African and Caribbean Theatre and Performance Working Group

Theme: “Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics”



“Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics”

The forthcoming IFTR conference will be held in Galway, Ireland, from July 13-17, 2020. See the IFTR conference website for full details (  The theme of the conference, “Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics” invites participants to consider theatre and performance in relation to both our specific local, as well as our general global environment, the impact of climate and climate change and the implications for human populations. 

The IFTR African and Caribbean Theatre and Performance Working Group will be meeting during the IFTR conference.  At the conference the working group will continue to meet around the themes of its book projects, i) “Performing Identity: Identity Issues in Contemporary Urban Environments”, and ii) “Performance and Spirituality in Africa, the Caribbean and their Diasporas”, both themes that were identified at our last meeting at the Shanghai conference.  The working group will also invite participation around the general conference theme, “Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics in Africa, the Caribbean and their Diasporas”, because we consider this matter to be urgent and universal. 

It is now quite generally recognized and accepted that carbon emissions, global warming and sea level rise are among the most pressing issues in need of address in our contemporary global environment.  It is also quite generally recognized that urbanization, migration and the internet are major influences in the formation of concepts of beauty and identity in the twenty-first century.  The prospect of the failure to understand, analyze and appropriately address these issues suggests consequences of catastrophic promotions for all human populations.  Our 2020 meeting in Galway, Ireland is therefore concerned with that which informs theatre and performance practice in Africa, the Caribbean and in their respective Diasporas in this environment of what has been characterized as, identity and climate crisis. 

As usual papers are welcome from within specific disciplines, e.g. History, Literature, Cultural Studies, Visual Arts, Film, Dance and Theatre, as well as from across disciplines.  Collaborations are especially welcomed.  It is anticipated that among the sub-themes/issues which the papers will address will be those of: Performance, Religion and Spirituality;  Identity and Exile; Concepts of Self and the Beauty Industry; Ritual, Tradition and the Environment; Educational and Training Systems; Environmental Change and Destruction; Theatre and Performance in an Era of Mass Extinction; Environments of the Theatrical Event; Precarity and Environment/Economics; Theatre and Performance and the Anthropocene; Theatre and Landscape; The Theatrical Eco-System and Sustainability; 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; Sceneography and Environmental Change: Practical and Theoretical Considerations; Race, Racialization, and Environment.

Intended participants are invited to submit their abstracts (maximum 250 words) for the papers they wish to discuss at the 2020 IFTR conference in Galway. Please note that abstracts can only be submitted through the abstract submission page at Cambridge Journals Online ( You will have to register or be a current IFTR member in order to submit an abstract.

Note that the working group works by circulating papers to members in advance of the conference to facilitate in-depth discussion at the meeting. Members whose abstracts are accepted will be required to submit the full text of their paper for circulation to members of the working group by May 30, 2020.  This can be a work-in-progress (draft) version of the paper and must not exceed 4000 words.

The abstract submission deadline is January 31, 2020. 

Abstract submission is via Cambridge Journals Online (  The site will prompt you to join or renew your membership of IFTR.  This has to be done by January 31, 2020, otherwise your paper cannot be accepted for the conference. For more information on this process, please visit:

Please forward this call for papers to colleagues who you think may be interested. Information about the working group can be found at: 

Convenors for the forthcoming meeting of the working group are;

  • C. M. Harclyde Walcott ( The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
  • Awo Mana Asiedu ( University of Ghana, Ghana

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