2018 NTU International Theatre Conference Call for Papers

Conference Call for Papers

October 27th-October 28th, 2018

National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan


Truth and Imagination:

 The Metaphors of Cultures and Their Refashioning and Interpretations

2018 NTU International Theatre Conference


The cause of (ancient) civilizations originated in myths. Despite of a realization that navigating in an infamous postmodern condition and agenda, for decades, humankind has become disenchanted with an exorcism and invalidity of myths as claimed, they are nonetheless still able to find ways to restlessly and desperately express and define own selves. Techno-progressivism, unbound global capitalism, ideas of freedom and acts of emancipation, as well as extremisms, be they religious, political, or ethnic and racial, are by all means forms of myths that are metamorphic, up-to-date, and penetrating. How could cultures symbolize or be symbolized? Could cultures be comprised of metaphors and determined by interpretations? What factors and characteristics are essential to the shaping and refashioning of old and new “myths” amongst diverse generations? Do histories of humanity rely more on true realities than imaginary fictions?

The major aim of this conference, accordingly, is geared towards unpacking a wide variety of dramatic genres, popular entertainments, theatrical happenings, performances, social movements and actions that are subject to high theatricality and exhibitive nature within an ordinary civic life, in order for investigating how those traditions and events, mainstream or alternative, help to reflect local knowledge, cultural structure, aesthetic conception, and moral context. In the meanwhile, it is significant to look into the ways these customs and conventions, explicitly and implicitly, translate societal consensus, political codes, hierarchical norms, and religious beliefs, so as to serve as a panoramic microcosm of material entwinement, explain laws and orders, probe wisdom of life, represent philosophical system and ideological mechanism that are all macroscopic and “extraordinary.” Just like what had been exemplified and embedded in Ludi Romani (Roman Games) some 23 centuries ago was indeed the matrix of classic Roman theatre and the spirit of the era. As Clifford Geertz’s 1972 article “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” reminds us, culture is not unlike a playground; for to a certain extent, both culture and a playground are close to the very essence of ritual, thereby being sacrificial and fatal, deviated from the principle of pure pleasure for an attainment of painful solemnity. However, we might be more inclined to verify that, at core and in their ultimate extreme, both cultures and “games” are also rather poetic and even nostalgic.

The conference, in particular, welcomes, yet is not limited to, contributions/papers with a myriad of topic explorations surrounding shared leitmotifs listed below:

–Research and study on mythologies

–Research and study on body, materiality, otherness and differences

–Theatrical historiographies

–Trans-disciplinary and cross-boundary cultural exchanges

–Theories on the phenomena in an age of postmodernism and posthumanism

–Research and study on literary geographies, mobility and migration

–Research and study on folk fashions and festivals

–New perspectives and possibilities on research methodology, theoretical

approach, and narratology in arts and humanities


NTU International Theatre Conference is a biennial event hosted by the Department of Drama and Theatre at National Taiwan University. We invite proposal submissions for the conference. In the proposal please include: 1) article title; 2) abstract (600 words in Chinese, or, 350 words in English); 3) brief bio (100 words); 4) institution of affiliation, and 5) current contact info.

The conference is scheduled on 2018/10/27 (Sat.) and 10/28 (Sun.). All presentations would be expected to be given in either Mandarin Chinese or English. The deadline for proposal submission is February 13th, 2018. Please email the proposal to the conference organizer, Yu-Shian Lin at ntutheatre2018@gmail.com. Participants will be informed of the results via email by the end of March, 2018.