Irish Society for Theatre Research Conference 2014

28 February, 2014

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Performance Practices (CIR) at the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences (CACSSS) and Drama and Theatre Studies, School of Music and Theatre, University College Cork, Ireland, are delighted to present the IRISH SOCIETY FOR THEATRE RESEARCH CONFERENCE 2014. 

Conference theme - Consciousness and Cognition: Theatre Practice and Performance

Related topics and all aspects of research on theatre and performance will be welcome.


Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th May 2014

Venue: University College Cork (Ireland)

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Kristin Linklater, vocal coach, acting teacher, Head of Acting (Theatre Arts Division, Columbia University)
  • Bruce McConachie (Chair, Professor/Director of Graduate Studies, Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh)

Conference description and call for papers:

In the sciences and humanities, in the performing arts and digital media, the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have ushered in a wave of renewed interest in pivotal questions surrounding consciousness and mind. Cartesianism, the belief that mind and corporeal body are mutually exclusive, has long been superseded but we are still absorbed in questions such as: What is consciousness? What is mind? What is the relation between mind and consciousness? What is the relation between mind and body? How does the body think? These lines of enquiry are now just as important to those in theatre research, theatre practice and performance as they are to those in cognitive science and its associated disciplines. In books such as Performance and Cognition: Theatre studies and the cognitive turn (2006) and Theatre and Mind (2013) Bruce McConachie and other international researchers have initiated conversations between theatre/performance scholarship and cognitive science. Since Stanislavski’s investigations into the relationship between body and mind, meanwhile, a variety of theatre practitioners and theorists have been adopting a cognitive scientific approach to their work. Examples include, voice specialist Kristin Linklater’s seminal work Freeing the Natural Voice which draws on new insights from neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio into mind, emotions, body, and consciousness; Phillip Zarrilli’s theories on acting which focus on embodied consciousness and the performative moment; and Katie Mitchell’s research into neuroscience and the physiology of emotions which replace psychology as her key point of reference as a theatre director.


In keeping with this the 2014 conference of the Irish Society for Theatre Research offers a wide platform for discussion, performance, practical workshops and keynote lectures. We invite proposals for papers/practice based presentations which explore drama, theatre, performance, practice, and spectating through the lens of cognitive science or its associated disciplines:- psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, anthropology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, education. We encourage submissions on international as well as Irish theatre and performance. Other related topics are also welcome.


Only members of the Irish Society for Theatre Research may present papers at the conference. Membership application forms will be available during the event. Please send a short (max 300 words) proposal to the conference organizers by email to on or before 21st March 2014. Please include with your proposal your name and institutional affiliation (if any) and AV requirements for presentation.

Selected papers may be published as part of the proceedings of this conference.

Organizing committee: Dr. Bernadette Cronin, Dr. Marie Kelly, Dr. Roísín O’Gorman, Drama and Theatre Studies, School of Music and Theatre, University College Cork.


For more information, as it is released, please visit the conference webpage:


Dr. Marie Kelly

Drama Lecturer

Drama and Theatre Studies

School of Music and Theatre

University College Cork

Tel | 00353-21-4904339

Email |

ISTR 2014 is generously supported by:

  • Research and Innovation (UCC)
  • The Centre for Interdisciplinary Performance Practices (UCC)
  • Department of Drama and Theatre Studies (UCC)
  • School of Music and Theatre (UCC)
  • College of Arts, Celtic Studies and the Social Sciences (UCC)


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