Age and Performance: Expanding Intersectionality

Call for Working Group Participants

“Age and Performance: Expanding Intersectionality” (Vancouver 2019)

Organizers: Benjamin Gillespie (CUNY) and Julia Henderson (UBC)

As aging populations expand, increasing attention is paid to the fact that systemic cultural inequities restrict and repress older people. However, normative cultural expectations about how to ‘act one’s age’ limit not just the elderly, but all ages across the life course. In comparison to other aspects of identity such as gender and race, age often remains ignored, “entrenched in implicit systems of discrimination without adequate movements of resistance to oppose them” (Gullette 15). While the growing field of critical age studies has begun to address age as a point of intersectionality across many disciplines, “theatre has lagged behind, focusing more on theatre projects with older people than on theorizing age” (Lipscomb 193).

We are especially interested in challenging traditional concepts of time, aesthetics, embodiment, difference, and age performativity, and in establishing a Canadian network of researchers to identify key issues and methodologies that might impact academic discourse and pedagogy surrounding age. 

Works Cited:

Gullette, Margaret Morganroth. Aged by Culture. University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Lipscomb, Valerie Barnes. “Age in M. Butterfly: Unquestioned Performance.” Aging and the Life Course, special issue of Modern Drama, vol. 59, no. 22016, pp. 193-212. Project MUSE, doi: 10.3138/md/59.2.4. Accessed 25 Aug. 2016.

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