Call for Papers, IFTR 2019 Shanghai 8-12 July 2019

31 October, 2018 | 0 comments

Call for Papers, IFTR 2019 Shanghai 8-12 July 2019

Call for Papers - IFTR2019 Music Theatre Working Group

Music Theatre Working Group, International Federation for Theatre Research

IFTR 2019 Shanghai, China
Shanghai Theatre Academy
 8-12 July 2019

Conference theme: Theatre, Performance and Urbanism

Deadline for abstract submission: 7 January 2019

Deadline for bursary applications: 20 November 2018


The IFTR Music Theatre Working Group will be meeting at the IFTR conference in Shanghai, China, 8-12 July 2019.

The aim of the Music Theatre working group is to discuss a broad range of methodological and theoretical perspectives on all kinds of music theatre, from opera and popular forms to contemporary experiments with new forms of music theatre. We are also interested in comprehending the role and function of music and sound in performance, in the broadest sense. The background for the working group is our perception of the need to find new ways to deal with a subject which is part of at least two disciplines – theatre studies and musicology – but which is not, in fact, at home in either field. What our approaches all have in common is that they start from a notion of music theatre as theatre, performance and experience, always dealing with the interplay between all of the senses.

In keeping with the conference theme of “Theatre, Performance and Urbanism”, we invite existing and new WG members to submit papers on any aspect of music theatre (broadly understood to be musical theatre, opera, music and/in theatre) or music and sound in performance as they relate to the conference theme. Specifically, we welcome papers that address the ways in which music theatre engages issues of urbanism, urbanisation and the city. Urban environments have distinct soundscapes that reveal the complexity and diversity of its inhabitants, their cultural practices, their habitus as Bourdieu would describe; it is an ‘audio mix’ of mechanical, electronic and natural sounds. ‘Noise’ has been argued to be the product of urbanisation and industrialisation, an inevitable sound of progress.
Music (and musicalities) also reflects differences between the centre and periphery, and reveal distinctions in urban morphology.

The WG thus welcomes papers on Musical Theatre, Opera or Music / Sound in Theatre that explore but are not limited to the following topics:

·       Urban auralities, ‘noise, ’ theatre and performance

·       Performing rural, suburban and city soundscapes

·       Acoustemologies of the city and the performativity of sound

·       ‘Habitus’ and sound / music

·       The touring musical / music theatre

·       Intercultural soundscapes in performance

·       Urbanism and urbanisation as a theme in music theatre

·       Cultural ‘capital’ and the musical

We also welcome papers that relate to any of the general themes of the conference ( in relation to music theatre, as well as papers on any other aspect of music theatre. The Music Theatre WG is committed to an open and inclusive discussion of a broad range of topics in various stages of development, including work in progress. We particularly encourage graduate students and early career scholars to share their work.

Submission Procedures & Presentation Format

We welcome both new and existing WG members to join the WG sessions at the conference. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and are due 9 January 2019.

These should be submitted via Cambridge Core website, Do indicate that you are submitting an abstract to the Music Theatre Working Group. Please note that you will have to be a member of the IFTR in order to submit an abstract. Registration for membership can be done on the Cambridge Journals Online website listed above.

As the WG would like to utilise the given sessions for in-depth discussions, papers will be circulated prior to the conference among the WG members who will be attending the conference. As such, finalized papers are to be submitted by email to the convenors before 2 July 2019. Papers should be no more than 3,000 words.

At the WG meetings during the conference, only a short overview of each paper will be presented and the remaining time will be devoted to discussion.

More information about the conference can be found at the IFTR website, If you would like to find out more about the Music Theatre WG, please visit

The IFTR offers financial assistance to scholars wishing to participate in its Annual Conference. These bursaries are awarded on the basis of merit, relevance to the conference or Working Group theme, and financial need. Please note that the deadline for bursary applications significantly predates the deadline for abstract submission. For information and instructions about bursaries, and to download the application form, please visit

Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the conference and your abstract submission.
Tereza Havelkova (
Marcus Tan (

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