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|ASTR’s José Esteban Muñoz Targeted Research Working Sessions|
To decolonize ASTR and the field of theatre research by fostering research by and about people of color and the production of minoritarian knowledge.
We are keenly aware of our privileged position in academia and the lack of diversity and minoritarian knowledge within the Society. On the eve of ASTR's 60th anniversary, we decided to take a bold move to transform the Society. We envision a future in which scholarship by and about people of color is central, prominent, and foundational to all functions of the Society. We seek to increase membership by underrepresented minority groups. We seek to amplify their scholarship and clear a path for them to take positions of leadership within the Society.
The late performance theorist José Esteban Muñoz once described the limits experienced by minoritarian knowledge producers (including, especially, scholars of color) in the academy thus:
Within majoritarian institutions the production of minoritarian knowledge is a project set up to fail. Mechanisms ensure that the production of such knowledge ‘misfires’ as it is misheard, misunderstood, and devalued.... The need to produce minoritarian knowledge is a mode of utopian performativity, a certain striving that is both an ideality and a necessity.
Recognizing this dynamic and this imperative, the Executive Committee of ASTR has launched competitive, funded, three-year working sessions in order to support, promote, and feature the production of research by and about people of color at ASTR. The EC places particular emphasis on these working sessions as an opportunity to foster and forward intersectional work that also attends to and includes LGBTQ communities, disability communities, and scholars without regularized institutional support.
Each working session will constitute one cycle of three continuous years, with a final count of three complete cycles.
First Group: $3000 per year for three years, starting in 2016
Inaugural José Esteban Muñoz Targeted Research Working Session (Minneapolis, 2016)
The Future in the Present: The Transtemporalities of Minoritarian Performance