MAD THEORY 2 is presented by the Madison Performance Philosophy Collective with generous support from the UW-Madison Arts Institute and The Bubbler at Madison Public Library, and co-sponsored by Art + Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop, Center for the Humanities, UW-Madison English Department, UW-Madison Art Department, and Performance Philosophy.


The Bubbler at Madison Public Library


The Bubbler is Madison Public Library’s maker-focused program for all ages. Whether offering the basics of animation, screen printing, music, clothing design, dance, or painting (to name a few), the Bubbler’s hands-on pop-up workshops introduce participants to a variety of local experts who share their talents and physical resources. Our deep list of partners keeps the Bubbler experience current and dynamic, offering a wide range of lectures, demonstrations, performances, and make-and-take workshops in all nine library branches and at partner locations around the city.

The Bubbler Room hosts a variety of workshops and participatory projects inside Madison’s new Central Library. The room is on Ground Floor and is open during all regular Central Library hours so stop by anytime. You may find anything from a cheesemaking workshop, to a drop-in printmaking session, to an impromptu dance party!

Madison Public Library: your place to learn, share and create.



UW-Madison Arts Institute

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The Arts Institute is the voice of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, the Institute supports and promotes a comprehensive variety of arts programs and disciplines, whether it is our own specific programs or our partners’ events. Early in 2014, the Institute was constituted as an independent division, which allows the Institute to establish its own curriculum. By working with numerous faculty and staff in a wide range of departments and arts-related fields, the Arts Institute is in the position to create/generate conditions for bold thinking and creative problem solving. Together with our partners, we can further develop and support a vibrant arts community.

As a division of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Arts Institute speaks for and on behalf of the collective voice and vision of the arts at UW-Madison. We advance the arts as an invaluable resource to a vital university, and we promote all forms of artistic expression, experience, and interpretation as fundamental paths to engaging and understanding our world.



Center for the Humanities


The UW-Madison Center for the Humanities advances the humanities on campus and beyond, by drawing faculty, staff, students, and the public into informed, thoughtful, and civil discourse on the political, literary, ethical, and aesthetic questions of the day.  The Center’s lectures, panels, workshops, and interdisciplinary seminars encourage innovative research; illuminate new ideas; foster books and teaching innovations; and provide a critical forum for understanding what it means to be human.

The Center’s impact on campus life, research, and scholarship is profound.  We provide unique opportunities for professors and students to meet leading thinkers in their fields, to listen and learn from one another, to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, and to pursue innovation in their writing and research.  These opportunities reflect the intellectual rigor and freedom that is at the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s famous ‘sifting and winnowing’ approach.

Our unwavering support of public scholarly engagement has helped graduate students and faculty create mutually rewarding partnerships with public schools, prisons, senior centers, hospitals, community gardens, and more.  Championing the public humanities, the Center is guided and inspired by the Wisconsin Idea, the principle that the university’s impact on people’s lives should reach beyond the classroom.

In Madison, the Center functions as a hub of exciting cultural activity, drawing large and diverse crowds for stimulating panel discussions, film screenings, and evenings with historians, playwrights, philosophers, and novelists throughout the year.



Art + Scholarship A.W. Mellon Workshop

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The Art and Scholarship in Theory and Practice A.W. Mellon Workshop is committed to investigating, inventing, and paying attention to unexpected possibilities in the praxis of scholarly research and artistic production. At the heart of our intellectual inquiry is creative experimentation – sensory perception, visual rhetoric, performative scholarship, serious play. When and how is knowledge-production a creative act?  How can art theorize?  What intersections do we notice between creative writing and scholarly writing?  We are captivated by the conceptual and aesthetic force of such hybrid forms as autoethnography, photo essays, artist books, experimental theory, montage, and conceptual art.

Drawing upon the talents and expertise of our workshop participants – from Literary Studies, Creative Writing, Theatre, Visual Cultures, Art, Art History, Design Studies, Library and Information Studies, DesignLab, Cartography Lab, and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery – we have curated a series of “Collaboratory” workshops. Facilitating conversations between experimental scholarship, creative writing, performance, new media, digital text, and visualization studies, these Theory-Practice Collaboratories engage a richly interdisciplinary nexus of questions, practices, and possibilities for unsettling generic and medium-specific boundaries. Collaboratories provide opportunities to engage in collective exploration of playful, creative scholarship through such practices as performance-making, sensory awareness, embodied meditation, freewriting, visualization, text collage, digital remediation, public discourse, and relational aesthetics. We hope to collaboratively produce new conceptual and aesthetic possibilities, acknowledging disciplinary constraints and expectations while conversing about the ways that our research might take on new shapes, reveal assumptions, and prompt unexpected questions.



UW-Madison English Department


The English Department is a vibrant, active community of students, professors, scholars, and staff members, so it’s no surprise that Helen C. White is always buzzing with sponsored talks, student events, scholarly colloquia, and cutting-edge research projects. Consistently ranked as one of the top graduate programs in English in the U.S., our Department offers numerous rigorous and rewarding programs in a collegial setting. Our multi-talented faculty and instructors are frequently rated as some of the best teachers in the University, while our exceptionally bright and diverse majors excel both as undergraduates and beyond. Graduate study in English at UW-Madison provides students with exceptional graduate instruction and mentorship in order to prepare them for high-level research, writing, and teaching. More than 40 professors and more than 100 graduate students, all with wide-ranging interests and backgrounds, contribute to a rich, intelligent, and genuinely warm educational environment, both in advanced graduate seminars and in numerous colloquia, reading groups, and mentoring programs. Our degree recipients regularly go on to teach and research at top institutions throughout both the country and the world, while our current students are regularly published in leading journals and invited to major conferences.



UW-Madison Art Department

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The Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is committed to teaching art in the context of a major research university and a vibrant intellectual community. Its mission is based on the premise that art is the nexus of all the humanities and that creative expression in the visual arts has provided some of the most enduring contributions to society and culture. The Art Department strives to provide both a fertile and challenging environment for aesthetic and critical engagement, and the technical skills necessary for the practice of art in the changing landscape of the twenty-first century. It encourages innovation and cross-disciplinary activity, and believes that students should utilize the vast academic resources of the university to inform and deepen their artistic vision. The Department has a distinguished history of providing exceptional education in the visual arts in a stimulating, nurturing and diverse community. We, as a department, believe that the arts can make a difference on the local, national, and international level, and that the arts play a vital role in the future of the global community.



Performance Philosophy


Performance Philosophy is an international research network for the field of Performance Philosophy. The core aims of Performance Philosophy are to nurture and develop the emerging field of Performance Philosophy internationally, and to facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices related to Performance Philosophy between international researchers including students, emerging scholars, established scholars, and practitioners. Performance Philosophy takes an inclusive, interdisciplinary and pluralist approach to the field. The network welcomes members concerned with any aspect of philosophy, whether from the Continental or Analytic traditions, and with any discipline or definition of performance, including but not limited to drama, theatre, dance, performance art, live art, and music. The only criteria for membership and participation is an interest in the field and an openness to the breadth and variety of different approaches to Performance Philosophy that the field encompasses.


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