ISTR Conference 2019 – Call for Papers

Conversations Through Time: Intersectional, Intergenerational, Interdisciplinary

Tara Building, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick
May 10 & 11

Keynote Speakers: 

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, Ulster University

Dr. Emilie Pine, University College Dublin

Theatre and performance practices have often been called upon as ways to understand contemporary discourses. Now more than ever academics and theatremakers need to use art and the analyses of various mediums to explore and explain the world in which we live. This conference seeks to provide a platform for discursive practise to allow for conversations on how we engage with, and interpret given narratives, through the broad spectrum of theatre practice and performance types. Through promoting such conversation this conference seeks to generate new links between theatre and performative practice in light of the current international discourse.

In 2019 the ‘Global North’ is in crisis. Between the rise to power of the forty-fifth President of the United States of America Donald Trump, the fallout of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union, the increasing migrant crisis, the presence of extremist terrorist violence, and the growing threat of the ‘alt right’, pressure is mounting on academics and activists to promote full equality amidst narratives of racism, sexism, homophobia and rape culture. We must find new ways to combat old issues. What can we learn from examining the past and what can we discover through contemporary discourse?

The 2019 ISTR conference invites proposals for papers and practice-based presentations focusing on issues of intersectionality, activism and identity, as they relate to contemporary theatre practise and performance studies in Ireland and elsewhere.

Proposals could respond to any of the following themes:

  • Performance of Marginalised Identities
  • Performing Identit(ies)
  • Applied Theatre Practices
  • Nationalism
  • Deconstructing the Canon
  • Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Performance
  • Forgotten/Hidden Histories
  • Political Theatre
  • Sexism and Misogyny
  • Re-imagined Ireland
  • Reclaiming Spaces
  • Performances of Rape Culture

Submission of Abstracts:

Submissions are now being sought for:

  • Paper presentations (20 minutes duration)
  • Research performances (50 minutes duration) – Performances may be by individuals or groups, and should report on research practice, e.g. in the form of devised work, ethno-drama, performance ethnography, etc.
  • Symposia/Roundtables (1 hr duration) – Proposals should address how the symposium/roundtable session will focus on relevant aspects of the conference theme.
  • Poster presentations – A poster is a visual description of a project, prepared for viewing by those attending a conference. Posters can depict research or evaluation findings, outline a research process, or describe a project. Posters will be displayed across the two days of the conference.
  • All submissions should seek to address the conference theme.
  • Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words.
  • A biography of 150 words maximum for each presenter should be included
  • Closing date for receipt of proposals/abstracts is 22/2/2019
  • All presenters will be notified in March 2019

Conference Fees:

Full Fee (including ISTR Membership): €100

Student/Unwaged Fee (including ISTR Membership): €40


A limited number of small bursaries will be available to support postgraduate students who wish to present as part of this event. If you wish to be considered for a postgraduate bursary, then please indicate this in your proposal. Bursaries will be awarded competitively, based on the quality of postgraduate proposals received. These bursaries are courtesy of last year’s host institution, University of Lincoln, and ISTR. 

Further Information

Please contact:


Mary Immaculate College is located between the South Circular Road and the Dock Road in the leafy southern suburbs of Limerick City, within fifteen minutes walk of the city centre and close to the many social and cultural amenities of this historic city.

Travelling by Train/Bus

Mary Immaculate College is just a fifteen minute walk from Limerick’s Train and Bus Station, Colbert Station. From there, regular Irish Rail and Bus Éireann services conveniently connect Limerick to towns and cities throughout Ireland, including Dublin, Cork, Tralee, Killarney, Ennis, Tipperary, Waterford, Galway, Westport and (via Dublin) Belfast and Sligo.

Travelling by Air

Shannon International Airport is just a twenty-minute drive away and provides direct scheduled flights to Dublin, Belfast, the UK, Paris, New York, Washington and Boston.

Buses and taxis link the airport to Limerick City centre. Taxis from the airport cost on average €45 and car hire services are also available at the airport.

Travelling by Car

The College is easily accessible from all major routes, being just minutes away from the Dock Road entrance to the Southern Link Road and Limerick Tunnel, which connect all national roads coming into Limerick (N18 Ennis Rd, N69 Foynes, N20/N21 Cork/Kerry, N24 Tipperary and N7 Dublin).


MIC welcomes visitors with disabilities and we do all that we can to ensure that every visitor is able to fully enjoy what our campus has to offer.

If you require special assistance please contact our Access & Disability Officer, Maura Moore prior to you visit at +353 61 204927 or by email:

We can then give specific advice to assist in making your visit to the College as complete as possible.

History of Mary Immaculate College

Mary Immaculate College was founded in 1898 for the professional education of primary school teachers.  Over the years, courses of study were altered to suit the changing times.  In academic areas, specialisation was introduced with the advent of elective subjects.  In addition to education studies, students were given scope to specialise in areas of particular interest to them from a range of Liberal Arts subjects offered by a number of departments.

In 1974, Mary Immaculate College became a recognised college of the National University of Ireland offering a three-year Bachelor of Education degree.  The Arts departments continued to provide a range of academic subjects for the B.Ed. degree.  In November 1991 the Minister for Education announced a new linkage between Mary Immaculate College and the University of Limerick.

The BA in Liberal Arts was introduced to Mary Immaculate College in 1992 following the establishment of this link with the University of Limerick. 

The Faculty of Arts was established in 2007 and there are currently 13 Departments within the faculty – Drama & Theatre Studies, English Language & Literature, French Studies, Gaeilge, Geography, German Studies, History, Mathematics and Computer Studies, Media and Communication Studies, Music, Philosophy, Psychology and Theology and Religious Studies.

The Department of Drama & Theatre Studies at Mary Immaculate College was established in June 2015 with Dr Michael Finneran as the founding Head of Department. At undergraduate level, we offer our unique flagship single honours programme – the BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies; this is dedicated to the study of all aspects of drama and theatre studies, with particular emphasis on the contemporary ways of making and receiving theatre and how drama can be used in a range of settings beyond the stage. Students can also take Drama & Theatre Studies as a subject on the joint BA programme.

We are currently developing a taught postgraduate programme at MA level and we are home to an ever-expanding range of research at PhD level. 

Our full-time faculty conduct and supervise research in a number of aspects of drama and theatre studies, particularly in contemporary theatre and performance practices, applied drama and theatre, theatre for young audiences, gender and performance and practice as research.

Mary Immaculate College has rapidly become one of the most desirable places in Ireland to study drama at third level. Our campus is rich in artistic provision, and our relationship with visiting artists and our two linked professional venues (Lime Tree Theatre and Belltable) is central to our teaching and research. Our drama programmes are designed to accommodate all students passionate about drama, including those who wish to pursue a career in performance.

Irish Society for Theatre Research

The Irish Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) aims to promote and support scholarly and practice-based research on theatre and performance taking place in Ireland as well as international research on topics related to Irish theatre and performance. Our remit is to facilitate transnational exchanges of research by including perspectives on theatre and performance from diverse regions internationally. The field of theatre and performance is being transformed by new approaches to historiography and by the remarkable diversity of contemporary practice. Thus, although we are located in Ireland and many of our members research theatre made here, we embrace multiplicity and facilitate research that engages with the full range of theatre and performance practices within and between different local, national and international contexts.

ISTR prides itself on creating warm, welcoming and intellectually-stimulating fora for researchers and practitioners to discuss key issues in theatre and performance (from within and beyond Ireland) relating to historical and contemporary times. For more than a decade, this organisation has valued culturally diverse perspectives, promoted critical generosity, and resisted perceptions of intellectual superiority in discussions and feedback. While maintaining high standards in the quality of material included across our different fora, we seek to support contributors at all professional levels and are open always to including new additions within our community.

Across the wide spectrum of our activities, we advocate for equality, social justice and active citizenship.

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