Thursday, April 17, 2008

CFP: "Carnival, 'People's Art' and Taking Back the Streets," York University and University of Toronto, July 30-August 3, 2008.

Spreading from Trinidad through the Caribbean, to Brazil, the United States and Canada, England, as well as Germany, and with analogues in Brazil, the United States and elsewhere, Carnival has developed into one of the most important global expressions of popular identity. Both as celebration, and as resistance art, it builds on the collision of cultures of Christian European colonizers and enslaved West Africans. The claiming of public space in the use of the street is a statement of presence that is as much political as artistic. Organized to coincide with the Caribana Festival on the streets of Toronto, this conference addresses such important issues as Globalization and Commercialization, the formation of Diasporas, the origins and development of Carnival, Gender and Racism, the nature of Postcolonialism today. Held as part of the Caribana Festival and Parade, and with the International Steelpan Association, the conference encourages merging theory with practice. The conference will explore the social, political and cultural aspects of Carnival and street theatre, as well as themes of exclusion/otherness, exoticism and cross-cultural acceptance, connections across the Diaspora, and comparisons between Carnival in Africa, the Caribbean, South and North America, Europe and the UK. Papers that address any aspect of these areas are welcome. While taking African Carnival and its spread across the Caribbean to other continents as its base, this conference is also intended to focus on the widest socio-cultural aspects of this performative street art: the negotiation of hybrid identity in the post-colonial context; anthropological views of historical developments, the politics of carnival and street theatre, the economics and commercial pressures. Suggested topics for papers include, but are not limited to: * Carnival and theatricality * Images of Africa / Carnival in Africa * The Trinidad Carnival Tradition * Myth, Magic and Ritual * Economics and Carnival * Social Activism & Street Theatre * Popular Art, Globalization & Copyright * Gender, Sexuality, Satire * Caribana: history, performance * New Orleans Mardi Gras * Cross-Cultural Influence: Brazil, Bolivia, Berlin * Notting Hill Carnival There are seminars for which papers may be submitted, on the following topics: * Cultural Rights in a Transnational Festival * Carnival in Literature * Anthropological Approaches to Carnival There is also still the opportunity to propose other seminar topics Submissions: Prospective participants should submit abstracts of between 100 and 300 words, for individual papers, seminars or workshops, by the FINAL deadline of MAY 15th 2008. Abstracts should be sent by email to Abstracts must include the title of the paper or presentation, the name(s) of presenter(s); institutional affiliation; email address, phone & Fax numbers. Students should identify themselves as New Scholars. Special Features: * Presentation of a performance piece by Eintou Springer * Major Exhibition of Carnival Art * Kings and Queens Competition and Caribana Parade * Steelpan Music and Panels * Presentation of Carnival Videos Workshops on: * Producing Carnival * Carnival Design * Street Theatre * Calypso CONTACT: Prof. Christopher Innes, Canada Research Chair, 125 Winters College, York University Tel. (416) 736-5142. The conference website is found here:

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