1 November 2019 / Call for Papers

IFTR Galway 2020: Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics

The constantly shifting eco-system that constitutes theatre is the central theme of IFTR 2020 as we come together to consider ecologies of theatre and performance globally, and to ask how we, as an interdependent network of scholars and artists, can reflect and respond to our interconnections with the environment and with each other through performative and critical interventions.

Ecology is the study of the relationship between living organisms and their environments (whether cultural, political, social or biological). Naming theatre’s aesthetic and working practices as ecologies permits scholars to locate theatrical performances within not only social, political and cultural networks, but also interrelated biological systems. Inherently political, embodied and performative, theatre ecologies are constructed by – and responsive to – wider social, political, cultural, and physical environments.

Situated at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the west of Ireland suffered intensely from The Great Famine (1845-49), maintained its Irish language communities and traditional heritage despite colonisation, and currently constitutes one of the most youthful and diverse communities in Ireland. At a national level, Irish communities have radically transformed the wider social eco-system in recent years, as the Marriage Equality Referendum (2015) and Repeal the 8th Referendum (2018) overturned constitutional legislation to ensure access to marriage and abortion rights for LGBTIQ+ and female residents of Ireland. At the same time, Ireland’s record on climate change is undeniably poor, and the potential fallout from Brexit has the capacity to devastate the economy, only years following the EU Bailout. Ireland’s currently competing social dynamics raise questions about how Irish theatre ecologies will respond taking into account this rich interplay of political pressures.

We welcome papers that interpret terms such as “environment” and “ecology” in metaphorical as well as literal contexts. The problems of climate change, mass extinction and environmental destruction are global in cause and impact. But how might our use of environmental and eco-critical terms and paradigms also allow us to understand theatre more fully and deeply?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Environments of the theatrical event
  • Precarity and Environment/Economics
  • Theatre and the Anthropocene
  • Theatre and Landscape
  • The theatrical eco-system and sustainability
  • Methodologies: Environments, Politics, Sustainability
  • Environment and social justice, especially in global contexts
  • Intersections: feminist, anti-racist and/or queer performance and environmental justice
  • Imagined possibilities: Towards Utopia?
  • Indigeneity and the environment
  • Theatre and the posthuman
  • Climate (change) in the theatre over time
  • The archive (including digital archives) and the environment: Preservation, Storage, Waste
  • Waste as outcome and/or aesthetic
  • Site-specific/site-responsive, immersive and environmentally responsive theatres
  • Theatre architectures and environments
  • Sceneography and environmental change: practical and theoretical considerations
  • Race, racialization, and environment
  • Performance, religion, spirituality and environmental change and destruction
  • Theatre in an era of mass extinction
  • Theatre and Animals

During 2020, Galway will be European Capital of Culture, and the IFTR conference will coincide with the annual Galway International Arts Festival for that year.

Abstract submission due date: 31 January, 2020

All abstract submissions are made through the Cambridge Core website.

However, in order to make a submission you will need to become a member of IFTR, first.

Please direct all questions about #IFTR2020 to: