Theatre Worldwide

Call for Papers: Shifting Centres (in the middle of nowhere) Scenography Working Group, IFTR 2022, Reykjavík, Iceland 20th – 24th June 2022

Nov 22, 2021

Within the broad context offered by Shifting Centres (in the Middle of Nowhere) IFTR conference, the Scenography Working Group aims to attract presentations from a range of geographical, cultural, social and aesthetic standpoints that it hopes will emerge from outside as well as from within Europe and North America, Iceland’s nearest continents. An engagement with notions of shifting centres presents the potential for exploration of points of contact across disciplines and cultures of performance, new approaches to practice, sites of performance and audience engagement.  

Addressing areas of practice and scholarship that have been marginalised is also at the core of this theme as is the examination of the ways in which recent global crises reshape performance. These include digital and virtual performances and scenographies created ad hoc, while reconsidering sites of performance beyond traditional ones.  

Such focus on shifting centres invites presentations on methodologies, pedagogies, frames of reference/analysis and approaches that exist around the margins and are habitually out of sight.  How do these destabilize the centre, redefining it and relocating it, for example by proposing materiality, embodied and ecological approaches to cognition or digital engagement as the impetus for performance making? As the challenge to established hierarchies in this process may give way to co-creativity, what new communities of practice and scholarship are being created? 

Given that this theme invites us to venture into less charted waters, contributions may address, but are not restricted to, the following:

The working group welcomes responses to the above theme and proposals from researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds as well as scenography specialists from all fields of performance design. The working group invites presentations in different forms (see below).


Format of Presentation

The Scenography Working Group invite proposals for the Reykjavik meeting in ONE of these formats:

1. Academic paper presentation (20 minute maximum) followed by questions.
Abstracts will be double blind peer reviewed before acceptance. Papers (usually around 3,500 words) will be made available to participants two weeks before the conference. Presenters are encouraged not to read papers in full, but to guide the audience through the main arguments and ideas. The formal presentation will be followed by a question and answer session to promote in-depth discussion and constructive debate within a supportive environment. This format is ideal for those looking for feedback prior to a future submission for publication.
2. Seminar Proposal / Provocation for focused group discussion (15-minute maximum).
Presentation will be followed by small group discussions responding to the themes of the provocation. Abstracts will be double blind peer reviewed before acceptance. An outline of the proposal/paper will be made available to participants two weeks before the conference. This format is useful in developing ideas, connections and gaining further theoretical insights as part of the process of research within a supportive environment.

3. Performative presentations, material fragments of performances and workshop demonstrations are welcome, however these should fit within the 20 minutes maximum presentation format and should be agreed with the WG convenors in advance.

4. Pre-recorded PechaKucha 6 minutes and 40 seconds presentations, 20 images x 20 seconds (for more information on what is a PechaKucha presentation please see some examples here: https://www.pechakucha.com/ ).


Submission Procedures

Submission must be done through the IFTR registration process (see links below). After you submit your abstract through IFTR, please also email a copy to the co-convenors. Please ensure you make it clear if your proposal is for an academic paper, a seminar/provocation or PechaKucha.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31st January 2022.

Please note that to submit an abstract for consideration you must be a member of IFTR. To present at the World Congress each member will need to buy membership of IFTR and in Spring 2022 register and pay for the conference (IFTR operate a banding system and a number of concessions are available).

Additional information such as the form the proposed submission will take and any information about restrictions to your availability over the course of the IFTR World Congress should be included on the online form under ‘equipment required’ and MUST be discussed (via email) with the Working Group co-convenors. 

We anticipate that the process of peer review and presentation as part of the working group’s proceedings will be beneficial to the process of publication in a range of peer-reviewed published volumes in the field.

Please note: IFTR rules prevent individuals from presenting more than one paper during the conference.

Working Group Co-convenors

Donatella Barbieri d.barbieri@arts.ac.uk
Dr Christina (Xristina) Penna x.penna@derby.ac.uk

IFTR website

IFTR bursary information

IFTR membership and registration at Cambridge Journals Online

IFTR abstract submission at Cambridge Journals Online


IFTR supports researchers suffering financial hardship by providing a limited number of bursaries each year. These bursaries are awarded on the basis of merit, relevance to the conference or Working Group theme, and financial need. Please visit www.iftr.org for information and instructions about bursaries, and to download the application form.

The IFTR Bursaries Round for attending the Reykjavík 2022 annual conference is now open. The deadline for completed applications is 15 December 2021.

*Reykjavik 2022 is proposed as an in-person conference, though of course we shall be monitoring the Covid situation in the coming months.

Abstract submissions open on 1st November and will close 31st January 2022.