5th Annual Conference

28-30 January 2009

Hosted by

The Indian Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) announces its FIFTH annual conference at New Delhi from 28th to 30th of January 2009. School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University in collaboration with National School of Drama, New Delhi is pleased to host the conference this time. 

Indian Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) feels proud of announcing its fifth conference as all the earlier four conferences set a track for the theatre research in India. The support we have received from researchers and theatre activists across the country and abroad are highly encouraging. Theme of the fifth conference is Language(s) of Theatre.  Language of theatre has been a matter of concern in research, practice and discourse in theatre. In the changing global context and in the heterogeneous Indian cultural context language has to be seen in different magnitudes. ISTR feels that the theme is very much relevant in the present cultural context. 

Proposals for the presentation in the Fifth ISTR conference are invited. Proposals can be either for the thematic part of the conference or for the contribution to the Research Scholars forum. Read more about the theme of the conference and details of the conference in the next page.

The conference will be held on the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University at New Delhi.

Your active participation in the conference and dissemination of this information are solicited.

Prof. H.S. Shivaprakash (Chairman, Organising Committee) 
Dr. Bishnupriya Dutt(Conference Coordinator)
        Prof. B. Ananthakrishnan (General Secretary, ISTR)

For More Information Please Visit:

Call for Papers

One of the remarkable and distinctive features of theatre history and performance studies, which confront us in contemporary research, is the relations between the domains of language and theatre performance. First, there is the issue of the words rendered as speech/ song/ chant in theatre performance, the issue of the dynamics of language modality in the performance matrix. Though the notion that theatre performance is only a matter of ‘performing’ the written words of the script is long rejected in practice as well as theory, the insistence of the word remains in the unconscious of theatre practice and to a larger extent, analysis.  One of the major areas in which this is apparent is in the notion that the ‘context’ of modern theatre production as a ‘culture’, defined in terms of the dominant spoken language of the geographical location (Bengali Theatre, Tamil theatre, etc.). Here, the language of the spoken dialogues becomes not only a practical issue of communication as well as a part of the politics of linguistic identity/power but also a theoretical issue of the ‘context/s’ of performance.

Secondly, it is accepted that there is a ‘language of theatre’, meaning that, through different audio-visual-spatial elements, performance creates and uses a unique mode of communication in which the audible word is only one, and optional, element. This is still a largely unexplored area that includes all areas of meaning production including semiotics, history, anthropology, politics and culture. Such attempts have always been complicated by the fact that a performance often employs, simultaneously, a number of ‘languages’ –like that of music, visual composition, painted or sculpted backdrops, choreography, etc. There is a need to address all these ‘languages’ as part of the composite language of theatre and the aesthetics/sociology/ politics of signification processes involved.

The third issue is the ‘language about theatre’. Indian theatre history, theory and criticism has not been able to evolve a consistent set of concepts or modes of analysis given the fact that it has been an heir to diverse and conflicting influences, both Indian and Western. The ground realities of Indian theatre, though part of globalization process, still retain some distinct aspects different from cultures from which predominant theories are emerging. The extents to which these theories and concepts are useful to understand our practice is a question that needs to be addressed. There is also an urgent need to look at the past writings about theatre and examine them closely in connection with the way a performance has been read and written about. The need is to understand the issues and history of writing about theatre so that a contemporary language of performance analysis can be evolved and a historical study of performances becomes possible.

The conference theme includes broader topics: 
1. Voices of Performers, Practitioners, Actors and Writers.
2. Literacy and Orality – Issues of the Word in Performance.
3. Language and Philosophy: Poetry, Presentation and Silence
4. Language and Body/Mind: Is Acting an Act of Translation?
5. Language as Context: Regional and Pan-regional Aspects/Trends/ Movements in Theatre Practice.
6. Language and Politics of Identity – Race, Ethnicity, Caste and Gender 
7. Languages of Traditional Performance Forms.
8. Departures in the Language of Theatre: Modern and Contemporary.
9. Language and / of Scenography
10. Languages of Genres: Dance, Music and Visual Arts In Theatre.
11. Language of Politics -Politics of Language
12. Technology as a Language in Theatre.  
13. Writing about Theatre: Reading a Performance and Analytical Practice In India.
14. Collision of Languages:  Oriental Theatre and Occidental Analysis
15. Collision of Languages: East-West Interfaces

Specific proposals are invited under the broad theme of Language(s) of Theatre to present in the conference. Time duration for each presentation would be Twenty minutes and there will be Ten minutes for discussion.
Research Scholars forum 
Apart from the Plenary Sessions on the theme there will be a forum for Research Scholars to present their papers. It is not necessary that it should fall under the general theme of the conference. Research scholars are invited to send proposals on the topic of their interest in theatre. They will be given TEN minutes for their presentation and FIVE minutes for discussion.
All the abstracts should be within 250 words along with brief details of the presenter.  
 Last date for sending abstracts: December15, 2008
Announcement of acceptance of abstracts: December 18, 2007 
Last date for registration: January 10, 2009

We regret t
o inform you that due to financial constraints we are unable to provide you any travel assistance.
The abstract may be sent to and 
Abstracts by surface mail may be sent to:
Dr. Bishnupriya Dutt
Conference Coordinator,
School of Arts and Aesthetics
Jawaharlal Nehru university,
New Delhi
Telephones: 011-26742976/26442876/91- 9873206251
Chairman of the Organising Committee:
Prof. H. S. Shivaprakash, Dean, School of Arts and Aesthetics\91-9212706309
Conference secretary: Dr. Urmimala Sarkar\
(Registration fee has to be paid after the acceptance of abstract along with the registration form provided by the conference office. People can do the registration at the venue too; but there will be a late fee of Rs.100/- for all Indian participants who register at the venue including research scholars and US$ 15 for international delegates.) 
Registration fee- Rs.1500/-
Registration fee for research students- Rs.750/-
Registration fee for the participants from abroad-US$75/- 
(Registration fee includes access to conference sessions, conference materials, food and accommodation provided by the organizers during the conference, entry to the performances organized as part of the conference and conveyance from the guesthouse to the venue as provided by the organizers. If any body need separate accommodation other than the provided, it has to be arranged and paid by the participant. However the organizers may be able to help you to seek accommodation in nearby hotels or guesthouses upon your request.)

For any assistance or further information, you may contact: 011-26742976


-SIBMAS Bulletin

Dear members of IFTR

please visit the recent update of the online Bulletin at:

I would particularly like to draw your attention to the following new features:

International conference on Jacques Copeau ("Jacques Copeau hier et aujourd'hui") Bratislava (Slovakia), 15-17 May 2009 Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2009 ""

Blending Media. Art in the Theatre/ Theatre in the Arts Gdansk (Poland), 1-5 August 2009 The conference will take place during the 2009 XIIIth Shakespearean Festival in Gdansk, whose guests will include the New York Wooster Group with its now renowned “Hamlet”.

Theatre and Democracy
Ravi Chaturvedi (Rawat Publications)
Jaipur (India)
30 US$

Performing the Body in Irish Theatre
Bernadette Sweeney (Palgrave Macmillan)
United Kingdom

I am inviting you you to forward me any performing arts related information that you wish to publish in the next PdF version of the Bulletin (publication on 1st January 2009) by Sunday, 28th December 2008. 

Many thanks for your contributions!

Best wishes,

Cordula Treml
Bulletin Editor

Chers membres de la FIRT,

Je vous invite à visiter la dernière mise à jour du Bulletin électronique sur:

J'aimerais tout particulièrement tirer votre attention sur les événements suivants:

Conférence internationale sur Jacques Copeau ("Jacques Copeau hier et aujourd'hui") Bratislava (Slovakie), 15-17 mai 2009 Appel à communications – date limite: 31 mars 2009 ""

Blending Media. Art in the Theatre/ Theatre in the Arts Gdansk (Pologne), 1-5 août 2009 La conférence aura lieu pendant le XIIIe Festival (2009) de Shakespeare à Gdansk où la Wooster Group de New York sera parmi les invités et présentera sa célèbre production "Hamlet". 

Theatre and Democracy
Ravi Chaturvedi (Rawat Publications)
Jaipur (Inde)
30 US$

Performing the Body in Irish Theatre
Bernadette Sweeney (Palgrave Macmillan)

J'aimerais également vous inviter à m'envoyer toutes les informations relatives aux arts du spectacles que vous souhaitez publier dans la prochaine version en PdF du Bulletin (publication le 1er janvier 2009) jusqu'à dimanche, 28 décembre 2008.

Merci d'avance et bien cordialement,

Cordula Treml
Rédactrice du Bulletin

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75010 Paris
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