ESSAY COLLECTION CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Performing Psychologies: Minding The Remembered Present (working title)
Edited by Pil Hansen, School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary, CA (Dramaturgy and Cognitive Performance Studies) with Bettina Blaesing, Faculty of Psychology and Sport Sciences, Bielefeld University, GE (Neurocognition and Action – Biomechanics).
This book is the second of two Performing Psychologies volumes, the first of which is edited by Nicola Shaughnessy, University of Kent, UK (Theatre), with Philip Barnard, University of Cambridge, UK (Neuroscience) on the topic of imagination and other minds.
We invite proposals from scholars, researcher-practitioners, and scientists working between the performing arts and cognitive sciences on the subject of processes of memory in dance, theatre, or music performance.
The aim of this essay collection is twofold: (1) discuss how performing arts practices strategically target cognitive processes of human memory and (2) present insights into memory that derive from the study of such practices.
In recent years, a growing number of cognitive scientists study memory through experiments with performance subjects; at the same time, the number of artists that make use of cognitive memory studies and theory to develop creation approaches and lines of artistic inquiry is also increasing. A shift from a general understanding of memory as archived and retrievable information to a cognitive conception of long-term memory as a reconstructive process, involving our active engagement with our surroundings in the present, changes the possible avenues of working through memory in performance. In turn, cognitive scientists working with performing arts cases discover that performers’ advanced learning, memorization, and retrieval abilities depend on a complex combination of multisensory perceptions, articulations, and clues that question more classical concepts of memory. Scientists are motivated to advance the ability to study complex dynamics of artistic practice and artists are looking beyond broad concepts of intuition, presence, and cultural memory towards more detailed and precise cognitive understandings.
This volume will map, articulate, and support the continued realization of the possibilities identified by this rich field of reciprocal exchange between the performing arts and cognitive sciences. Contributors are encouraged to consider, but not be restricted by, the following topics when forming proposals:
• Entrainment in performance as a source of joint/collective memory construction and retrieval
• The role of trained, implicit memory in entrainment and improvisation
• Performing arts training as a form of cross-modal perceptual specialization embedded in procedural and implicit memory
• Performers’ stage presence as a mode of perceptual attention that prioritizes working memory processes
• Expansion of working memory capacity through performing arts practices
• Creative strategies and “impossible tasks” that aim to hinder reliance on implicit memory (skills and habits) in an attempt to create something new
• The cognitive advantages of using marking and other forms of physicalized or sounded memory recall when reflecting upon compositional options
• Creative approaches that make strategic use of declarative and explicit memory for memorization, to access source materials, or to activate performance tasks, rules, and structures.
• Neuroplasticity and creative strategies for the adaptation of autobiographical memory
• Performance as a mediator between cognitive processes of memory and external archives, records, and notations
• Strategies for expanding, synchronizing, or hindering spectators’ processes of memory in ways that relate to the strategies used by performers
We welcome abstracts (400 – 500 words) on a broad range of approaches to these and related topics. Proposals are to be submitted by June 1st, 2015. First drafts will be due no later than October 1, 2015, and final versions of the chapters will be due on March 1st, 2016.
Note that priority will be given to proposals that either 1) are based on methodologically defined empirical cases, experiments, or practice-based research or 2) present hypothetical proposals that build on reviews of such studies. While selected authors will be invited to write in the language of their respective disciplines, some additional introduction of central concepts and presentation of research methods used will be requested in order to achieve interdisciplinary accessibility.