Call for Contributions: Working Group Performance and Disability, IFTR 2017

07 January, 2017 by Yvonne Schmidt | 0 comments

Call for Contributions: Working Group Performance and Disability, IFTR 2017

Call for Contributions PERFORMANCE & DISABILITY WORKING GROUP International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) Conference, University of São Paulo, 10-14 July 2017


International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) Conference Unstable Geographies: Multiple Theatricalities
University of São Paulo, The Department of Performing Arts, 10-14 July 2017

Deadline for abstracts: 5 February 2017
Deadline for presentations (pre-circulation): 15 May 2017

The Performance and Disability Working Group of the IFTR aims to have an international dialogue regarding disability and performance and to share scholarly work, including practice-led, and research-creation projects from around the world – traditions, and demonstrations of how diverse physical, sensorial, developmental, and psychological abilities manifest in all areas of performance. We are soliciting proposals from any area of performance studies that intersect with theories, cultures and questions of disability.

 In response to the theme of the Sao Paulo conference in 2017, “Unstable Geographies, Multiple Theatricalities”, participants are invited to orient their contributions of any format towards the following description:

 When it comes to rendering geographies unstable or multiplying the potentials of theatricality, a crucial role has been played by disability, and the broader – ‘dis’ states of the body, be it diseases, disorders, and dysfunctions. From the emergence of disability activism, arts and culture in the second half of the 20th century to the contemporary formations of disability arts communities, and scholarship within online, offline, and hybridized platforms, deterriorialization of cultures, and destabilization of borders have been central to the critical intersections of performance and disability. Within today’s massive migrations and displacements, on the one hand, and the stiffening of alarmist and marginalizing discourses, on the other, what lessons, legacies, aesthetic and everyday tactics can be drawn from disability cultures and scholarship in order to form new solidarities, and produce counter narratives? What can performance and disability tell us about what is it to be a human being, and to have a live worth living, especially in these times of ‘crises’?

 Further, the globalization and delocalization in contemporary theater and dance practices as well as the dissolution of the traditional theatrical agents, such as space, the performer’s body etc., raise both aesthetic and political questions in view of disability cultures and performance. How and why do disability arts and cultures travel in a globalized world, and also – how might the dissolution of borders install new barriers for disabled artists while removing certain others? How and why does disability performance shift into hybrid spaces? As disabled performing artists take up fluid artistic formats (such as internet/virtual performances), how might these formats, and technologies challenge, dissolve or reinstate physical borders? What forms, meanings and manifestations can disability performance take within such continuous unmaking and remaking of geographies? 

Possible presentation topics may include but are not limited to:

·       Geographies of disability and performance

·       Mobilities, immobilities, and differential mobilities

·       Dis-placement of bodies, abilities, selves and subjectivities

·       Unknown terrains, radical corporealities and choreographies

·       Disability cultures, borders, and migration

·       Disability, performance, and activism in the times of ‘crises’

·       Poverty, conflict, war and disability worlds

·       Disability and the global south

·       Shifting meanings of access, barriers, exclusion and inclusion

·       Internet, multi-media and virtual performances, and new renderings of disability

·       Hybrid spaces, fluid borders, and disability

How to apply

300-words abstracts for contributions of any format along with a short bio of 50 words should be submitted through the Cambridge Journals Online website by 5 February 2017: (If you are not able to meet the official deadline, please touch base with the co-conveners). You must be an IFTR member for 2017 in order to see the option to submit a contribution to the 2017 conference.

Please also send a copy of your abstract directly to the co-conveners:

- Yvonne Schmidt:[at]

- Arseli Dokumaci:  adv[at]

Notice on acceptance will be given by 27 February 2017.

 Group Format

Instead of reading out papers in São Paulo, the presentations will be circulated prior to the conference. In order to enable deeper discussions, the participants will be divided into groups of three to meet at beginning of conference and provide one-page responses to each other’s presentations (=2 responses per person). The presentation materials (papers, book chapters, or anything written no more than 6'000 words, or hybrid media formats, video, etc.) must be submitted by 15 May 2017.

 The Working Group is planning on a meeting with local artists and disability communities in Sao Paolo, most likely on the weekend prior to the conference, as in previous years, in order to expand our global network. Further details will be announced by 27 February 2017.

 For information about the general conference, fees, and accommodation, check the IFTR websiteão-paulo-10-14-july

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

- Yvonne Schmidt:[at]

- Arseli Dokumaci:  adv[at]

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

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



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