Call for Papers: Shanghai 8-12 July 2019

12 October, 2018 by Rashna Nicholson | 0 comments

The IFTR Historiography Working Group invites papers for its meeting during the IFTR conference in Shanghai, China, 8-12 July 2019.




8th July-12th July 2019, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Theatre Academy

The IFTR Historiography Working Group will be meeting during the IFTR conference in Shanghai, China, 9-12 July 2019. The working group welcomes papers from new and existing members dealing with any possible period or topic in theatre history, but as the group is dedicated to theatre historiography, authors are asked to focus on methodological and epistemological problems related to the history of theatre and performance. Historiographical questions discussed by participants may be illustrated through specific case examples, and there are no restrictions on the historical time or place a proposal might involve or on the kind of historiographical approach explored.

The Historiography Working Group welcomes, but does not confine itself, to papers addressing the theme of the conference. The general theme of the 2019 conference, “Theatre, Performance, and Urbanism”, has various critical implications for theatre historiography, which in recent years has seen an interrogation into the roles theatre plays in urban processes, and the myriad ways by which urbanism has shaped and influenced theatre and performance, throughout historical periods and across geographical, social and cultural lines.

As presented in the convenors’ description, this year's conference theme aims to address the topic of Theatre and Urbanism in broad terms, asking: how does urbanism affect theatrical and performance spaces, styles, and audiences? What is the role of theatre in development and nation building, and how does it shape urban culture? Taking its cue from this year’s conference theme, we also invite papers that focus on urbanisation processes—rural-to-city paths, and other migration movements—in both the developing post-colonial sphere and in developed countries.

See the announcement of the conference for a full elaboration of the topic and subthemes, on the IFTR website at:

The Historiography Working Group works by circulating papers to members in advance of the conference for in-depth discussion in sessions at the conference. The aim of the group’s discussion is always to be constructive. Submissions are normally linked to a research project that the author currently has in progress. There are two possibilities:

a) Scholars share a work in progress, usually an article or book chapter excerpt (5000-word limit), framed by historiographical questions. They are invited to speak for not more than ten minutes about the context in which they have written their pieces, and about historiographical points where they would particularly welcome a response. (Participants take care to read all the papers carefully, so an oral summary of the paper is discouraged.) The group spends about 20 minutes discussing each paper, and the emphasis of the discussion is upon historiographical method rather than the detail of the content.

b) Scholars share a short essay (2000-word limit) that takes up a specific historiographical problem, possibly in response to the conference or convening theme. This might be a think piece or provocation. The shorter papers will be grouped together in panels within the working group with each presenter invited to speak about their topic for no more than five minutes, with 15 minutes of discussion within the group to follow.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted by the deadline of January 7th, 2019 via the Cambridge Core website, indicating that you are submitting to the Historiography Working Group. Please indicate whether you are proposing a 2,000 word or 5,000-word paper and include in your abstract a clear statement about the historiographical questions raised by the work.

The Working Group convenors will select proposals that best fit the historiographical theme of our group. We particularly welcome proposals from new scholars and from scholars outside Europe. If we cannot accommodate your paper, we will refer it to the conference organizers for possible placement on a general panel.

The full text of the selected paper (a) no more than 5000 words / (b) no more than 2000 words should be emailed to the conveners by May 15, 2019, for uploading to the group’s website.

Information about the group can be found on:

Please share this call for papers with any colleagues or research students whom you think may be interested.  

For further information, please contact the group’s convenors. The current conveners of the Historiography Working Group are: 

Jo Robinson, University of Nottingham, UK (

Rashna Darius Nicholson, University of Hong Kong (

Ruthie Abeliovich, University of Haifa, Israel (

Stay up to date with the IFTR Weekly Digest