Irish Theatre History Conference: Archives, Historiography, Politics, November 25th & 26th, 2011

Irish Theatre History Conference

Archives, Historiography, Politics – Ten Years On


 ‘Performance, Memory, Futures’



National University of Ireland, Galway



25 & 26 November 2011



Keynote Speakers:

Jen Harvie (Queen Mary, University of London)

Mark Phelan (Queen’s University, Belfast)



In 2001, NUI Galway hosted a conference to explore the impact of critical theory and of politics on the writing of Irish theatre history, to offer a forum for new critical approaches to the topic, and to reflect on the growing scholarly importance of archive holdings and of library theatre collections.


Ten years later, the field has changed considerably. New archival holdings have been acquired throughout Ireland, and existing collections have expanded considerably. Digitisation has created new opportunities while posing new challenges. And public funding for theatre archives – and the arts generally – is becoming increasingly scarce, at a time when our collections and infrastructure urgently need resourcing.


Irish theatre scholarship has itself changed considerably. The Irish Society for Theatre Research and the Irish Theatrical Diaspora project have both emerged during the last decade, allowing for the formation of new scholarly networks and the development of new ideas. A number of major monographs have appeared, broadening the study of Irish theatre into new periods, while also addressing previously neglected activities such as community drama, work by Irish women, and non-conventional performance practices.


Ireland also has changed. Currently in a major economic recession, the need to envisage new ways of imagining politics, performance and social intervention is now more urgent than ever. As well as providing an opportunity to look forward to the next decade of Irish theatre historiography, archiving, and scholarship, therefore, this conference will reflect in particular on the relationship between performance, memory and political futures.


Early registration until 20 November: €70 waged / €25 unwaged

Late registration after 20 November: €70 waged / €25 unwaged


If you have questions, concerns, or require further information, please email Shelley Troupe at