‘Art made tongue-tied by Authority’:

Theatre Censorship around the World

Royal Irish Academy, Academy House, Dublin,

23rd – 25th September 2010



The study of censorship is vital to understanding the relationship between cultural production and the state, and theatre, as a medium with the potential to make direct and immediate connections with society, has often been subject to particularly severe control. Though censorship is often associated with authoritarian regimes, it has also been present – often in more insidious forms – in democratic states.


This major international conference offers scholars from various disciplines the opportunity to come together to compare experiences and studies of theatre censorship from various countries and periods. Participants will include academics, playwrights and other theatre professionals. The conference will be linked to the Dublin Theatre Festival (Sept-Oct 2010).


The playwrights Fernando Arrabal (Spain and France) and Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti (UK) have agreed to take part as key speakers.


This event is part of the AHRC-funded project on Theatre Censorship in Spain (1931-1985) Website:



Suggested thematic areas for papers include but are not limited to:


·      Religious censorship

·      Political censorship

·      Sexual morality and the stage

·      Cultural policy and the state

·      Censorship in democratic states

·      Censorship and authoritarian regimes

·      Performance and freedom of expression

·      The effects of censorship on writers, directors and performers

·      Censorship legislation

·      The legacy of censorship



Proposals (200-250 words) are invited for papers of 30 minutes, on any area of research relating to theatre censorship in any part of the world. Abstracts for papers should be submitted electronically to the Conference Organizer, Dr Catherine O’Leary, Dept of Spanish, National University of Ireland, Maynooth ( by 31st January 2010.


To facilitate communication we ask all contributors to write their abstracts and present their papers in English. (We may be able to arrange for Spanish-English interpreting, possibly with the help of the Instituto Cervantes: please let the organizer know if you would require this.) Please also supply a short bio-bibliographical statement and indicate your requirements for audio-visual eq


A selection of peer-reviewed essays based on papers given at the conference will be published.


Any queries may be addressed to:

Dr Catherine O’Leary, Dept of Spanish, National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM), Maynooth Co. Kildare, Ireland.  Phone: +353-(0)1 7086116