Call for Papers - Deadline 31 January 2021

Call for Papers

Call for Papers

IFTR 2021: Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics

12-16 July 2021, National University of Ireland, Galway 

Abstract Submission Process 

IFTR 2020 had as its central theme the constantly shifting eco-system that constitutes theatre, encouraging us to come together to consider ecologies of theatre and performance globally, and to ask how we, as an interdependent network of scholars and artists, might reflect upon and respond to our interconnections with the environment and with each other through performative and critical interventions. The postponement of the conference to 2021 due to the COVID19 lockdown offers us an opportunity to reconsider these themes.

Please read this guidance on the abstract submission process in conjunction with the CFP (see below).

Delegates are invited to resubmit their proposals for the 2020 conference (and can be assured that papers accepted for 2020 will be accepted for 2021), or to submit entirely new proposals. 

All abstracts can be submitted from 1 October onwards, in accordance with the following options: 

  • GENERAL PANELS: original papers accepted for 2020 can be resubmitted with a guarantee of acceptance for 2021New abstracts are also welcome and will be reviewed for acceptance. 
  • WORKING GROUPS: have the option of either working with their original call for papers or issuing a new call. Delegates intending to participate in a working group should check with the group’s convenors on whether there is an original or new call for papers. 
    • WG original calls: abstracts to be resubmitted with a guarantee of acceptance. New abstracts can also be submitted to be reviewed by convenors for acceptance
    • WG new calls: all abstracts to be submitted and reviewed by convenors for acceptance. 
  • NEW SCHOLARS FORUM: original papers accepted for 2020 can be resubmitted with a guarantee of acceptance for 2021New abstracts are also welcome and will be reviewed for acceptance. 
  • BURSARY AWARDEES: must resubmit original abstracts in order to receive the award offered in 2020. Delegates who were advised they are on the bursary waiting list must also resubmit original abstracts if they wish to remain on the list. 

Online abstract submission will open on 1 October 2020. Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2021

All abstract submissions are made through the Cambridge Core website.

However, in order to make a submission you will need to become a member of IFTR, first.

If you have already have a Cambridge Core account, you can download instructions on how to join IFTR here

If you do not have a Cambridge Core account, you can download instructions on how to join IFTR here

Galway Team: Miriam Haughton, Marianne Kennedy, Patrick Lonergan, Charlotte McIvor, Ian Walsh. 

The IFTR 2021 conference organizing team and the IFTR Executive Committee will continue to monitor the relevant public health advice in relation to travel and large gatherings, and will issue further advice if or when necessary. 

IFTR 2021 contact email:

Please direct all questions about #IFTR2021 to:


CFP, IFTR 2021: Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics

Ecology is the study of the relationship between living organisms and their environments (whether cultural, political, social or biological). Naming theatre’s aesthetic and working practices as ecologies permits scholars to locate theatrical performances within not only social, political and cultural networks, but also interrelated biological systems. Inherently political, embodied and performative, theatre ecologies are constructed by – and responsive to – wider social, political, cultural, and physical environments. COVID-19 has profoundly tested and disrupted these networks and systems, demanding change socially, biologically, geographically, and of course, artistically.

The 2021 conference will take place in Galway, Ireland. Situated at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the west of Ireland suffered intensely from the Great Famine (1845-49), maintained its Irish language communities and traditional heritage despite colonisation, and currently constitutes one of the most youthful and diverse communities in Ireland. At a national level, Irish communities have radically transformed the wider social eco-system in recent years, as the Marriage Equality Referendum (2015) and Repeal the 8th Referendum (2018) overturned constitutional legislation to ensure access to marriage and abortion rights for LGBTIQ+. At the same time, Ireland’s record on climate change is undeniably poor, and the potential fallout from Brexit and COVID 19 has the capacity to devastate the economy, only years following an IMF/EU Bailout. Most recently, the Black Lives Matter movement’s international impact has shone a light on deeply embedded forms of racism operating in Ireland, and highlighted the urgent need to address this matter on our shores as an unprecedentedly racially and ethnically diverse population comes of age. 

We welcome papers that interpret terms such as “environment” and “ecology” in metaphorical as well as literal contexts. The problems of climate change, mass extinction, the worldwide health pandemic, social ecologies, and environmental destruction are global in cause and impact. But how might our use of environmental and eco-critical terms and paradigms also allow us to understand theatre more fully and deeply? 

Possible topics include but are not limited to: 

  • Environments of the theatrical event 
  • Theatre, COVID-19, and ecologies of survival
  • Precarity and Environment/Economics
  • Theatre and the Anthropocene 
  • Theatre and Landscape 
  • The theatrical eco-system and sustainability
  • Black Lives Matter - race, racism, and theatre ecologies
  • Methodologies: Environments, Politics, Sustainability 
  • Environment and social justice, especially in global contexts 
  • Intersections: feminist, anti-racist and/or queer performance and environmental justice 
  • Imagined possibilities: Towards Utopia? 
  • Indigeneity and the environment 
  • Theatre and the posthuman
  • Climate (change) in the theatre over time
  • The archive (including digital archives) and the environment: Preservation, Storage, Waste
  • Waste as outcome and/or aesthetic
  • Site-specific/site-responsive, immersive and environmentally responsive theatres
  • Theatre architectures and environments 
  • Scenography and environmental change: practical and theoretical considerations 
  • Performance, religion, spirituality and environmental change and destruction 
  • Theatre in an era of mass extinction 
  • Theatre and Animals 

Please direct all questions about #IFTR2021 to:

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