Introducing…the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network


What is the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network (CIPN) about?

The CIPN brings together people from a wide variety of disciplines engaging with performance as a concept, from music and literary studies to anthropology, political science, architecture, and medicine. The group asks what conventionally separated cultural categories or practices such as literature, art, architecture, music, politics, public protest and academic discussion, have in common. 

What are the big questions, issues and themes for your group?

The group is looking at the idea of ‘performance’ as an umbrella way of looking at culture. For example, theatre and performance as models and metaphors in the increasingly digital world.

Who will it be of interest to?

It will be of interest to graduates and faculty members working on any specific cultural period or cultural phenomenon from across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

How did the research group come about?

Rising interest in theatre and performance reflects the unprecedented changes brought about by the global digital environment. We are in a post-print networked search-culture, and need new types of knowledge, and new angles of approach. This research group aims to explore and exploit these new angles and types of knowledge. 

What seminars and events have we planned – who speakers, what events like?

We hold regular fortnightly seminars in SG1, bringing together speakers from different disciplines but dealing with related questions, and those outside Cambridge with those whose work relates to the idea of performance in Cambridge.

For example, past CIPN activities include:

  • a special event with Martin Puchner exploring his work at Harvard; 
  • serving as a community ambassador to stage a live streaming of a theatre co-production by Belarus Free Theatre and the Young Vic; 
  • creating a platform for debates about the role of the text in musical performance practices and theatre studies (with Margaret Faultless and Margherita Laera); 
  • looking at how ideas of performance are a useful resource for imagining the possibilities of a digital future (with Sheila Hayman and John Naughton). 

How can people find out more?

You can find us on the CRASSH website; listen to our podcasts; find us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter or sign up to our events mailing list.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about CIPN?

All our seminars are free and open to all age groups and disciplines. No registration is needed. The convening team also welcome ideas for future seminars, and can be contacted via the CRASSH website

Upcoming events are Performance and Subversion in Public Spaces (15 February) and Agency and Performance: Objects and the Social (29 February).