Call for Papers IFTR2020, Galway 13-17 July

18 October, 2019 by Trish McTighe | 0 comments

The Samuel Beckett Working Group will be meeting at the IFTR International Federation for Theatre Research Annual Conference 2020.

For IFTR’s 2020 conference in Galway, the Samuel Beckett Working Group will continue its recent explorations of Beckett’s work in international performance contexts, with particular attention to the questions of theatre ecologies which these raise, and which form the main theme of this year’s conference: ecologies, environment, sustainability and politics (

Ecology, the environment and the natural world form an emergent strand within Beckett studies, with Beckett’s work presenting an oeuvre in which nature and the natural are often denuded, fragmented, or absent altogether. The human relationship with nature in Beckett often emerges within the dregs of memory, in the aftermath of an unnamed apocalypse, with Beckettian figures both in retreat from and dependent upon their surroundings. This body of work and the dramaturgical practices that engage it bring to the fore important questions about the relationship between theatre and nature, ecology and sustainability. Participants are invited, but by no means limited, to respond to the following questions:

In what ways is the natural world evoked in Beckett’s work and what modes of eco-dramaturgy are evident within practical approaches to Beckett’s theatre?

How is the global issue of the destruction of the environment versus industrialization/modernization dealt with in Beckett's work? 

How can Beckettian performance practices unveil or unpack issues around the environment, climate change and sustainability?

What are the ecologies -- in all senses of the word – of local and international Beckett performance practices?

What are the politics of intercultural exchange and sustainability when it comes to Beckett’s work around the world?

How do local and international stagings of Beckett tackle the issue of ecological catastrophe?

If you are interested in joining the Working Group in Galway, please do get in touch; Abstracts should be submitted through the IFTR’s online system, managed by Cambridge Journals. Details will be posted on the IFTR website ( You need to submit a title and a short abstract by 29 January 2020.  

For more information please contact the convenor Dr Trish McTighe (

Papers (length up to 5,000 words) are to be distributed by 15 June 2020.

For information about the general conference, fees, and housing, check the IFTR website. Please also check for updates on the Samuel Beckett Working Group page []

We greatly look forward to welcoming you to Galway!

Please note that papers to be presented at the Working Group are distributed and read by all the participants ahead of the meeting. At the Working Group sessions presenters give short résumés of their work, followed by a lengthy discussion period (each presenter has 30 to 45 minutes in all, depending on the number of presenters). This is an extremely effective method, which allows ideas to be discussed, debated and evaluated, with participants suggesting directions for the presenters’ work-in-progress. It is the Working Group’s aim to make good papers great! There is limited space for presenters; there will also be a limited space for auditors, who would also be sent the papers to read, and be encouraged to engage in the discussions during the sessions.










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