CFP: FIRT/IFTR Performance as Research Working Group 2021

18 December, 2020 by Bruce Barton | 0 comments

CFP: FIRT/IFTR Performance as Research Working Group 2021

Call for Proposals: FIRT/IFTR Performance as Research Working Group 2021


Performance as Research Working Group
International Federation for Theatre Research Annual Conference
‘Theatre Ecologies: Environment, Sustainability & Politics'
Virtual Conference (hosted in Galway) / 12-16 July 2021

The International Federation for Theatre Research has announced that its 2021 conference—deferred one year from 2020—will be an entirely online event. This past summer the Performance as Research Working Group held a series of three exciting, productive and well-attended online events, and we are eagerly moving forward with planning for our 2021 primary gathering, as part of the Galway conference.

What follows is a lightly revised version of our 2020 Call for Proposals. Both the focus and the structure of the Working Group session remain similar to last year’s plans, despite the shift to virtual participation. We are keen to explore new ways of collectively meeting, sharing and growing through PaR during these most unusual of times.

Please note: individuals who had proposals accepted for the 2020 PaR Working Group session are guaranteed acceptance for the 2021 gathering, and can either resubmit their original proposal or submit a revised proposal. We also welcome additional proposals from individuals who did not submit or who were not accepted in 2020. All individuals interested in participating in the 2021 session must submit (or resubmit) a proposal. Instructions for the submission of all proposals are included below.

Since its inception in 2004, the Performance as Research Working Group has positioned artistic practice as a powerful, alternative methodology for conducting research, continuously provoking epistemic shifts into ‘different modalities of knowing’. Over the years there has been a gradual acceptance of PaR, and its various iterations, both within and beyond academic contexts, with many artists, researchers, educators and students engaging with PaR methodologies.

The PaR Working Group invites proposals that focus on PaR as applied to epistemic expansion, decoloniality and alternative pedagogies. The group welcomes those working in multiple and mixed artistic practices involving dance, theatre, performance art, live art and other socially engaged artistic practices, as well as other types of cultural performances and performative practices. We encourage returning members and potential new members to consider their own PaR practices in relation to the following questions that will guide us in our 'participatory laboratory' at the annual conference.

  • What are the multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary potentialities of PaR, especially in relation with other disciplines engaged with alternate forms of knowledge? What can PaR contribute to the ‘transdisciplinarization’ of knowledge beyond and within the academy?
  • What kind of futures can be imagined concerning the various trajectories of PaR based on specific geographical and methodological legacies? How are these reflected in the pedagogy and/or institutionalization of PaR?
  • In what ways can PaR be applied as a method for decolonizing research? Or, how does the PaR approach itself function as a mode of innovation in relation to established norms for what constitutes research in the academy?
  • How can PaR methodology be used to address and/or intervene in our constantly shifting environmental reality? Can PaR forge a pathway for a posthumanist view?


The PaR Working Group functions as a ’laboratory’ where members collaborate and interweave aspects of their individual practice/research. In 2021 this will occur in two distinct formats:  DOCUMENTED WORKSHOP or PERFORMANCE CONVERSATION. Therefore there are two types of proposals, depending on the desired format, as indicated below. We ask that all submissions clearly indicate the preferred participation format (Documented Workshop or Performance Conversation) at the top of the proposal.

1)    DOCUMENTED WORKSHOP: Participants have the option of taking part in the collaborative creation of a documented online workshop process. Based upon the initial submission of individual workshop ideas (see below), groups will be formed to collaborate through a structured pre-conference process of materials-exchange, online discussion and workshop planning. This process will lead to an interactive PaR session, followed by a facilitated feedback and reflection session.

To apply to participate in a DOCUMENTED WORKSHOP process, please submit a proposal for a practical workshop plan (250 - 300 words) that explores one or more of the questions raised in this call. The proposal should include a clear description of the workshop process and objectives, as well as an explanation of how the exercise(s) reflect your current PaR priorities and preoccupations.

2)    PERFORMANCE CONVERSATION: Participants have the option of taking part in the facilitation of performative online “conversation” (broadly interpreted). Based upon the initial submission of paper proposals (see below), groups will be formed to participate in an online pre-conference dialogue and sharing of research, leading to an interactive group presentation and a facilitated feedback and reflection session.

To apply to participate in a PERFORMANCE CONVERSATION, submit an abstract for a document/paper related to your PaR practice (for instance, a detailed project proposal, description and/or analysis, PaR methodology statement, etc.). Abstracts should be 250-300 words and engage with one or more of the questions raised in this call.


The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 January 2021. All applicants should follow the instructions regarding abstract submission found on the conference website:

Once you have submitted your abstract via the Cambridge University Press website, please send a copy your proposal to Please include a 100 word bio and full contact information in this email. All questions about the working group, the CFP, or the conference can be sent to the same address.

PaR Working Group Co-Conveners:
Bruce Barton, Manola Gayatri & Johnmichael Rossi

Stay up to date with the IFTR Weekly Digest