glorification of the exotic, along with the daring to explore and own the unknown, but it can also evoke fear, distrust, even revulsion and hatred. Otherness is tightly intertwined with performance and education. It can determine how we see, how we learn, how we experience the world through our senses. We see Otherness in depictions of race, gender and sexual orientation, ethnicity and genocides, local affiliations, habits of our neighbors, in our relation to nature and environment. In this symposium, we explore the many manifestations of Otherness in the performing arts, including cultural, sociological, pedagogical, aesthetic, historical, and technological aspects, as expressed in all the arts. In short, we welcome many viewpoints to help illuminate the subject.

Issues to be explored may include:

  • What does it mean to mediate the experience of the "Other" for an audience, and what are the responsibilities of an intermediary? Whose experience or perspective is prioritized? Where does the power lie? Are there ways to subvert dominant power in this act?
  • Does art require externalizing one's interiority in order to represent it to others? Is internalizing the "Other” an essential first step in this process?
  • To perform is to go to “an other place.” How do musicians and artists negotiate the constantly migrating identities, styles, and contexts in their performing lives?
  • The stranger, the migrant, the foreigner, call forth the idea of an “Other,” often with a negative aura. Can “Performing the Other” help reduce this negative response by representing and stressing commonalities?

Je est un autre. (I is an Other.) —Rimbaud
And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? They were, those people, a kind of solution. —Cavafy

Proposals in the form of papers, presentations, workshops, and other interactive formats are welcome.

Decisions regarding the status of submitted proposals will be made and communicated via email as quickly as possible following the submission deadline, and certainly no later than 30 April for papers and presentations, and 22 May for workshops and interactive formats.

Symposium topics in previous years

Playing in Time: Temporality in Performance and Performing Arts (2013)
Acousticity: A Symposium on Sound, Space, and Practice (2010)
Fluidity/Rigidity of Gender in Vocal Performance (2009)
External and Internal Influences on Vocal Forms and Styles (2008)
Traditional Structures in Contemporary Performance (2007)
Traditional Music and Theatre in Worldwide Performance (2006)
East European Traditional Music and Theatre in Performance (2005)

(c) 2008-2013, Kimmy Szeto
International Vocal Arts Workshop, 835 Riverside Drive #4J, NY 10032 (212) 795-3513