Narrative in Drama, 3-6 June 2010, University of Paderborn/Germany

full name / name of organization: 
Professor Dr Merle Tönnies / German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE)
contact email: 


19th Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE)

University of Paderborn, Germany, 3 - 6 June 2010

The conference will address the current trend in contemporary English-language drama and theatre towards using stories and story-telling. Such narrative elements occur with increasing frequency and can be ob-served across a wide range of different cultural contexts and genres (e.g. in documentary theatre, post-dramatic theatre, memory plays or In-Yer-Face Theatre). The structures employed by playwrights and theatre practitioners will be analysed in their various forms, including monologues, monodrama, narrator figures inside or 'above' the dramatic action and stage-managers. In all cases, the functions which these elements have in individual plays, genres or oeuvres will be of central importance. They differ significantly from classic forms like Epic Theatre.

Papers may focus on all kinds of narrative structures in contemporary (post-Beckettian, i.e. after 1989) theatre and drama in English. Comparisons with earlier plays are welcome where they help to clarify the specific new functions of the elements under consideration. According to the established CDE tradition, the stage potential of these current developments is a special point of interest, and they will also be seen in their wider cultural implications.

Possible paper topics thus include (but are not restricted to):
• the dramatic and cultural meanings of specific narrative techniques in contemporary drama
• the comparison between the use of a particular element in different kinds of plays
• the development and change of narrative structures in a particular dramatic genre or in a dramatist's oeuvre
• a historical perspective on the use of narrative in contemporary drama
• intercultural comparisons with regard to stories and story-telling in English-language drama and theatre
• the realisation of narrative elements in performance, both from the perspective of audience response criticism and in concrete productions

Please send abstracts (of about 250 words) for suggested papers (for 20-min. slots) to the con¬ference organiser, Prof. Dr. MERLE TÖNNIES, DEPT. OF ENGLISH, UNIVERSITY OF PADERBORN, D-33095 PADER¬BORN, GERMANY (e-mail: ), by 5 January 2010, including a short bio¬graphical note plus full address and institutional affiliation.
N.B.: Only paid-up members are eligible to give papers at CDE conferences. Membership subscriptions may be taken out or renewed during the conference.
We look forward to receiving your suggestions and to welcoming you to Paderborn!