Independent researcher, The Circus Diaries, Cardiff, UK
Bio: Katharine has a background in devised performance; she has been writing about circus since 2013 when she launched The Circus Diaries – a multi-platform hub for critical discourse centered on the circus arts. In addition to exploring how critical practices are nurtured among circus professionals, Kathering also leads workshops and residencies and lectures at the National Centre for Circus Arts in London. She has recently been awarded funding from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council to undertake a PhD, commencing in September 2018 at the School of English, Language and Communication at Cardiff University.
Title: Overcoming Academic Otherness – Experiments in Integration
Abstract: This presentation acknowledges the historically alien nature of academic research within the broader culture of practicing circus artists. Many of us, the academics at this conference, are a particularly marginal community within the marginal community of circus. How can we ensure that the knowledge which is being generated here, through theoretical work in post-graduate education and beyond, feeds effectively into the system of vocational training and the everyday experience of circus practitioners?
This paper highlights the value of integrating critical practice into professional circus careers through the evaluation of several experimental initiatives I have been involved with in the UK.
The argument I make aims to establish a wider public profile of current circus activity but also to sow the seeds for a circus community that is more tuned into itself – its trends, hot topics, progress and innovations – in order for it to develop more fruitfully and effectively alongside, but not dominated by, other art forms.