IFTR 2021: Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics

Country: Ireland

City: Galway

Abstr. due: 31.01.2021

Dates: 12.07.21 — 16.07.21

Organizing comittee e-mail: IFTRGalway21 AT gmail.com

Organizers: University of Ireland

 

IFTR 2020 had as its central theme the constantly shifting eco-system that constitutes theatre, encouraging us to come together to consider ecologies of theatre and performance globally, and to ask how we, as an interdependent network of scholars and artists, might reflect upon and respond to our interconnections with the environment and with each other through performative and critical interventions. The postponement of the conference to 2021 due to the COVID19 lockdown offers us an opportunity to reconsider these themes.

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. COVID-19 has profoundly tested and disrupted these networks and systems, demanding change socially, biologically, geographically, and of course, artistically.

The 2021 conference will take place in Galway, Ireland. 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+. At the same time, Ireland’s record on climate change is undeniably poor, and the potential fallout from Brexit and COVID 19 has the capacity to devastate the economy, only years following an IMF/EU Bailout. Most recently, the Black Lives Matter movement’s international impact has shone a light on deeply embedded forms of racism operating in Ireland, and highlighted the urgent need to address this matter on our shores as an unprecedentedly racially and ethnically diverse population comes of age. 

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, the worldwide health pandemic, social ecologies, 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 
  • Theatre, COVID-19, and ecologies of survival
  • Precarity and Environment/Economics
  • Theatre and the Anthropocene 
  • Theatre and Landscape 
  • The theatrical eco-system and sustainability
  • Black Lives Matter - race, racism, and theatre ecologies
  • 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 
  • Scenography and environmental change: practical and theoretical considerations 
  • Performance, religion, spirituality and environmental change and destruction 
  • Theatre in an era of mass extinction 
  • Theatre and Animals 

Conference Web-Site: https://www.iftr.org/conference/call-for-papers