CFP - Political Performances

22 January, 2015

Call for Papers Political Performances Working Group International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) Annual Conference: Theatre and Democracy, University of Hyderabad, 5-10 July 2015

The Political Performances Working Group will be meeting at the next IFTR Annual Conference in Hyderabad, India. The group is concerned with all aspects of political engagement within theatre and performance, therefore we welcome contributions in this area whether or not they relate to the general conference theme. As this year’s theme is once again highly relevant to our field, however, we will be particularly interested in proposals that address the main question posed by the organisers on the possibilities and limitations of ‘democracy’ as presented and/or represented in theatre and performance. We would also encourage a continuation of the discussion topics which served as focal points for our last meeting in 2014 – these are:

  • Exclusion/Inclusion in Theatre and Performance
  • Old, New and Renewed Forms of Political Theatre
  • Theatre, Histories and Ideologies
  • Activist and Applied Performances
  • The Politics of Spectatorship
  • Performance, Ecology and the Body

In light of the synergies between the conference theme and our own subject area, we are likely to offer a Political Performances’ panel to be scheduled within the general sessions, as happened last year. 

About the Group

The Political Performances Working Group has been meeting at least once a year since its foundation in 2003. Exploring the relationship between politics and theatre/performance in a wide sense, it addresses issues ranging from theory to practice, from historical accounts to current case studies, from local and regional performances to general concepts and forms of political (re)presentation in performance, from feminism and post-colonialism to social and community work, from topics such as education and therapy to propaganda and censorship.

The group published its first anthology of essays in 2009Political Performances: Theory and Practice, eds. Susan Haedicke, Deirdre Heddon, Avraham Oz and E.J. Westlake. Amsterdam: Rodopi Currently, there are plans for a second edited collection.

Group Meetings

In preparation for each meeting, draft papers are distributed to members of the group in advance, allowing for a more focused discussion. New members who are not presenting, as well as occasional attendees, are welcome to participate. Since the group was comprised at its very first meeting of both theatre scholars and practitioners, a special emphasis is given to performance presentations, films and visual material during the sessions.

The exact format of the Hyderabad meeting (including the time available for each presentation) will be announced after the reception of abstracts. Within its broad thematic reach, the group strives to promote dialogue at a specialist level, which may take the form of different research clusters around particular topics.

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts (300 words max) should be submitted through the Federation’s online system at the Cambridge Journals website, specifying ‘Political Performances’ working group. Participants will be prompted to join or renew their IFTR membership beforehand:

For general information on how to submit an abstract please visit the conference website:

The deadline for abstract submission is 31 January 2015. Acceptance will be confirmed by the end of February.

If you have any questions or wish to join the group – even if not presenting a paper – please contact the convenors (details below).


Dr. Paola Botham, Lecturer in Drama, Birmingham City University, UK.

Dr. Lloyd Peters, Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK.

Stay up to date with the IFTR Weekly Digest