CFP Arabic Theatre Working Group - IFTR/FIRT 2014 World Congress (University of Warwick, July 28-Aug.1, 2014)

04 December, 2013


Eighth Annual Meeting of the Arabic Theatre Working Group (ATWG)


 IFTR/FIRT World Congress

University of Warwick, UK, 28 July-1 August, 2014


The general theme of the 2014 IFTR/FIRT World Congress is “Theatre and Stratification”.  Members of the Arabic Theatre Working Group are encouraged to submit abstracts related to this theme for the general sessions. Should enough submissions around the main theme be gathered, the ATWG may consider proposing to the organisers a special panel within the general conference on Stratification in Arabic theatre. This notwithstanding, and in view of the constantly changing political and social situation in so much of today’s Arab World, the ATWG has decided for its Warwick meeting to continue exploring the many complex connections between theatre and performance practices and their surrounding realities, an exchange of ideas already begun in previous meetings as well as in special publications with which ATWG has been involved. (Visit, for instance, the blogpost for the special issue of Theatre Research International on "Theatre and the Arab Spring" at: <>).

Examples of the topics we encourage include, but are not limited to: performances and plays (either originally in Arabic or in translation) inspired by or commenting upon current political events in the Arab World; the impact of current and recent changes upon particular artists, groups, theatres, or theatre cultures; and the role of performance itself in ongoing political events.  We are particularly eager to receive submissions that maintain an interdisciplinary dialogue with. among others, cultural, literary, translation, visual, or film studies. We equally encourage papers that demonstrate productive connections with performance theory, theatre historiography, or the practical applications of dramaturgy.

In addition to formal abstract proposals, ATWG Convenors also welcome indications of interest from any new members who wish to take part in the group's discussion but do not wish to submit a paper. Graduate students and early-career researchers are particularly welcome, as well as practice-based researchers and reflexive practitioners. We invite all members to propose ideas as to how the ATWG may best disseminate its work in innovative ways and beyond the group’s meetings, especially with a view to the many creative opportunities offered by the University of Warwick’s highly regarded Arts Centre (Visit: <>).

The deadline for abstract submission is January 15, 2014. All abstracts for Working Groups should be sent through the CJO website. For instructions on how to submit an abstract, please visit:  <>. Kindly note that you must be a current IFTR/FIRT member in order to send an abstract, and that you cannot present a paper within a working group and also in a general session. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words, exclusive of the title, and should be accompanied by a biographical note of no more than 200 words. The IFTR/FIRT 2014 organizers will forward ATWG abstracts to the co-conveners. Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to forward a copy of your submission to both Marvin Carlson ( and Hazem Azmy(


About ATWG

Mission Statement:
(Revised and Approved by Membership in Dec. 2009)


Established in 2007 as the Arabic Theatre Working Group, ATWG exists to broaden international understanding of the theatre and performance cultures of the ‘Arabo-Islamic World.’ In 2009, the group voted to retain the appellation ‘Arabic’ in recognition of the historically unifying role of the Arabic language. This recognition notwithstanding, the group is neither meant to be exclusive nor to promote any nationalist or religion-based agenda. Rather, it seeks to maintain its scholarly mission by holding up its key definitional terms to ongoing critical scrutiny.


Defined in strictly geographical and political terms, the operations of the group cover theatre and performance material from the member states of the League of Arab States and/or the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. However, both the operative adjectives Arab and Islamic should be understood here to demarcate, primarily, a general cultural area of scholarly exploration and negotiation. Investigations of material from the many non-Arab and non-Muslim communities located within the Arab/Muslim world are welcomed by the group. The group equally welcomes material covering the theatre and performance activities of Arab and Muslim ‘diasporic’ communities.


Subjects can be drawn from all areas of theatre activity as well as from performance work that lies outside the traditional European concept of theatre. Methodological approaches from the fields of (theatre) translation, cultural, and postcolonial studies will doubtless be represented in the work of the group, but all approaches that will provide a better understanding of this large field of studies are welcome.


The membership of the group is open to all paid-up members of the IFTR/IFTR, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or religion. Graduate students and early-career researchers are particularly welcome, as well as practice-based researchers and reflexive practitioners. In exceptional circumstances, and subject to the availability of appropriate translation arrangements, the group may consider accommodating participants who are unable to deliver their papers in either English or French.
Marvin Carlson:         <>
Hazem Azmy:              <>


Find ATWG’s Discussion Group on Facebook at:


All the best,

Hazem Azmy, PhD (Warwick, UK)

CO-CONVENER, Arabic Theatre Working Group, 
The International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT)

VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR (Drama and Theatre Criticism),  Ain Shams University;  
DEPUTY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,  Al-Masrah Quarterly;
MEMBER, Steering Committee for Theatre, Supreme Council of Culture,  EGYPT; 
FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER,  Egyptian Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI)

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"  - John Lennon

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