1649-8526Volume XIIIssue 2Year 2018
Conference Announcement

The Performative Arts and Pedagogy Project: Towards the Development of an International Glossary

International Conference, 28 Feb - 3 March 2019, University College Cork

The performative turn is a paradigmatic shift in the humanities and social sciences that has affected many disciplines, including the discipline of education. New disciplines have emerged which continue to form strong links between the performative arts and pedagogy, for example, ‘Theaterpädagogik’ in germanophone and ‘Drama in Education’ in anglophone countries.

The specialist discourse surrounding these academic disciplines and associated fields of practice has undergone a process of internationalization over the last years, with cross-border cooperation and intercultural projects gaining more and more significance. Yet this tendency also brings with it increased challenges with regard to subject-specific communication and translation and how terms are transferred between different languages. While other arts and social science subjects which have been involved in international discourses for some time now are already aware of the need to ensure terminological precision, the relatively young academic and practical fields of ‘Theaterpädagogik’ and ‘Drama in Education’ have only recently begun to grapple with the internationalisation of their academic language.

The first stage of the proposed project aims to promote intercultural dialogue between researchers and practitioners who represent professional associations, discipline-specific journals and institutions in German speaking (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) and English speaking (Ireland, United Kingdom) countries. However, the project title ‘Performative Arts and Pedagogy’ is an umbrella title which encompasses all forms of building bridges between the performative arts and pedagogy and therefore leaves space for the inclusion of specific disciplines that have emerged in other countries (for example, Jeux Dramatiques in France and Creative Drama in Turkey) at a later stage of the project.

To date three meetings, initiated by the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Spiel & Theater e.V., have taken place in Berlin which focused on the need to engage with historical, current and future developments in the broad area of ‘Performative Arts and Pedagogy’.

In preparation for the conference in Cork twelve researchers and practitioners from German speaking countries [Austria (3), Germany (6), Switzerland (3)] and eight from English speaking countries [Ireland (5), United Kingdom (3)] will produce detailed country reports on the history and current state of ‘Performative Arts and Pedagogy’. These five reports will serve as a basis for an intensive discussion of different traditions and current practices in the area of performative arts and pedagogy.

The reports are expected to address the following:


At this stage of the project it is not the aim to produce extensive definitions and arrive at ‘fixed terms’, but rather to come to a deeper understanding of the discipline-specific knowledge bases, ideas, and operational concepts associated with these terms.

The discussion will facilitate a systematic interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange and thus an increased understanding of (culture-)specific concepts and associated terminologies. It will lead to an increased awareness of variants, differences and similarities and pave the way towards the development of transcultural performative practices.

The overarching aim of the conference is to pave the way towards a theory and practice-based comparative approach in the area of performative arts and pedagogy. It is planned to publish a conference report in Scenario XIII/1, 2019 and in Zeitschrift für Theaterpädagogik – Korrespondenzen 33/75, 2019.

Looking ahead: The broader context

In the contexts of the retrenchment of hard borders, bounded national territories and identities, this project works to keep the borders of understanding and co-operation across languages and identities open.  It does this by taking the time to consider the complexity of difference while fostering mutual understanding of our interdependent cultures. It is envisaged that various activities, including regular symposia, will result in the planned outcome in the form of a state of the art handbook for researchers and practitioners working in an international context. An online information and exchange platform is planned, so that the resource can be accessed worldwide and to enable the collection of terms to be continually developed further. The handbook will be made available in English, German and other European languages (tbc). It offers a shared reference point within the field but also helps to establish and connect the smaller and perhaps more emergent areas of the field with the more robust or established centres. This aims to develop a coherence which allows the field to be more clearly identified internationally so that the leading edge pedagogical practices can enhance learner centered pedagogies across the curriculum.

Country Representatives who will contribute to the conference in Cork:


Prof. Ulrike Hatzer, Mozarteum, Salzburg
Ms. Dagmar Höfferer-Brunthaler, BAG TiS/IDEA Austria, Vienna
Dr. Sieglinde Roth, University of Arts, Graz


Ms. Ute Handwerg, BAG Spiel & Theater e.V., Hanover
Prof. Ulrike Hentschel, University of Arts, Berlin
Dr. Ole Hruschka, Leibniz University, Hanover
Mr. Friedhelm Roth-Lange, Bundesverband Theaterpädagogik e.V., Cologne
Prof. Wolfgang Sting, University of Hamburg
Prof. Florian Vaßen, Leibniz University, Hanover


Dr. Annie Ó Breacháin, Dublin City University
Dr. Róisín O’Gorman, University College Cork
Dr. Erika Piazzoli, Trinity College Dublin
Prof. Manfred Schewe, University College Cork
Mr. Fionn Woodhouse, University College Cork


Mr. Andreas Bürgisser, University of Arts, Zurich
Prof. Georges Pfründer, University of Education,Windisch
Prof. Mira Sack, University of Arts, Zurich

United Kingdom

Ms. Meretta Elliott, Brunel University, London
Prof. Mike Fleming, University of Durham, Durham
Dr. Katja Frimberger, Independent Researcher, Glasgow

Conference Organisation:
Prof. Manfred Schewe, University College Cork,


The conference is generously supported by

Embassy of Austria, Dublin
Embassy of Switzerland, Dublin
Goethe Institute, Dublin
Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Spiel & Theater e.V., Hanover
EU Erasmus Programme
Department of German, UCC
Department of Theatre, UCC
Centre of Advanced Studies in Languages and Cultures (CASiLaC), UCC
Scenario Project, UCC
Boole Library, UCC