The international conference „The Animal on Stage: Cultural Performances”

The international conference „The Animal on Stage: Cultural Performances”

The conference aims to consider the formulas of animal spectacles, and the meanings expressed by specific performances, both old and contemporary.
published November 2 2022
The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Instiute invites to the international conference „The Animal on Stage: Cultural Performances”. The conference will take place on November 15-16, 2022. Free entrance.


The conference is co-organized by Institute of Western and Southern Slavic Studies, University of Warsaw; Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw

Task „Circus – research, publications, artistic presentations” [„Cyrk – badanie, publikacje, prezentacje artystyczne”] has been co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.


November 15, 2022 (Tuesday)

10:15 | Conference opening

10:30-11:00 | Keynote speech

Peta Tait, La Trobe University (Australia), Animal Action and Emotions in Circus Performance: Nineteenth-Century Economic Opportunism

11:00-11:20 | Discussion

11:20-11:30 | Coffee break

11:30-13:00 | Session I

  • Dominika Czarnecka & Dagnosław Demski, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland), Between the Wild Steppes Left Behind and the New Metropolitan Arenas. Animal Companions at Ethnographic Shows
  • Jana Milovanović, Terra Vera NGO (Slovenia), Experimenting with Otherness on the Habsburg Periphery: The Case of Carl Hagenbeck’s ‘Animal Acclimatization Station’ in Brioni Islands
  • Marianna Szczygielska, Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences (Czechia), ‘Have you seen Little Cohn?’ An Elephant’s Life on Display

13:00-13:15 | Coffee break

13:15-14:25 | Session II

  • Antonio Giarola, CEDAC – Verona: Educational Center for Circus Arts Documentation in Verona (Italy), The Central Role of the Horse in the Circus Show
  • Katarzyna Szydłowska-Schiller, National Museum in Warsaw (Poland), The Visual Representation of Animals in Circus Based on the Art Collections of the National Museum in Warsaw

14:45-16:00 | Lunch break

16:00-17:30 | Session III

  • Anna-Sophie Jürgens, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science of the Australian National University (Australia), Techno-Tentacles: Environmental Circus and the Visual Narratives of Animal Performances of the Future
  • Justyna Schollenberger, Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw (Poland), Beast Comedy. Practices of Animal Humor Between Cruelty and Marvel
  • Emilia Mazur, Faculty of ‘Artes Liberales’, University of Warsaw (Poland), Animals as Companions in Video Games – a Chance for ‘Staying with the Trouble’


November 16, 2022 (Wednesday)

10.30-12:00 | Session IV

  • Stefanie Nathow, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main (Germany), Jumping Lions Instead of Dancing Bears: Animals in the Circus and Nazi Ideology
  • Marta Bogdańska, visual artist, independent researcher (Poland), SHIFTERS: Internet as a Cultural Spectacle of Animals in War and Espionage
  • Anna Wieczorkiewicz, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw (Poland) & Sylwia Siedlecka, Institute of Western and Southern Slavic Studies, University of Warsaw (Poland), Being a Hero. Animal Protagonists of Visual Narratives about ‘Average Citizens’ Confronting War

12:00-12:20 | Coffee break

12:20-13:50 | Session V

  • Kalina Zahova, Institute for Literature, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria), Zoos in Bulgarian Literature and Literature in Bulgarian Zoos
  • Sabina Drąg, independent researcher (Germany), Odd Symbiosis – Parasites in Circus
  • Zuzanna Kubiak, Doctoral School of Humanities at the University of Warsaw (Poland), Animal Spectators. Non-human Gaze in the Theatre and Performance Arts

13:50-15:00 | Lunch break

15:00-16:00 | Session VI

  • Sara Kruszona, Interdisciplinary Doctoral School at the University of Warsaw (Poland), Dog Frisbee Sports Competition as an Interspecies Spectacle
  • Paweł Palcat, Wyspiański Academy of Theater Arts in Kraków – Wrocław Branch, Puppet Department (Poland), Dog on the Stage – ‘My Anxiety is Your Anxiety’

16:00-16:30 | Closing remarks

Organizers: The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Institute of Western and Southern Slavic Studies, University of Warsaw, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw

See also

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