Blog post

Open Access Open Access 5664 view(s) 5664 view(s) 5664

European Theatre Perspectives: Symposium


European theatre European performance theatre & performance studies cross-cultural performance translation cultural translation digital culture digital humanities preservation networks activism co-action internationalization adaptation transnational migration statelessness multilingualism symposium European Theatre Perspectives (ETP)

European Theatre Perspectives

Exploring channels for cross-cultural engagement in performance

A symposium co-organized by Culture Hub (London, UK) and the Grotowski Institute (Wrocław, Poland), within the Theatre Olympics and European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 programmes.

Venue: BARBARA: Infopoint/Café/Culture, ul. Świdnicka 8c, 50-067, Wrocław
Dates: 7–9 November 2016


Call for proposals:

The European Theatre Perspectives symposium (ETP) offers a forum dedicated to exploring new channels for cross-cultural dialogue and engagement in performance. Bringing together practitioners working in different regional, linguistic, and disciplinary contexts, this international event will facilitate wide-ranging discussion of current issues and debates in the field.

As Homi K. Bhabha has argued, terms of cultural engagement are themselves produced performatively, through ongoing negotiation, rearticulation, and hybridization. ETP therefore focuses on movements of knowledge and knowhow that traverse European borders, broadly conceived; that is, it encompasses not only dynamics of exchange and mediation across Europe, but also what Erika Fischer-Lichte calls ‘processes of interweaving performance cultures’ between Europe and other world regions.

Through a range of mixed-mode panels and presentations, ETP aims to gather insights and perspectives on work that has sought to bridge disparate communities in innovative ways — including via theatre- and performance-making, research, translation, documentation, emerging technologies, activism, and other forms of reciprocal recognition or co-action. The symposium organizers are especially interested in proposals that deal with issues of cultural transfer relating to one or more of the following areas:

  • multilingualism, adaptation, and cultural translatability
  • communicating embodied technique and experience
  • practices of identity, witnessing, and collective remembering
  • migration and statelessness
  • strategies of disruption, resistance, and care
  • forums, networks, and community practices
  • digital arts and humanities
  • publishing, preservation, ethics, and access initiatives
  • models of support and sustainability

Alongside and in dialogue with this sharing of learning and expertise, the event will provide a rare collaborative space for thinking through a key strategic challenge for the field, as set out by Janelle Reinelt in a speech in Wrocław during her presidency of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), and then published in TDR: The Drama Review (51.3). Using Open Space Technology, this extended session will invite participants to consider ways of addressing in practice what Reinelt calls ‘the political project of building a truly international performance culture’, appropriate to the diversity and connecting flows of social life in and beyond Europe today.


Proposal guidelines:

Please note that in order to maximize time for discussion during the event, all written and film submissions will be available to view in advance, via the Culture Hub platform, from October 2016. The symposium sessions will be wholly dedicated to facilitating exchanges, questions, and feedback among participants.

The organizers are keen to include contributions in various formats that reflect the breadth and scope of current models of theatre and performance activity. ETP therefore invites proposals for:

  • Research papers (up to 4000 words)
  • Short provocations, online features, photo essays, or manifestos (up to 1500 words)
  • Showings of films or performance documentation (accessible via a public or private video hosting channel, e.g. Vimeo, YouTube, Brightcove)
  • Digital poster presentations, for participants to showcase projects during open drop-in sessions at the symposium (requires own device and demo materials; internet connection will be provided)
  • Panels or practical sessions on a specific topic, problem, or methodology (up to 60 minutes)

Translation — between cultural and linguistic contexts and between different kinds of expertise and experience, both critical and embodied — will be at the centre of the event. The main working language of the symposium will be English, and proposals may be submitted in English, Polish, French, Italian, or Spanish. Translation and interpreting assistance will be provided by the symposium organizers and volunteers (languages to be confirmed following review of proposals received).

Please send proposals of 400 to 500 words, indicating the proposed format and technical requirements, to the symposium convenors, Duncan Jamieson and Adela Karsznia, at:


Please note that the original dates have been extended:

  • Deadline for proposals: Monday 8 August 2016
  • Notification of acceptance: Monday 15 August 2016
  • Deadline for full submissions: Monday 19 September 2016
  • Pre-symposium circulation of materials: October 2016
  • Symposium: Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 November 2016

Scholarship fund:

To support broad participation in this event, the ETP organizers have established a fund totalling 10,000 Polish złoty (PLN) to assist 5–10 selected respondents who are in the early stage of their careers or who have limited opportunities for travel, to present their work at the symposium. Full details of eligibility and how to apply are available here.

Travel information:

Prospective attendees are encouraged to consider neighbouring events that may be of interest in the European Capital of Culture programme and the Theatre Olympics (14 October to 13 November 2016, full schedule to be announced), when planning travel to and from the symposium.


Attendance is free, but registration is required as places are limited. Booking will open on 22 August 2016. 

Content image