Classroom Acts: performativity, identity and the emergence of new communities in German language teaching

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Symposium at King's College London

We now invite proposals for 20 minute-papers or performative presentations (e.g. poster presentations, show-and-tell etc.) for a one-day symposium on the themeClassroom Acts: performativity, identity and the emergence of new communities in German language teaching.” The event will be held at the Modern Language Centre at King's College London on Saturday 14th September 2019 and is primarily aimed at teachers of German as a Foreign Language in Higher Education and lecturers in German Studies or Theatre Studies. We also invite submissions from researchers and teachers specialising in related fields, provided the topic is transferable to German language teaching and/or German Studies.


The symposium highlights the strong links between theatre and the formation of new collective identities as well as between theatre and foreign language learning in their communicative, pragmatic and affective dimensions. It is structured around workshops focusing on the deployment of theatre strategies and performative practices in GFL teaching in Higher Education. In addition, we invite delegates to present their research on and experiences with hands-on performative teaching techniques and their pedagogical, cognitive and psychological benefits in foreign language teaching. In line with numerous interpretations and political implications of the concepts of performance, performativity and non-imitative mimesis, we believe that the introduction of theatre techniques makes foreign language learning and teaching a communal project. As such, it puts to work teachers' and students' various differences of culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and identities, abilities and disabilities.


Confirmed guest speakers and workshop leaders include Prof Catherine Boyle (King’s College London), Prof Manfred Schewe (University College Cork) and Prof Anne Steiner (Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg). The symposium organisers collaborate with the SCENARIO forum and plan a publication of selected papers in a special edition of the bilingual (English-German) online journal SCENARIO.


The symposium language will be English. Practical and theoretical angles are equally welcome. Topics of presentations may include, but are not limited to:


  • Improvisation
  • Improv theatre
  • Role play
  • Still-lifes
  • Mimesis
  • Performativity
  • Performance and the deconstruction of stable identities
  • Performance and inclusiveness
  • Performance and the multicultural and multilingual classroom
  • Performance and mental health
  • Affect
  • Shifting cultural identities
  • Theatre translation
  • Creative writing
  • Performance poetry
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Jam
  • Non-verbal communication


The symposium is funded by the KCL Modern Language Centre and the Language Acts and Worldmaking
project. Attendance is therefore free. Please send your abstract of 200-300 words to Natalie Diebschlag (
AND Daniela Dora ( by 15 June 2019. Candidates will be informed about the outcome of their application by 20 June 2019.