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African and Caribbean Theatre and Performance

Posted: May 23, 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Memory, Manifestations, and Imagined Futures"

The IFTR African and Caribbean Theatre and Performance Working Group will be meeting during the forthcoming IFTR conference in Barcelona, July 22-26 2013. See the IFTR conference website for full details ( The theme for the IFTR conference, "Re-Routing Performance", is a play on words that invites participants to consider the geographical routes taken by performance, the roots or origins of performance, and the place of technology in re-routing performance across the globe. The theme chosen by the working group echoes that of the conference by inviting participants to position their papers towards addressing the theme of "Memory, Manifestations, and Imagined Futures" in relation to performances from/on/about Africa, the Caribbean and their respective diasporas.

Our theme, "Memory, Manifestations, and Imagined Futures", is concerned with that which informs theatre and performance in Africa, in the Caribbean and in their respective Diasporas. Being cognizant of the fact that there are others who have gone before, we are eager to explore memory - in both the literal and imagined/metaphorical sense - in the construction of performance and or autonomous theatrical experience in African and Caribbean environments. Equally, the imagining of futures; past, present and yet to come, represents an important area of enquiry for this project. It is anticipated that among the themes/issues that papers will address will be those of – ritual, meta-narrative, ancestral voices, legacy, identity, language, nationalism, post colonialism, indigenous, traditional and other models of theatre and performance. Closely allied to these areas, we imagine, may be discussions surrounding notions of space/place, technique and technology and their role in shaping how we remember, present, and imagine theatre and performance, from the ritual performances of Abydos to the contemporary.

Papers are welcome from within specific disciplines, e.g. the History, Literature, Cultural Studies, Visual Arts, Dance and Theatre, as well as from across disciplines, and collaborations are especially welcomed. Intending participants are invited to submit their abstracts (maximum 250 words) for the papers they wish to discuss at the 2013 IFTR conference in Barcelona. Please note that abstracts can only be submitted through the abstract submission page at Cambridge Journals Online ( You will have to be a current IFTR member or register in order to submit an abstract.

Note that the working group works by circulating papers to members in advance of the conference to facilitate in-depth discussion at the meeting. Members whose abstracts are accepted will be required to submit the full text of their paper for circulation to members of the working group by 30 June 2013. This can be a work-in-progress (draft) version of the paper and must not exceed 4000 words.

• The abstract submission deadline is 31 January 2013.
• Abstract submission is via Cambridge Journals Online (

Please forward this call for papers to colleagues who you think may be interested.

Information about the working group can be found on

Convenors for the forthcoming meeting of the working group are:
C. M. Harclyde Walcott ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) University of the West Indies, Barbados

Kene Igweonu ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.


The African and Caribbean Theatre and Performance working group seeks to facilitate and maintain scholarly discourse on the theatre forms and traditions of Africa and the Caribbean by fostering both independent and collaborative research in the fields. One of our major interests as a group is to explore the unique theoretical and methodological challenges posed by the particular circumstances and practices existing in Africa, the Caribbean, and their respective Diasporas; with their vast diversity of peoples, languages and cultures.

The working group aims to explore vocabularies and approaches to African and Caribbean theatre research, and to critically appraise their dominant representations in international theatre discourse. We equally seek to facilitate a constructive comparative conversation across African and Caribbean cultures, as well as between African cultures, Caribbean cultures and cultures of the rest of the world. The group will continue to seek ways to help negotiate the difficulties experienced by African and Caribbean theatre scholars in attending international conferences and disseminating their research internationally.

The working group operates through an expanded list of conveners; four members who take turns in two's to convene its meetings. Members that make up the current pool of conveners are Kene Igweonu (Canterbury Christ Church University, UK); C. M. Harclyde Walcott (University of the West Indies, Barbados); Jeleel Ojuade (University of Ilorin, Nigeria); and David Donkor (Texas A&M University, USA). The group particularly welcomes new members from the Caribbean and those from elsewhere, with an interest in the fields of African and/or Caribbean theatre and performance.


Trends in Twenty-First Century African Theatre and Performance (Rodopi, 2011)

Proposed projects:

The exploration of the publication of scholarly research in reputable academic journals and edited volumes remains a priority pursuit of the working group. To this end the group will work to encourage and facilitate collaboration on both research and joint article publication among its members, with more experienced scholars supporting junior colleagues through the process.

It is also anticipated that the forthcoming IFTR Conference in Barcelona (21-26 July 2013) would provide the opportunity to inaugurate a second publication project on the theme of 'Memory, Manifestations, and Imagined Futures'.

Convenors for the forthcoming conference:

C. M. Harclyde Walcott ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

University of the West Indies, Barbados

Kene Igweonu ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

Next Meeting:
IFTR Conference in Barcelona, Spain (21-26 July 2013).

Previous Meetings (IFTR Conferences):
Santiago, Chile (2012); Osaka, Japan (2011); Munich, Germany (2010); Lisbon, Portugal (2009); Seoul, South Korea (2008); Stellenbosch, South Africa (2007).

Additional Meetings:
Ilorin, Nigeria (April 2011); Stellenbosch, South Africa (April 2010); UCLA, Berkeley, USA (Sept. 2008); Legon, Ghana (March 2008).


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