Call for Papers - XVIII International Conference of ISTR - Human Rights and contemporary Performance Cultures

14 August, 2022 by Ravi Chaturvedi | 1 comment

Call for Papers - XVIII International Conference of ISTR - Human Rights and contemporary Performance Cultures

Indian Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) invites proposals for its 18th Annual Conference in Alwar (Rajasthan) on February 16 through 18, 2023— latest by October 15, 2022. Website:

Turbulent is the best way to describe the state of affairs that the world is in at the moment. Twenty first century has witnessed a revival of political and ideological clashes that existed before the two world wars in the bygone century. Human rights, in such circumstances, face the severest onslaught. Protests, voices of dissent and democratic expressions are getting muzzled like never before, world over. From squeezing spaces of protest on ground to surveillance and trolling on social media and the threats resulting out of these have led to an unprecedented assault on human rights. Theatre has been hit unlike ever before yet like all adverse times of the past it is potent with tools to represent the pains and pangs of the times in the most productive fashion. Contemporary performance cultures are rooted in mediated realities embodying internet trends and global outreach. Human rights have a hope in the sphere of performance space. It is important for the protests and dissents to turn sustainable for the two reasons: first, protest and dissent are meant to save lives instead of risking lives and second, a protest/dissent fructifies only when it is steady and persistent. Theatre/performance has all the elements to effectuate such protests and dissents to safeguard the human rights.

Hence, it is imperative for theatre, cinema, dance, music and media scholars, performers, enthusiasts and researchers to deliberate on enriching the sustainable methods of safeguarding the human rights. The conference invites abstracts on the following (but not limited to) topics:

· Human rights and theatre

· Contemporary performance cultures and mediated expressions

· Technology and performance

· Human rights and trending cultures

· Violence and its contemporary manifestations

· Performing in mediated spaces of protest and dissent

· World wide violence and performance

· Trolls, actors and human rights

· Virtual troupes, Activism and performance

· Human rights and theatre pedagogy

· Shrinking spaces of performance and protest

· Transgressions and freedom of expression in performance

· Ideologies and creative representations

· Muted protest and performative shibboleths

· State apparatus/es and the clamp down on performative dissent

· Documenting dissent in performance

Deadline:  Submission of abstracts: 31 October 2022 

For detail contact: &

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