Scholars and Artists Rethinking Political Action
April 9-11, 2020
Houston Community College
Revolution! Scholars and Artists Rethinking Political Action is a co-equal philosophy and art conference/workshop that investigates the intersection between art and politics. It is hosted by the Philosophy Department of Houston Community College and Experimental Action, a performance art organization based in Houston, Texas. The conference is rooted in a shared curiosity as to how art-making, political theory, and political action comingle.
This conference acknowledges that there has been a shift in political action. Disparities between the effectiveness of traditional modes of political action and those that include novel forms of engagement and performativity demonstrate a rupture in what constitutes political action. Because of this, much of the theory surrounding politics, per se, has become contestable. Similarly, the area of performance art, which employs a variety of disciplines and research, has challenged what constitutes a work of art and caused us to question how art can create new forms of political action.
At its core, Revolution! is influenced by the thought of Hannah Arendt. Arendt tells us in The Human Condition that the public sphere is a dynamic and ever-changing space where the miraculous and limitless can occur. She believes that by speaking and acting with others in public, politics is protected. Through the combined efforts of words and deeds, we, as individuals, confirm our place in the world, affirm the importance of others, and have the opportunity to instigate political action. It is Arendt’s reliance on the combination of words and deeds that this conference takes its point of departure. We believe that by bringing together a diverse group of people, we can reconfigure how words and deeds, scholarship and practice can work together to create transformative political action.
We are looking for participants whose research is grounded in creative practices, artists whose work relies on a theoretical framework, and interdisciplinary practitioners whose work moves between these spheres. This conference should be a place where artists and researchers are confident and vulnerable in their knowledge and encouraged and inspired by the works of colleagues across a variety of disciplines. Revolution! is taking place in conjunction with Experimental Action’s 2020 performance art residency, which features the performance art duo VestAndPage.
The conference format includes: scholarly presentations, artist presentations/workshops, and performances by invited artists. It will conclude with a final performance.
Participants are required to participate in all components of the conference including scholarly presentations and art workshops/performances.
Presenters are expected to deliver/facilitate scholarly and creative content that is theoretically grounded but presented in such a way that is accessible to scholars/non-scholars and artists/non-artists.
Participants are encouraged to present content in novel formats including those that encourage discussion, participation, and performance.
Participants are encouraged to present as collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
Unfortunately, no funding is currently available for presenters.
Call for papers can be found here.
Submissions due: 9/13/19
Acceptance notice: 10/19/10
3,000 word paper
Paper presentation & performance (or other work of art)
1,000 – 1,500 word paper and description of proposed presentation/performance
Professor and Program Director
Department of Philosophy
Houston Community College
Jeanette Joy Harris
Experimental Action Engage