2020 GRACLS Conference

On-Stage, Off-Stage: Body, Archive, and Performance

The 16th Annual Graduate Conference in Comparative Literature
February 28-29, 2020 at The University of Texas at Austin
Featuring an Artist Talk with Keynote Speaker Xandra Ibarra/La Chica Boom

Call for Papers and Participation

Submission Deadline: January 10, 2020.

The UT Program in Comparative Literature Graduate Program and The Graduate Student Conference Committee are seeking proposals for the 16th Annual Conference on Comparative Literature entitled “On-Stage, Off-Stage: Body, Archive, and Performance”. The 2020 Conference seeks to bridge the gap between research on performance studies and the various practices in theatrical and non-theatrical performance. We offer this conference as an opportunity to  inhabit and expand nuanced spaces between the following: performance “on” and “off” stage, the staged and unstaged, performed and written, theatrical and quotidian, the planned and improvised, practice and theory, the scripted and unscripted. We hope to challenge the assumed hierarchies among players, playwrights, theorists, critics, translators and audience members, and open the floor for a conversation between the opposite sides of assumed binaries of performance and theory.

Just as our theme aims to break down the boundaries between disciplines and practices, so too will the actual format of the conference. To this end, applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for panels, roundtables, workshops (in movement or theater), and performed pieces. 


To apply, please send your name, affiliation, and an abstract of no more than 500 words* to gracls2020@gmail.com by January 10, 2020. We would be glad to host presentations via video call. Please make a note in your abstract if you would like to present via video call/Skype.

*For performed pieces and workshops, please submit a proposal that also details what kind of space/stage/technology you require.  

We invite work that engages with themes such as, but not limited to: 

  • Performing gender 
  • Performing sexuality
  • Archive, archiving performance, performing the archive
  • Otherness, immigration, the subaltern, camouflage, espionage, erasure 
  • Circum-Atlantic performance 
  • Coloniality, postcoloniality, decoloniality
  • Geography, space, and place
  • History, historiography 
  • Corporeality in performance 
  • Activism, organizing
  • Theatrical practices including but not limited to theatre criticism, acting, directing, scenography, costume and lighting design 
  • Animal studies, ecocriticism, geocriticism 
  • Circus arts
  • Acts of care 
  • Supremacy, performance of power
  • Surveillance
  • Partial perspectives, visibility/invisibility 
  • Performing science
  • Performing research

Contact and Location

Please direct all submissions, questions, and comments to:


GRACLS is an annual conference produced by graduate students in the UT Comparative Literature program and developed through the generous support of the Comparative Literature program at the University of Texas at Austin.


Friday, February 28

Saturday, February 29