PRS Call for Contributions: IFTR 2021

20 November, 2020 by David Mason | 0 comments

PRS Call for Contributions: IFTR 2021

The Performance, Religion, and Spirituality Working Group invites proposals for its 2021 IFTR Conference working group sessions

Call from the Performance, Religion, and Spirituality Working Group

For the 2021 IFTR Conference in Galway, the Performance, Religion, and Spirituality Working Group invites proposals for conference papers, participatory activities, performances, and other things that might contribute, within a conference setting, to the investigation of what constitutes a religious, spiritual, mystical, ecstatic experience in performance.

Renewed proposals from people whose proposals were accepted for the canceled conference in 2020 will be re-accepted and new proposals will be reviewed for acceptance according to the places available.

We are particularly interested in exploring what renders a performance religious or spiritual and what happens to perception, identity, and ecological relationships during these particular kinds of experiences.

If we assume that experience rests in the body and in its interrelations with other bodies, performance is the context where the boundaries between those bodies can be explored, multiplied, erased, liquified, solidified, and exploited. Accordingly, we welcome proposals that engage with embodiment as a condition of performance and as the prerequisite of spiritual and religious kinds of experiences, as well as with the question of where the boundaries between aesthetic and spiritual experiences lie.

We also acknowledge that human embodiment is an ecological field of experience which involves both micro and macro environments and inner and outer landscapes, the perimeters of which are constantly in question depending on the practices in play. We therefore encourage proposals that recognize the natural world as a site for a variety of embodiments and that seek to identify, perhaps, ‘ecologies of experience’ that may be entwined with the non-human. This will hopefully touch on the politics and forms of resistance that these kinds of experiential events invite and activate.

We encourage a multiplicity of ontological and epistemological perspectives inspired by, but not limited to, the following, suggested themes:

  • Embodied spiritualities
  • Religious or spiritual practices and ecology
  • Animistic practices
  • Ritual and resistance
  • Catharsis and/in religion
  • Rasa
  • Spirituality and identity
  • Identity construction in and through religious practice
  • Indigenous ontologies and practices
  • Religious, spiritual experiences and perceptions
  • Spiritual experiences, performance and healing
  • The commodification of spiritual experiences
  • Posthuman spiritualities
  • Sexuality, ecology and Religion

It is worth mentioning that the Performance, Religion, and Spirituality Working Group is working towards publishing an anthology of essays having to do with performance, spirtuality and experience. Our invitation for contributions for the 2021 IFTR conference has the development of this book in mind.

Submission Instructions:

  • Each proposal should be no more than 300 words plus a 200-word biography.
  • Proposals must be submitted through the IFTR registration process at by 31 January 2021
  • We do not yet have information from IFTR regarding when and how to apply for bursaries. We would advise those interested in applying for a bursary to keep their attention on the conference’s official web site for updated bursary news. We will update our call for submissions as we receive more information.
The Performance, Religion and Spirituality Group (PRS) is an open network of scholars and artists interested in exploring interconnections between forms and impulses of religions, spiritualities, and theatrical performances, and in attending to the ways performance and spiritual life have come into conversation, cooperation, and conflict, both historically and in the present. The working group is affiliated with two peer-reviewed journals. Performance, Religion and Spirituality, which is an open-access journal, can be found at Information about Ecumenica, a publication of Penn State University Press, can be found at

Other links:



For any inquiry, please contact the PRS conveners:

Silvia Battista
Liverpool Hope University

David Mason
Editor, Ecumenica

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