Performing the Jewish Archive

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Call for papers

NB The call for papers has closed – this page is for reference only

Proposals are sought from scholars (from any discipline), practitioners, performers, dramatists, composers and educationalists for a major AHRC-funded conference responding to the theme The Future of the Archive. Papers, panels, performances, compositions, stage works, and other non-standard formats are encouraged.

Whilst the event is organised under the auspices of the AHRC-funded project Performing the Jewish Archive (, we seek to broaden our enquiries by welcoming contributors working on related problems and archives. It is intended that this major conference will result in at least one publication.

During the long twentieth century, displacement affected the musical, theatrical and literary output of artists and activists in myriad ways. Many works were thought to have been lost or have, until recently, languished in obscurity. Performing the Jewish Archive responds to the challenge of discovering/recovering and engaging anew with these creative artefacts, as well as stimulating the creation of new works to re-animate and extend existing archival collections. By treating archival objects as components of a non-hierarchical, non-linear system, the intention is to destabilise the relationship between past, present and future, origin and diaspora.

The Future of the Archive conference aims to act as a beacon for further research. It builds on three years of activity, based on the premise that performing Jewish archives specifically helps shed light on a host of wider cultural, scientific and political concerns.

The official language of the conference is English. It is envisaged that selected papers will be published in a volume of proceedings.

Please note that The Future of the Archive does not overlap or conflict with Beyond Camps and Forced Labour (10-12 January 2018), and elements of cooperation are being planned between the two conferences. Rather, Beyond Camps delegates and speakers are warmly encouraged to submit proposals for The Future of the Archive, given the two conferences’ close proximity and complementary themes.



upload proposals to:


Potential themes

Proposals that engage with the collections of the British Library are especially welcomed.

However, all relevant proposals will be considered equally on their own merits. We particularly encourage contributions that respond to the following issues:

Interdisciplinary range

Participants from any area of study may submit proposals or attend the conference, but it may be of particular interest to those in the following disciplines:

[NB This list is not exhaustive]

Proposals that make use of original archival sources, or that reinterpret known sources, may receive favourable attention (quality permitting), though all relevant areas of investigation will be considered. As stated above, proposals that engage with the collections of the British Library are especially welcomed.


Requirements for proposal submissions

Proposals should be uploaded to

We can accept proposals in Microsoft Word or PDF formats. We welcome different presentation formats, including traditional conference papers, themed panel sessions, musical and/or dramatic performances and/or compositions, and other formats that you may wish to suggest.

To facilitate anonymous assessment of proposals, please split your submission into two separate documents, as follows:

1. Traditional freestanding conference papers (20 minutes + questions)
2. Themed panels (60 or 90 minutes, including plenary discussion)
3. Musical/dramatic performances (30 or 60 minutes, including discussion)

Please note that staging facilities will be extremely limited, and performances should therefore be conceived along the lines of academic demonstrations/lecture-recitals rather than fully-fledged public performances.


4. Other presentation formats

Other interesting and innovative formats for the presentation of your research are welcomed and will be considered equally alongside all other proposals.

If you wish to propose something of your own design, please split the proposal into two separate files (one with anonymized information, the other with personal information) in a similar manner to those described above.

Download the Call for Papers here


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