ISTR Conference 2024 – CFP and Conference Information

New Horizons – Race and Performance

Villanova University, Villanova Pennsylvania, USA | May 24-25, 2024

Submission deadline for has now passed

This conference invites interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary scholars and artists, including but not limited to: theatre and literary historians, dramaturgs, anthropologists, cultural critics, casting agents, and theatre administrators engaged or interested in Irish identity in theatre and performance. The conference aims to advance the centuries old dialogue of race and identity in Irish culture and representation, with an emphasis on current evolutions in identity and multiculturalism.

We hope to explore new horizons by asking questions such as, but not limited to: How has the postcolonial narrative evolved in Irish drama and performance and is it still applicable? Is it possible that the repetition of narratives of oppression have locked artistic expression in the theatre into limitations of realism and identity, thus limiting the possibilities of more diverse practices and more diverse articulations of identity? Is Irish theatre and performance racist? What is beginning to emerge in the expression of Irish theatre and performance? What is actually happening in Irish theatre, and what more still needs to happen in response to diversity and inclusion? New Horizons welcomes new epistemologies, practices, and emergent possibilities in all aspects of theatre and performance.

ISTR 2024 hopes to engage querying conversations around emergent global realities and opportunities within Irish theatre scholarship and practice. The shifting nature of the globalization of identities, migrant refugees, climate change migration, economic instability, gender inequality, homophobia, human trafficking, and ubiquitous political instability, to name but a few, are shifting human consciousness, understanding, and practices. The resulting shifts in rapidly changing continental populations at an ever accelerating rate are continually challenging more flexible notions and practices of what we call identity politics. Hosting the conference in the United States provides an opportunity explore the hybridization of identities indicative of the ‘melting pot’ notion is the USA. Through scholarly research, human experience, and prophetic visioning, we hope to contribute new and diverse epistemologies, both intellectual and practical to encourage and promote an evolution in Irish theatre and performance reflective of the basic reality of the human family. We invite papers and presentations, conversations and debates, that name the current realities, and envision the potentiality of a new world vision of respect and dignity advanced by the arts.


James Ijames MFA, 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winner for his play Fat Ham

Justine Nakase Ph.D., theatre maker and scholar based in Portland, OR. She received her PhD from the University of Galway, where her research focused on race and identity in contemporary Irish performance.

Please email abstracts of 250 words by March 15, 2024, including a brief bio to:

YouTube player
David Cregan on ISTR 2024, Villanova University and the city of Philadelphia

Where to stay – on campus and local options


We highly recommend you take advantage of on campus housing as there are no hotels in walking distance to the Mullen Center.

2 Bedroom Suites with a private bathroom – These suite accommodations are up to date apartments with single room occupancy and shared bath with one other occupant. The cost is approximately $65 per night.

N.B. If you wish to share a suite with someone please state that person’s name on both individual reservations.

Click here to register for on campus accommodation, using code: IRISHTHEATRE24

More information about Commons Accommodations on Villanova’s campus:

  • Residence Life Website, which has information about The Commons and photos of the rooms, apartments and amenities.
  • Villanova Magazine did an in-depth article about the Commons in Spring 2022. In addition to providing information about the apartments themselves, this article also covers the Refectory, Holy Grounds, the fitness centers and more. 


The closest options that are available are in the King of Prussia area, and about a 10-minute drive from Villanova. 

King of Prussia Hotels – Most of these hotels range from $200-$400 a night depending on the room.

Downtown Philadelphia Hotels Near Suburban Station – These hotels are walking distance to the direct train to Villanova.

How to register

Register for the conference by clicking below, and filling out a short form


Waged with ISTR membership renewal:

€100/2 days

€50/1 day

Waged (membership already paid):

€80/2 days

€40/1 day

Student/Unwaged with ISTR membership renewal:

€40/2 days

€20/1 day

Student/Unwaged (membership already paid):

€30/2 days

€15/1 day

Photo Credit: Photo by Master Wen on Unsplash