Call for Contributions: How Disability Performance Travels

01 October, 2019 by Kate Maguire-Rosier | 0 comments

Call for Contributions: How Disability Performance Travels

The IFTR Performance and Disability Working Group invites contributions to an edited collection.

Call for Contributions:

How Disability Performance Travels

An edited collection of essays by Christiane Czymoch (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz), Yvonne Schmidt (Zurich University of the Arts) and Kate Maguire-Rosier (University of Sydney)


The edited collection aims to investigate how disability performance travels in a postdigital epoch. It will contextualise disability aesthetics, arts, media and culture in a global frame, yet firmly rooted in its smaller national, state and local community settings. The book combines a wide range of practical examples of disability arts from different countries with theories and approaches from Theatre and Dance Studies, Media Studies, Digital Humanities, Environmental Humanities, Performance and Cultural Studies, Mobility Studies, and Disability Studies. Rather than focussing on anglophone scholarship, which is still predominant in the emerging field of Disability Performance Studies, this volume pioneers perspectives from different parts of the world prioritising developing geopolitical, global south and non-English-speaking contexts.


Disability Arts Festivals are growing in different parts of the world. Theatre and dance companies with disabled artists are increasingly touring and collaborating with international partners. At the same time, theatre spaces are often not accessible and the necessity of mobility can exclude disabled artists from being part of an international disability arts community. How does disability performance travel, who does not travel – and why? What is the role of funding and producing structures, disability arts festivals and networks around the world? How do the logics of international (co-)producing govern the way in which disability art is represented internationally? Who is excluded from being part of a touring theatre or dance company, and how can festivals, conferences, and other agents of a growing disability culture create other forms of participation, which are not limited to physical co-presence? How does digitalisation open up new possibilities for disabled artists?


We welcome proposals from scholars, artists and other cultural workers that address a range of perspectives and areas of interests in the area of disability performance, theatre and dance. While this project is open to work in disability arts more broadly, it focuses on performance practice or on work with a strong performance element. Topics may range from access, cultural policy, festivalisation, internationalisation, touring, (post)digitalisation to travelling in the Anthropocene. We are particularly interested in essays that address the following questions:


  • What challenges are there for disabled artists navigating an imperative to travel or tour?
  • How do disabled artists and disability theatre or dance companies regard travelling and touring in times of climate crisis?
  •  How might disability art/ performance offer a critical perspective on internationalisation, digitisation and/or festivalisation?
  • How do concepts of travel intersect with the artistic or aesthetic value of disability?
  • Can a disability perspective reimagine what it means for artistic work to travel through the world?
  • To what extent can disability dance, theatre and performance and/or notions of access enhance the quality, process and outcomes of travelling or choosing not to travel?
  •  What alternatives to travel may be available for disabled performing artists and companies?


Please submit abstracts (300 words) which clearly indicate how disability performance or disability art will be positioned within the proposed essay and please also submit a short biography (50 words). Please submit abstracts by 1 December 2019 via email to the editors:


Image credit: My Dream (2007) by China Disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe

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