Belgrade, Serbia, 9-13 July, 2018
‘Theatre and Migration in Beckett’

International Federation of Theatre Research, Belgrade 2018,
‘Theatre and Migration Theatre, Nation and Identity: Between Migration and Stasis’
Organised by the Studio-Laboratory for Performing Arts of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts.

About the Conference

The conference theme of Theatre and Migration is intrinsically linked to questions of mobility and access, as it evokes various performances of borders. As a writer who moved from Ireland to France and wrote in multiple languages, Samuel Beckett’s works manifest the quest for transcending borders linguistically, culturally, artistically, philosophically and politically. As his plays have been performed in various languages in many countries, locally specific national and cultural issues have arisen from his plays in performance — perhaps most famously Waiting for Godot in the Balkan context, but examples abound. Seeing, reading, and performing Beckett now, when migration is an urgent global phenomenon on a scale not seen since the second world war, invites a second look by scholars, practitioners, and audiences at the questions surrounding borders, migration, and national and international conflict in his works and their production/reception histories. This enquiry ties to the broader agenda of the IFTR Beckett Working Group, which is engaged with a multi-year investigation of the questions surrounding Beckett in international performance ecologies, both historically and in the present.

Therefore, possible paper topics include but are not limited to:

  • Migration/national identity in Beckett
  • Performing borders in Beckett
  • Theatre history and historiography of intercultural Beckett productions
  • Identity politics and the ‘humanism of the other’ in Beckett
  • Gender, race, ethnicity, and performances of transcending borders
  • Beckett as the theatre for migrants
  • Ethics and agency of staging the Other
  • Beckett in different media
  • Beckett in different cultures
  • Theorising migration and Beckett
  • Ecologies in Beckett’s work and migration
  • Influences of Beckett on other writers/performance artists

Working Group Format

  • Participants in relevant disciplines may give papers or audit;
  • Abstracts (250-300 words) due by 15 January, acceptances by early March;
  • Papers (maximum 5,000 words) distributed a month before meeting;
  • At seminar participants give oral summaries of paper (10-15 minutes), followed by group discussion (30-40 minutes);
  • Participants are required to attend the meeting and share the discussion with other participants.

Further Information

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 January 2018

To attend the conference, you have to become a member of IFTR. 2018 membership registration is now open on the Cambridge Core website.

You can register for a 2018 membership and submit your abstract for the Samuel Beckett Working Group in IFTR 2018 Conference, Belgrade, Serbia.

Please direct any questions you may have about the conference to

As for questions regarding the Samuel Beckett Working Group, please direct them to Mariko Hori Tanaka,


Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. He is the author of Beckett's Late Stage (2018), and his work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals. He holds a BA, MA, and a PhD in English Literature. His website is a personal journal offering commentary and analysis across literature, film, music, and the arts.

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