The Broken Puppet: a symposium on puppetry, health and disability

21 May, 2017 by cariad astles | 0 comments

The Broken Puppet: a symposium on puppetry, health and disability

Call for papers for The Broken Puppet symposium

The UNIMA Research Commission


The Cork Puppetry Festival

in conjunction with

Drama and Theatre Studies, University College Cork (Cork, Ireland)

Drama and Theatre Studies, Mary Immaculate College (Limerick, Ireland)


The Broken Puppet: A Symposium on Puppetry, Disability, and Health

1st and 2nd of August 2017


“The emergence of a disability culture is difficult but tremendously liberating. Such a culture enables us to recognize the pressure to pretend to be normal for the oppressive and impossible-to-achieve hurdle which it is. Most importantly, this culture challenges our own prejudices about ourselves, as well as those of the non-disabled culture.”

- Jenny Morris


“The object offers itself to the individual as an extension of his being in the surrounding universe, and augmented affirmation of his total existence.”

- Roger Daniel Bensky


The UNIMA Research Commission in collaboration with Cork Puppetry Festival, University College Cork, and Mary Immaculate College, is delighted to announce a two-day symposium exploring the ways puppetry intersects with disability and health. We invite academics and practice-based researchers to propose papers*, provocations, and particularly discussions about or presentations of practice-based research. Keynote speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.


Two grants to assist participation in this event are available to early-career researchers (including those focused on practice-based research). Please note in your proposal if you wish to apply for one of these grants.


Themes to consider include (but are not limited to):

§  Embodied puppet practices: breaking the body’s borders

§  Methods of inclusivity: participatory puppetry in the context of disability and health

§ The puppeteer’s voice: sharing real stories of disability and illness through puppetry

§  Mental health and invisible disease: making the invisible visible

§  Interventions: puppetry in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare settings


Selected papers will be published as part of the proceedings of this symposium.

*Please note that we ask papers to be written in an accessible style for academics as well as practitioners and community audiences.


Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biography of no more than 50 words to Emma Fisher, Leslie Burton and Cariad Astles, at Please include your department or affiliation and any access and equipment requirements.

The deadline for proposal submission is Friday 9th June 2017.

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