our words make worlds

Classroom Acts: Performativity, Identity and the Emergence of New Communities in German Language Teaching

Proposals are invited for 20 minute-papers or performative presentations (e.g. poster presentations, show-and-tell etc.) for a one-day symposium on the theme “Classroom Acts: performativity, identity and the emergence of new communities in German language teaching". Organized by Natalie Diebschlag and Daniela Dora, the event is primarily aimed at teachers of German as a Foreign Language in Higher Education and lecturers in German Studies or Theatre Studies. We also invite submissions from researchers and teachers specialising in related fields, provided the topic is transferable to German language teaching and/or German Studies.

The symposium highlights the strong links between theatre and the formation of new collective identities as well as between theatre and foreign language learning in their communicative, pragmatic and affective dimensions. It is structured around workshops focusing on the deployment of theatre strategies and performative practices in GFL teaching in Higher Education. In addition, we invite delegates to present their research on and experiences with hands-on performative teaching techniques and their pedagogical, cognitive and psychological benefits in foreign language teaching. In line with numerous interpretations and political implications of the concepts of performance, performativity and non-imitative mimesis, we believe that the introduction of theatre techniques makes foreign language learning and teaching a communal project. As such, it puts to work teachers' and students' various differences of culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and identities, abilities and disabilities. 

Confirmed guest speakers and workshop leaders include Prof Catherine Boyle (King’s College London), Prof Manfred Schewe (University College Cork) and Prof Anne Steiner (Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg). The symposium organisers collaborate with the SCENARIO forum and plan a publication of selected papers in a special edition of the bilingual (English-German) online journal SCENARIO. 

The symposium language will be English. Practical and theoretical angles are equally welcome. Topics of presentations may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Improvisation 
  • Improv theatre 
  • Role play 
  • Still-lifes 
  • Mimesis 
  • Performativity 
  • Performance and the deconstruction of stable identities 
  • Performance and inclusiveness 
  • Performance and the multicultural and multilingual classroom 
  • Performance and mental health 
  • Affect 
  • Shifting cultural identities 
  • Theatre translation 
  • Creative writing 
  • Performance poetry 
  • Music 
  • Dance 
  • Jam 
  • Non-verbal communication 
The symposium is supported by the King's College London Modern Language Centre and the Language Acts and Worldmaking Small Grants scheme. Attendance is therefore free. Please send your abstract of 200-300 words to Natalie Diebschlag (natalie.diebschlag@kcl.ac.uk) AND Daniela Dora (dd509@cam.ac.uk) by 26 May 2019. Candidates will be informed about the outcome of their application by 5 June 2019.