Traveling Together: ADSA 2022, Dec 6-9

Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland


In July 2021, The University of Auckland was gifted a new Māori name, Waipapa Taumata Rau, by the people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei, the hapu on whose lands many of the University’s campuses are located. Waipapa refers to the shoreline, the landing place of Māori waka, a destination, place of arrival, connections between people, an exchange of knowledge and teaching. Taumata, refers to the peaks where land meets the sky, places of challenge, achievement and revelation. Ihonuku Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori, Associate Professor Te Kawehau Hoskins (Ngāti Hau, Ngāpuhi), said that the new name better connects the University to where it is located and highlights the significant partnership with Ngāti Whātua iwi. She proposed, “This new name underpins a new strategic direction. It is one that champions building respect for Māori knowledge and challenges us to understand that we are part of a whakapapa of historic and current relationships.”

This new name, Waipapa Taumata Rau, its gifting and the reflections of reciprocity of place and people provide the direction for the ADSA conference 2022. The theme for our conference: Travelling Together considers how the broad field of performing arts can facilitate meeting places that are culturally centred, inclusive and responsive to landscape which its practitioners and audience members co-inhabit.

We invite contributors to consider how they might respond to this theme, to attend to where we/you have come from, your personal and professional genealogies, past relationships, to look up to the peaks, places of challenge, achievement and revelation we/you have reached on our journeys as performance scholars and makers, to imagine and find places of arrival, connection, exchange, and to think about what we will carry forward together in future journeys and actions.  

ADSA 2022: Travelling Together embraces interdisciplinary intersections and invites artists and scholars from fields of theatre, dance, visual arts, writing and performance as expanded fields. We invite contributors to think both critically and creatively about how to respond to the call for papers and welcome proposals for 20-minute paper presentations, artistic research presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions. We encourage collaborative proposals and are also open to discussing alternative formats that participants may want to propose.

For those interested in performative/creative presentations or workshops.

The University has a small black box theatre and small dance studios that may be used for workshops and presentations. Presenters should be aware that we will have limited technical support and rehearsal capacity for this space. Please indicate on your abstract any specific technical requirements so that we can let you know whether what you want to do is possible. It may also be possible to pre-record a digital performative presentation, which we will host in an online context. Please let us know if you are interested in this option.

We offer the following prompts and possibilities as starting points for responding to the conference theme:

  • Journeys, wayfinding, lines of flights
  • Arrivals and new beginnings
  • Connection and exchange
  • What are our mooring posts?
  • Presence – what happens when we are present together? How does performance allow us to ‘travel together’?
  • What might our experiences of the last period contribute to our disciplinary understanding of presence?
  • What does our discipline have to contribute to wider discourse about the role of presence in a (we hope) post-pandemic era?
  • Where have we come from as a discipline and where are we moving to? What are the peaks that we aspire to?
  • How do we move, dance, sing, act, together through change?
  • In an article for Performance Paradigm in 2021, Lisa Samuels wrote of the critical practice of ‘withness,’ a stance that turns ‘towards a standing with the engaged object/event, an attention that does not turn away, that does not seek to be somewhere other than in relation.’ How might we foster such a stance in our own practices?
  • The Tongan whakataukī (proverb) ‘pikipiki hama kae vaevae manava’, an expression of lashing together canoes to preserve life, provides us with an image coming together to share knowledge. How might we better share and connect our knowledges?
  • In Imagining Decolonization, Ocean Ripeka Mercier writes, ‘To see a truly decolonized Aotearoa […] decolonizing actions will […] have to transform the European systems and frameworks that are the deep institutions of colonization.’ How do we practice such decolonization within our own institutions, research and creative practices?
  • What does it mean to travel with our students? What kind of journey is this? How have our students travelled together during this period of distance and isolation? What contribution does performance pedagogy have to make to these wider sector challenges?
  • Theatre and performance studies has long engaged in discourses related to site and place, to travel and tourism, what more might we now have to say about these intersections?


We ask that attendees submit their abstracts to Emma Willis. The final deadline of  submission for ADSA 2022 Conference has been extended until Monday 9 May 2022.


We appreciate the degree of uncertainty for most of us around travel at present. While we are currently working towards an in-person conference with some elements available online, we recognize the need to be fluid in our planning. We remain optimistic, however, and strongly encourage members to submit abstracts while we work to deliver the conference in a format that allows as many members as possible to participate. To that end, please indicate on your abstract whether either:

  • You plan to attend in person;
  • You are unsure yet whether you will be able to attend in person; or
  • You will only be able to engage with the online components of the conference


Conference organisers: Emma Willis, Molly Mullen, Tia Reihana, Alys Longley, Michelle Johansson, Peter O’Connor, Tahnee Vo.

For more information, please contact

The conference is kindly hosted by Te Kura Tangata, Faculty of Arts; Te Puna Aronui, School of Humanities; the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation, Faculty of Education and Social Work; and Dance Studies, Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries at Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland.

Days until Conference









Call for Abstracts: 11 March
Abstract Submission closes: 9 May
Registration opens: 26 April
Registration closes: 12 noon NZT 29 November
Conference commences: 6-9 December


Contact Us

For abstract inquiries please contact Emma Willis;

For registration inquiries please contact Nickylee Anderson;