2014 Conference

African Theatre and Performance and the Academy

2014 AfTA Annual International Conference

School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
 9-12 July 2014

Conference Conveners:
Dr. Awo Mana Asiedu <> and Ms. Ekua Ekumah <>

=Abstracts Submission Now Closed=


Call for papers

In 2003 Martin Banham, in his review of Frances Harding’s The Performance Arts in Africa: A Reader, proclaimed that: ‘The study of African theatre and performance has now firmly established itself throughout the academic world’. The truth of this statement is attested to by the numerous anthologies and books written about African theatre and performance within the first few years of the 21st century. 


But what really is the place of African performance; theatre, dance, music and film, within the academy? What is the relationship between the ‘academic world’ and African theatre and performance? What, or whose purposes do our curriculums serve? How do our scholarship and theatre and performance practices intersect? What is the state of performing arts education in Africa and its Diaspora? What is taught/and not taught about African theatre and performance in different parts of the world? What of the question of language in African theatre and performance scholarship?  The barriers of indigenous languages and divisions of Lusophone, Francophone and Anglophone. 

These and other related questions generated by the sub-themes listed below are the focus of the 8th African Theatre Association’s (AfTA) annual conference to be hosted by the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Accra, July 9th -12, 2014.


  • Emerging canons of African theatre and performance: innovations and developments in African theatre and performance curricula
  • Histories and trajectories of African theatre and performance
  • Researching African and African diaspora theatre and performance: Emerging/shifting theories
  • Vestiges and continuities: African and African diaspora theatre and performance
  • Research as Performance/Performance as Research in Africa
  • Negotiations of African identities through Performance in the Diaspora
  • African Diaspora artists, playwrights, composers, choreographers and performers
  • Innovations and experiments in technical design in Africa
  • Literary theatre versus popular theatre
  • Theatre enterprises: Commercialisation of contemporary African performance
  • Demands of Theatre management and administration
  • Film and filmmakers in Africa: Challenging the African narrative in film
  • Maintaining/transforming the indigenous identity in performance within the literary environment

We welcome abstracts for papers, of up to 250 words on any aspect of the theme and sub-themes.  We also encourage proposals for performed presentations, workshops, film screenings and exhibitions/installations.

Please send abstracts/proposals in a word document as an attachment to the emails of the conveners.

Note that the extended deadline for submission of abstracts and proposals is now 15 March 2014

For enquiries and questions about this conference, please contact the conference conveners:

Dr. Awo Mana Asiedu , University of Ghana,

Ms. Ekua Ekumah, University of Ghana/Goldsmiths University

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