Call for Papers: Performativity and Creativity in Modern Cultures

Performativity and Creativity in Modern Cultures

An Interdisciplinary Conference

22–24 November 2019, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague


Performativity and creativity have often been used vaguely in a number of discourses in cultural studies, economics, political ideologies or advertising. The purpose of this conference is to explore the force of these concepts in pragmatic approaches to cultures and closely related industrial production (“creative industries”), in technological developments connected with performing arts and cultural communication, as well as in commercial entertainment.

In recent approaches, the understanding of performativity has transcended its original linguistic dimensions (Austin, Searle) and their deconstructionist critique (Derrida, Hillis Miller). In our view, it can be better described by studying notions like “fiction”, “play” (Iser), “gender” (Butler), “technology” (Foucault) or “social roles” (Goffman, Ross and Nisbett).

Similarly, creativity is no longer linked with the evolution of closed autopoietic systems (Niklas Luhmann). The conference offers to re-assess the existing notions of autopoiesis in view of the concepts of the virtual/actual (Deleuze, Buci-Glucksman), interface/interfaciality (Latour), media technologies and mediation (in broadest terms, including conflict resolution). It also invites interdisciplinary approaches inspired by the psychology of creativity (Csikszentmihályi), the philosophy, history, as well as the psychological and anthropological aspects of play (Huizinga, Sutton-Smith, Caillois and others).

Performativity and creativity will not be discussed separately, but as two interdependent faculties and agencies. The conference will explore them in diverse theoretical contexts, as well as historically – in the main phases of modernity, including the Early Modern period, Romanticism and its aftermaths, Modernism and avant-garde movements and the present time. Apart from developing and interconnecting the theories of fiction, play, media, political and aesthetic ideologies, as well as the notions of avant-garde and the post-modern, the conference aims to contribute to the exploration of recent socio-economic phenomena, such as the “creative industries”, and trace their historical dimensions. The conference is closely linked to the research in the European Regional Development Fund Project “Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions of the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World” (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000734).


300 word abstracts of individual papers (including keywords and a bio-note of 100 words) or panel proposals (including 300 word description of the panel, keywords, bio-note(s) of the convenors, paper topics and university affiliations of all speakers) addressing one or more above issues should be submitted by 1 March 2019 to the following e-mail address: The notices of paper or panel acceptance will be e-mailed and further information about the venue, registration, accommodation and logistics will be publicized by 1 June 2019.

Professor Martin Procházka

Charles University, Prague

Professor Pavel Drábek

University of Hull



Proposed Paper or Panel Topics

  1. Theoretical Aspects
  2. a)      Fictions in/and Culture

–  Fiction and Play

–  Fiction as Performance/Performative

–  Fiction as Interface

  1. b)      Fiction, Creativity and Technology

–  Virtual Nature of Fiction

–  Fiction and “Political Technologies of Individuals” (Foucault)

–  Imagining Communities: Revisiting Benedict Anderson

  1. c)      Performance of Presence

–  Performing the Self and the Body

–  Performing a Social Role

–  Being in a Social Field

  1. d)      Propositional Performativity

–  The Possible, the Aleatory, the Future

–  Modelling the Worlds through Play

–  Performance as Negation of Status Quo (carnival, heterotopia, subversion)

  1. Performativity and Creativity in Different Periods of Modernity:

Aesthetics, Cultural Theory and History

  1. The Early Modern Formation of the Self and the Public Sphere
    • Enacting the Social Strata
    • Mimetic Desire (Girard)
    • Performance as Mediation/Bridging of the Cultural Other (intraculturally, interculturally)
  1. b) Performing One’s World: Performance as Exteriorisation and Interiorisation
  2. c)       Autonomy of Artworks from the Renaissance to Romanticism. The Notion of

“Heterocosm” and its Development through the Modernity

  1. d)       Romantic Aesthetic Ideologies

–    in Art and Culture

–    in Relation to Radical Political and National Emancipation

–    Avant-garde and (Post)Modern Approaches to Performativity and Creativity

  1. e)       Performativity and Creativity in Modern Technology and Media Cultures

–   the shifting sensorium (Ong): from script and book print, through early modern experiments, to modern VR and AR media

–  the “battlefields” of creativity; performativity in the novel territories

  1. “Creative Industries”: a Reassessment
  2. a)       Historical

–   (Early) Modern Theatre and Entertainment Industry

–   Film and Popular Entertainment

–   Revisiting Guy Debord – The Society of Spectacle

–   Changing Functions of Mass Entertainment: From Bear-Baiting to Reality Show

–   Virtual Spaces, Second Lives, Games, Avatars and Media Surrogates

  1. b)       New Media: Creativity and Entertainment

–   Political, Social, Aesthetic and Ethical Aspects

–   A SWOT analysis of present-day media culture