ISTR Conference 2014

Consciousness and Cognition: Theatre Practice and Performance

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Performance Practice at the School of Music and Theatre (UCC) in association with CACSSS Graduate School (UCC) and the Irish Society for Theatre Research

Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th May 2014 | Western Gateway Building, University College Cork

Schedule | Book of Abstracts (pdf)

In the sciences and humanities, in the performing arts and digital media, the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have ushered in a wave of renewed interest in pivotal questions surrounding consciousness and mind. The belief that mind and corporeal body are mutually exclusive has long been superseded but we are still absorbed in questions such as: What is consciousness? What is mind? What is the relation between mind and consciousness? What is the relation between mind and body? How does the body think? Since Stanislavski’s investigations into the relationship between body and mind, meanwhile, a variety of theatre practitioners and theorists have been adopting a cognitive scientific approach to their work. These lines of enquiry are now just as important to those in theatre research, theatre practice and performance as they are to those in cognitive science and its associated disciplines. Amongst these are internationally renowned voice specialist Kristin Linklater and Prof. Bruce A. McConachie, Chair of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburg. Linklater’s seminal works Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Text (1976; revised edition 2006) and Freeing Shakespeare’s Voice: The Actor’s Guide to Talking the Text (1992) draw on new insights from neuroscientists such as Antonio Damasio into mind, emotions, body, and consciousness. Meanwhile, Bruce McConachie’s Performance and Cognition: Theatre studies and the cognitive turn (2006) and Theatre and Mind (2013) initiate conversations between theatre/performance scholarship and cognitive science.

This year’s Irish Society for Theatre Research Conference welcomes keynote speakers Kristin Linklater and Bruce McConachie and offers a wide range of panels consisting of research papers, practice demonstrations, and performances.

All are welcome but those who attend must register and become members of the Society. Application forms will be available during the event. Please contact the organizers by email at

For more information please visit the conference webpage.

You can see the full schedule here and you can download the book of abstracts in this link.