Environment, Economy & Climate Change: Stages in Transition

4-5 July 2016, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts (George Cadbury Hall), University of Birmingham, UK

Conference organisers: Dr Vicky Angelaki and Professor Graham Saunders

We are witnessing a growth in new work in theatre and performance that deals with the current intricate relationship between environment and economy, referred to by some as the Anthropocene; a geological age in which energy and resource consumption habits are creating the conditions for environmental crisis. This in turn has not only led governments around the world to making difficult moral and ethical decisions, but also all of us to consider our responsibilities towards the environment, and the consequences of our individual and collective actions.

Recent written and performance work for the stage that has focused on the economy in relation to diminishing resources and global warming/climate change has included:

Steve Waters, The Contingency Plan (2009, Bush Theatre); Nick Payne, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet (2009, Bush Theatre); Richard Bean, The Heretic (2011, Royal Court Theatre); Moira Buffini, Matt Charman, Penelope Skinner and Jack Thorne, Greenland (2011, National Theatre); Filter and David Farr, Water (2007, Lyric Hammersmith; 2011, Tricycle); Duncan Macmillan, Lungs (2011, Studio Theatre, Washington DC); Stephen Emmott and Katie Mitchell, Ten Billion (2012, Royal Court Theatre); Duncan Macmillan, Chris Rapley and Katie Mitchell, 2071 (2014, Royal Court Theatre); Rimini Protokoll, Welt-Klimakonferenz (2014, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg); Tanya Ronder, F*ck the Polar Bears (2015, Bush Theatre).

We have also seen an increasing number of visual arts projects responding to warnings of crisis, as well as interdisciplinary scholarship developing around the issue of environment and global economies.

This two-day international conference provides a forum to address the various and manifold artistic developments in the fields of theatre and performance, at a time many consider a crucial historical junction. In addition, the conference aims to bring together academics and practitioners working across different areas of theatre and performance and in related interdisciplinary areas.

We are now inviting proposals for papers on topics that might include, but are not limited to the following areas:
– New writing focusing on questions of environment, economy and climate change
– Performance, the visual arts and climate change
– The ethics of spectatorship and citizenship in the context of international performances and increased mobilities, including the ethics and sustainability of environmentally-focused theatre/performance and offsetting our footprints as theatre makers and scholars
– Theatre and performance historiography on the environment and climate change

Please submit proposals (250 words) along with a 150-word biographical note to v.angelaki@bham.ac.uk no later than 15th March 2016. Thank you.