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Political Performances




Dr Lloyd Peters: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr Mireia Aragay: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr Jose Ramon Prado: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr Paola Botham: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Prof Avraham Oz: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


AIM:  To collate, assemble and edit papers submitted for any PPWg panels/sessions (and IFTR sponsored panels) from 2009-2016 to be published as the second anthology volume of ‘Political Performances: Theory and Practice’.

Note: the subtitle of the volume can change depending on the material received. Theory and Practice vol. 2 may still end up being the best title, especially as there is a continuity.


1. Delegates invited to submit an abstract of their most suitable paper for consideration for this publication. Only one submission per PPWg delegate allowed.

2. Papers should have been written especially for PPWg panels/sessions and presented (or scheduled for Hyderabad presentation) between 2009 - present at the working group (or PPWg sponsored group).

3. Exclusivity: The articles cannot have appeared in any other forum, that is in a journal, book or on a non-PPWg website.

4. The range of papers should reflect the diversity of the PPWg sessions and philosophy. 

The structure and subheadings will depend on the material we receive.

The previous Volume 1 structure, which might be again useful to follow is presented as an example here:

Introductions and Mapping

Queries - incl. ‘the politics of representation’, ‘ownership of personal stories’, ‘the effectiveness of veracity’.

Texts – incl. ‘politics of understanding representation of history’, ‘understanding history of forms’, ‘building contemporary connections’.

Contexts – incl. the ‘ability of political performance to represent atrocity, war, genocide’, ‘censorship and self-censorship’, ‘presenting the unpresentable’.

Practice – incl. ‘personal processes and relationships’, ‘the ethics of the vulnerable and dispossessed’, ‘exploration of performance strategies’, ‘the empowerment of the performer and the spectator’.

About the Contributors.

New ‘frames’ and section headings will inevitably reflect the contributors’ submissions; to be expected and encouraged for Volume 2 (and to be discussed by the Editorial Team).

For example:

·        ‘Observe, Witness, Rehearse, Reflect’ (Avi Oz).

·        Topics or ‘clusters’ that have been identified in the last two meetings, such as: Theatre, Histories and Ideologies; Political Theatre: Old, New and Renewed; Performance and Participation (in the sense of inclusion/exclusion and spectatorship); Performance and Activism.

5. The collation and editing process workload will be shared as equally as possible amongst the editing team. Lloyd to co-ordinate.


Part of the editorial team will meet in Hyderabad. This proposal will also be discussed with members in attendance at the Wg Meeting (Wed 8 July).


Provisional deadline for abstract submission:

It is proposed that in the first instance Abstract proposals (one per delegate) should be presented by email to Lloyd Peters by end of February 2016. These will be then disseminated to the editorial team for consideration and provide them with ideas as to the book’s structure and headings. This date might alter depending on the timescale demanded by publishers and publishing deadlines.


Both convenors have been approached by Jack MacKenzie, Commissioning Editor of Cambridge Scholars. Lloyd is arranging a meeting with him to discuss their offer.

However, the preferred option is to publish through IFTR. The series Themes in Theatre, where the first volume was published, will continue under Brill (which has taken over Rodopi):


Paola will contact Helen Gilbert, IFTR Vice-President (Publications), for details on the new arrangements.

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Call for Papers

Political Performances Working Group

International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) Annual Conference: Theatre and Democracy, University of Hyderabad, 5-10 July 2015

The Political Performances Working Group will be meeting at the next IFTR Annual Conference in Hyderabad, India. The group is concerned with all aspects of political engagement within theatre and performance, therefore we welcome contributions in this area whether or not they relate to the general conference theme. As this year’s theme is once again highly relevant to our field, however, we will be particularly interested in proposals that address the main question posed by the organisers on the possibilities and limitations of ‘democracy’ as presented and/or represented in theatre and performance. We would also encourage a continuation of the discussion topics which served as focal points for our last meeting in 2014 – these are:

  • ·      Exclusion/Inclusion in Theatre and Performance
  • ·      Old, New and Renewed Forms of Political Theatre
  • ·      Theatre, Histories and Ideologies
  • ·      Activist and Applied Performances
  • ·      The Politics of Spectatorship
  • ·      Performance, Ecology and the Body

In light of the synergies between the conference theme and our own subject area, we are likely to offer a Political Performances’ panel to be scheduled within the general sessions, as happened last year. 

About the Group

The Political Performances Working Group has been meeting at least once a year since its foundation in 2003. Exploring the relationship between politics and theatre/performance in a wide sense, it addresses issues ranging from theory to practice, from historical accounts to current case studies, from local and regional performances to general concepts and forms of political (re)presentation in performance, from feminism and post-colonialism to social and community work, from topics such as education and therapy to propaganda and censorship.

The group published its first anthology of essays in 2009: Political Performances: Theory and Practice, eds. Susan Haedicke, Deirdre Heddon, Avraham Oz and E.J. Westlake. Amsterdam: Rodopi Currently, there are plans for a second edited collection.


Group Meetings

In preparation for each meeting, draft papers are distributed to members of the group in advance, allowing for a more focused discussion. New members who are not presenting, as well as occasional attendees, are welcome to participate. Since the group was comprised at its very first meeting of both theatre scholars and practitioners, a special emphasis is given to performance presentations, films and visual material during the sessions.

The exact format of the Hyderabad meeting (including the time available for each presentation) will be announced after the reception of abstracts. Within its broad thematic reach, the group strives to promote dialogue at a specialist level, which may take the form of different research clusters around particular topics.


Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts (300 words max) should be submitted through the Federation’s online system at the Cambridge Journals website, specifying ‘Political Performances’ working group. Participants will be prompted to join or renew their IFTR membership beforehand:

For general information on how to submit an abstract please visit the conference website:

The deadline for abstract submission is 31 January 2015. Acceptance will be confirmed by the end of February.

If you have any questions or wish to join the group – even if not presenting a paper – please contact the convenors (details below).



Dr. Paola Botham, Lecturer in Drama, Birmingham City University, UK.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Lloyd Peters, Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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