POSTGRADUATE FORUM 29th-30th June Dartington/online

Darren Jan Sutton photograph


Postgraduate Forum for Sentient Performativites 29th & 30th June Postgraduate 2022/Dartington Hall Estate & Online

The 2022 postgraduate forum investigates the role of somatic practices and how they can foster embodied ecological awareness and communication between the human and more than human worlds. It seeks to bring together multiple fields of thought, practice and research that share embodied approaches that bridge the human, plant and animal divide. We ask what are those emerging forms of ‘ecological somatic’ practices as critical tools to ‘re-gain ecological futures’ – acts of care, resistance, de-colonisation and reconnection. How can we bring a felt awareness of our organismic entanglement and planetary belonging into dialogue with critical understandings of our cultural-political and socio-economic contexts ? How can this offer new modes of thinking, perceiving and of ‘being-with’, necessary for an embodied ‘planetary citizenship’ and stewardship ? 
This broad reach into embodiment and somatic-informed practices seems increasingly essential in view of the growing schism between the human and natural worlds. We invite you to articulate the emergence of new practices, we are interested to both highlight as well as de-centre somatic work from dance and movement disciplines to see how an embodied approach is reaching into other practices. This forum seeks to brings together different voices, such as those who, for example, practice the somatic in their work with plants, be they small or large scale farmers, permaculturists, herbalists, ecologists or gardeners. In the same way we wish to highlight the physical communication between human and animal and embrace practices with animals where the interspecies communication reaches beyond the reading of body language, but extends into felt experience of the animal body. 

This Forum seeks delicate antidotes to an increasing dis-embodiment and apathy towards the aliveness of the more than human world and wishes to revoke the prevailing operating system based on dead matter. We propose that eco-somatic practices can contribute towards the cultivation of sensorial capacities that assist our awareness of how we co-evolve within expressive ecologies and that what happens to our environments is inevitably and inexorably happening to us.We are interested how the somatic and embodied is informing new areas within academia, within the arts, crafts, within activism, the sciences and other practices and research. 
We invite you to explore with us new embodied dialogues between disciplines, opening up as well as defining boundaries, questioning and learning how somatic-informed practices can offer more intimacy in relating to ourselves and to other species, and looking at how this can inform new practices and modes of relationship at large. 

The postgraduate forum theme aligns and dove tails a longer in depth symposium, read more about it here: Sentient PerformativitiesPlease read the full call out here:

This call out is to postgraduate students from diverse disciplines to share their practices and research with a rich and diverse group of postgraduate peers over one and a half days at Dartington Campus. Students can present in person or remotely via a zoom events live stream.

We invite:

15 minute presentations
– 10 minute performances
– 10 minute film works

5 minute Mini Performance Readings

Can be booked directly when registering.
– Double Rooms & single Rooms incl. Breakfast £ varies
– Student Room including Full English Breakfast £35/
– Camping: 2 campsites nearby -See website, we are working on a local option for camping

Where & When:

Wednesday 29th June 5pm – Thursday 30th June 5pm
Studio 1 & 3 Dartington Hall Estate/Devon & Online

Costs in Person: (All include Organic Dinner, Lunch & Snack)
£55 Standard
£45 Student Student from Partner Institutions
Costs for Online Participation
£20 Standard
£10 Student Student from Partner Institutions

Every presentation will have a Q&A with constructive questioning & feedback. There will be the opportunity to show student film works as well as short performative offerings in the evening. Due to time restrictions, we are unable to accommodate longer formats such as workshops. The postgraduate forum dove tails a longer in depth symposium: Sentient Performativities: which is held in person at Dartington Hall Estate as well as online.

Deadline for submissions is Friday 22th May 2022
Notification of accepted proposals: 30th May 2022

This years forum is convened by in academic partnership with 3 exciting institutions: The Dartington ARTS School, Schumacher College & Bath Spa University – in particular the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities (RCEH) and The Creative Corporealties research Group ( CCRG) at Bath Spa.

Together these three institutions embody unique positioning and teachings about ecology, arts and movement practice, imagination, environment, humanities, design and holistic science. Together we will be looking at some of our core question and celebrate your diverse practices. Our partner Institutions will introduce themselves and their courses and address what lies at heart of their unique educational offering.

The Master programme Movement Mind & Ecology will be hosting the event together with
Visiting students will be given an introduction to this unique learning environment at Dartington, a tour of the campus & library – the opportunity to meet one another in a 1:1, we will also eat together in the Schumacher Kitchens.

Our Academic Partners

Dartington ARTS School of the Dartington Trust is a centre for learning, arts, ecology and social justice based on a 1,200 acre estate near Totnes. We offer a distinctive portfolio of new postgraduate arts degrees inspired by the experimentalism and innovation in art practice that has animated this place for almost 100 years. Their courses range from : Reimagining Performance Practice, Poetics of Imagination, Cultural Production, Arts and Ecology, Arts and Place.

Schumacher College is a progressive college for ecological studies offering postgraduate and undergraduate programmes, research degrees, short courses and a horticulture residency. We focus on interactive and experiential education to help students develop the practical skills and strategic thinking required to face 21st century challenges. The College has a rich history as a trailblazer in ecological learning, and is this year celebrating its 30th birthday. Its courses range from: Regenerative Food, Farming and Enterprise, Regenerative Economics, Movement, Mind and Ecology, Engaged Ecology, Ecological Design Thinking, Bsc Regenerative Food and Farming.

Creative Corporealities Research Group at Bath Spa University is an interdisciplinary research group that responds to a contemporary revision in notions of humanity, felt both viscerally and intellectually, for which the predominant answer is embodiment and creativity. We are practitioners and academics working across a wide range of disciplines, based at Bath Spa University, with research themes accommodated under the banner of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries. Creative Corporealities concerns itself with embodiment as a source of creative practice, with its own causalities and politics. We develop and observe disciplinary practices that engage and affect a body that is generative of creative processes. We are also on the steering group for the Research Centre for the Environmental Humanities, representing performance and arts research. 

The Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities (RCEH) draws together scholars from across the University, including conservation biologists, geographers, anthropologists, philosophers, historians, literary critics, creative writers, film-makers, and visual and performance artists, in pursuit of new insights and creative responses in the face of deepening socio-environmental concerns and crises. Our aim is to foster multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research projects and public engagement activities that bring methodologies and understandings from the arts and humanities into dialogue with social and natural sciences to find ethical, creative, historically informed and culturally sensitive solutions to today’s pressing environmental problems.

Some of our core questions:

These are suggested areas of inquiry only – please do not think of them as exclusive.

Can somatic practices and dance offer new modes of thinking, perceiving and being-with, necessary for an embodied planetary citizenship and stewardship ?

– How can the increase of somatic awareness within ourselves and our environments invoke greater care, and how can care foster more empathetic, responsible and sustainable action?

– How does the ecological crisis call on, disrupt, radicalise and transform fields such as dance, choreography and somatic practices ?

– How can such a way of knowing be trained, passed on and how can it inform new fields within dance and movement practices as well as become relevant beyond the field of dance ?

– Is it possible for somatic practices to support the development of new ethics, new legislation, updated nature protection, animal rights, new bios, collective actions and new ways of living more connected and sustainable lives ?

– How can education include animate dimensions of the world ? What are these curriculums that are working on re-growing these capacities in the next generation ?

– What can we learn from nature connection practices and indigenous ways to re- kindle the somatic and physical embeddedness within an animate earth?

– How does the craftsperson engage their material and how does their material engage us ?

– What do outdoor sports, adventure & athletics offer our nature connection and ecological knowledge ?