Association of Welsh Writing in English Conference 2012



Performing Wales: Theatre, Art, Identities



The Association of Welsh Writing in Englishinvites submissions for conference presentations and performances for its twenty-fourth annual conference, which is to be held at Gregynog Hall, Newtown, between 30 March and 1 April 2012.


Questions around performance permeate notions of identity and culture in Wales in fundamental ways. The most often-quoted passage in Gwyn A. Williams’s When was Wales? (1984) already gestures towards an understanding of identity as socially and culturally constructed. Williams writes that “[t]he Welsh as a people have lived by making and remaking themselves in generation after generation, usually against the odds, usually within a British context. Wales is an artefact which the Welsh produce. If they want to. It requires an act of choice.” Or, as Bron, one of the characters in Ed Thomas’s play Gas Station Angel (1998) has it: “to be Welsh at the end of the 20th century you got to have imagination.” A decade into the 21st century, Wales is now widely performed as a multiplicity of such imaginings, for example in the two national theatres in Wales.


This conference asks how identities in Wales have been constructed and contested in and through performance, in the past and in the present. We are adopting a deliberately broad definition of performance. We would particularly like to encourage paper submissions on drama and theatre, but we are also interested in non-text-based performance, performance art, performance poetry, the performativity and performance of identity in cultural contexts etc. We would like to encourage submissions of academic conference papers as well as creative performances. All submissions should, however, focus on an aspect of Welsh writing in English or Welsh culture mediated through the English language. Comparative approaches are encouraged.


We would like to receive papers dealing with topics such as (but not limited to):

- Performing cultural, racial, gender or sexual identities in Wales
- Performing Welshness in global or transnational contexts
- Mediated performances of Welshness – Wales in the media
- Historical performances of Welshness – performance of history in Wales
- National theatres and shifting conceptions of identity
- Performing place in Wales
- Re-enacting cultural pasts in the context of museums and heritage and beyond
- Comparative approaches to Welsh drama in English
- Postdramatic Theatre in a Welsh context
- The National Drama Movement(s)
- Translating texts – translating identities
- Participation and Relation: Performances of Wales and their audiences
- Community theatres


Please submit a brief abstract (ca. 300 words) and a biography (50 words) to Dr Alyce von Rothkirch, Department of Adult Continuing Education, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, and to Dr Heike Roms, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 3AJ, [Please send your proposal to both convenors.] The deadline for submissions is 15 November 2011.



Please let us know which category your paper/presentation falls under: academic paper (20 mins), short presentation/performance (20 mins) or long presentation/performance (45 mins). Presentations/performances will be held in seminar rooms, so please keep them as simple as possible. A list of technical requirements is essential.

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