THE NORTH: Exile, Diaspora, Troubled Performance | June 8-9, 2012 | Deadline Feb 10, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Irish Theatrical Diaspora in association with The School of Creative Arts, University of Ulster

The 9th annual Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference will take place in June 2012 in Derry/Londonderry, hosted by the School of Creative Arts at the University of Ulster, in the former Foyle Arts Centre and previous home of Field Day Theatre Company.

The conference aims to build upon the scholarly work already done by the Irish Theatrical Diaspora project, and to extend it in an exploration of performances of 'The North'. Tracing the trajectories of emigrants from the North of Ireland to Scotland, Newfoundland, New England and Canada, the conference aims to analyze and explore performative and theatrical representations of 'The North' and the northerly migration of peoples. This migration stretches back to the Flight of the Earls and the Famine, and also includes recent historical events such as the exiling of individuals and families by paramilitary groups during and after the 'Troubles'; movements of population within Northern Ireland in response to violent sectarianism, and economic and cultural migration. It further aims to recognize Northern Ireland's history of immigration, most famously of the Chinese community which established itself in Belfast in the early 1960s, and the recent establishment of Central and Eastern European communities, which are slowly reshaping Northern Ireland's cultural landscape and conception of diversity.

'Performance' in this case includes theatre, dance, spectacle, and all aspects of the performing arts, as well as extra-theatrical activity – such as parades and community gatherings – that foreground 'the North' in some way.

Possible topics include:

  • Dynamics of Space and Place
  • The utopian North: the pure North of the imagination
  • Performance of Exile, Emigration, Migration, Immigration
  • Northern Connections: Ulster/Northern Ireland, Canada, Newfoundland, Scotland, New England in performance
  • Performances of identity (Apprentice Boys; Orange Order; Easter parades; performance of paramilitarism and of peace; murals; public memorials) in Northern Ireland and in diaspora
  • Intercultural and Multicultural performance in Northern Ireland
  • Borders, Borderlands and No-Man's-Lands

Keynote speakers will be announced soon.

Deadline for proposals (max. 250 words) along with a brief bio and contact details: Friday, 10th February, 2012 to:

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick
School of Creative Arts
University of Ulster
Foyle Arts Building
Northland Road, Derry BT48 7JL

The conference organizers welcome applications from scholars at any stage of their career, and particularly encourage graduate students to submit proposals.

For more information on Irish Theatrical Diaspora personnel, conferences, and publications, please visit