CFP: [Theatre] Howard Barker's Art of Theatre - conference July 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Karoline Gritzner
contact email: 


An international conference, Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK, 10-12
July 2009


Howard Barker is widely acknowledged as a major British dramatist (who
has now had staged, broadcast or published over a hundred plays),
director, theorist, scenographer and visual artist. In recent years, his
reputation has extended to a position of international eminence. Our
principal objective is to bring together as many Barker scholars and
practitioners as possible from their different countries, to explore and
analyse the full range of his remarkable body of work. It has become
apparent that there is a wide interest in Barker’s work, principally in
France and America where his productions of his work are burgeoning (a
four-play season at Paris Odéon in Spring 2009, alongside a fifth and
sixth concurrent Paris productions, and new productions of two early
works this year in New York). Barker’s own theatre company, The Wrestling
School, which has recently become financially independent, is now in its
third decade, and has increased its annual work from one production a
year to two, continuing to explore and present innovative work,
uncompromisingly. It is a timely juncture to review Barker’s art of the
theatre and both widen and intensify scholarly attention to the unique
expanse of his work in the context of international theatre, at
Aberystwyth University (where Barker is Honorary Professor, and where
there has been an unparalleled tradition of student and professional
productions of Barker’s work for over two decades). The conference will
include a rehearsed reading of Barker’s play A Wounded Knife, unperformed
outside of Denmark, and possibly an exhibition of his paintings.

Topics for discussion in relation to Barker’s work might include:

Philosophy and ethical re-evaluation; Practical perspectives: Acting;
Direction; scenography and mise-en-scène; Music and sound; Landscapes;
Gender and sexuality; History and politics; Language; The Body and
physicality; Visual and aesthetic dimensions of the work: beauty and
anxiety; Production history: The Wrestling School, and/or beyond;
Eroticism and seduction; Barker in the context of European and world
theatre; Tragedy/comedy; Stylistic developments within the Barker canon;
The religious and the spiritual; Barker’s re-visioning of classic drama
texts; Barker’s radio drama; Paintings and drawings; and other
perspectives on Barker’s Art of the Theatre.

Please submit an abstract of 250 words (indicating any relevant technical
requirements) to Dr Karoline Gritzner ( by 5 JANUARY 2009.

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Received on Tue Dec 16 2008 - 11:21:33 EST