CALL FOR PAPERS: Performance & Disability Working Group

15 January, 2014

Deadline for proposals: 30 January 2014

The Performance and Disability Working Group of the International Federation of Theatre Research is soliciting paper proposals for our Working Group from any area of performance studies that intersects with disability studies. 

We welcome perspectives from practice, history or theory in any field or discipline. The goal of this group is to have an international dialogue regarding disability and performance and to share scholarly work and best practices from around the world – traditions, conventions and demonstrations of how diverse physical, sensorial, developmental and psychological abilities manifest in all areas of performance. We are also interested in the impact of performance on policy practice in relation to disability or deafness. We are open to any definition of disability or performance.

In 2014, participants are invited to orient their 20-minute presentations in any format towards the conference theme of ‘stratification’ []:

- Cultural stratification: How is disability culture stratified in theatre, dance, and performance in different geographical locations? To what extent is disability culture challenged or reconsidered by local performing arts practices? We especially encourage perspectives from uninvestigated territories.

- Historical stratification: How has disability performance emerged in different cultures from the past to the present? How might we (re)consider contemporary dance, theatre, or performance practice from a historiographic perspective?

- Stratification inside the theatre: How is disability theatre, dance and performance stratified inside the theatre system? How (and what) are the prospects for performing artists who identity as disabled, particularly in a time when performance work with people with disabilities may be considered in some locations as "fashionable"? 

- Social stratification: How does social stratification manifest in disability theatre, dance, and performance?

Additionally, we welcome submissions that engage with a Practice as Research approach:

- Practice as research: How is disability & performance explored through a dialogue between theory and practice? We invite any contributions with a Practice as Research (PaR) approach to performance and disability.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words (max) along with a short bio of 50 words (max) by 30 January 2014. If we have an exceptionally large number of submissions, we may ask for shorter presentations and circulate the papers or presentations in advance. 

Abstract submission and IFTR membership must be completed through the CJO website: Abstract submission and IFTR/FIRT membership renewal are already open; you must be an IFTR member for 2014 in order to see the option to submit a paper to the 2014 conference.

You must submit your proposals through the IFTR website; please do not send abstracts to the Working Group conveners. Please note that there are three options for submitting an abstract:

1. Submit to the Performance and Disability Working Group (following the guidelines above).

2. Submit to the general congress (following the guidelines on the IFTR site; please note the conference theme is distinct from the CFP for our Working Group).

3. Submit to the New Scholars forum (following their guidelines).

You can only submit one proposal and must elect from the three options above.

For information about the general conference, fees, and accommodation, check the IFTR website -

If you have any questions about the Working Group, please contact the conveners:

- Yvonne Schmidt:

- Mark Swetz:

Join the mailing list of the IFTR-FIRT Working Group:

Facebook: [search for: IFTR Performance and Disability WG]


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