Joint International Federation for Theatre Research Conference and Asian Theatre Working Group Colloquium 2018

| Written by UP Media and Public Relations Office

The University of the Philippines Diliman, through the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA), College of Arts and Letters (CAL) and the Asian Center (AC), is hosting the Joint 2018 International Federation for Theatre Research Conference and Asian Theatre Working Group Colloquium 2018 (IFTR-Asia 2018) with the theme Bodies in/and Asian Theaters from 20 to 23 February 2018.

A growing interest on the body as a starting point of discourse is seen in the past decades. Even theatre studies has been involved on scrutinizing the body as an important performance aspect. In Western theatre practice, physical theatre is a well-articulated practical approach for understanding the body vis-à-vis theatre and performance. However, the increasing number of the most influential theorizations and conceptualizations has primarily, if not exclusively, focused on how the cultures in the West (Europe and the Americas) conceive it.

Taking the cue from Asianists like Bryan Turner, Zheng Yangwen, Rey Ileto, Vincente Rafael and Kuan-Hsing Chen, it is important to note that peoples in Asia experienced colonization, decolonization and now globalization albeit different modalities. These contexts, as these Asianists suggested and implied, are important socio-political and historical factors for understanding the Asian body. With this, Bodies in/and Asian Theatres is envisioned to contribute to the study of the body, particularly its functions and placements in the different cultural performances in the Asian region.

On the occasion of Katha-wan [a contraction of katha (creative creation) and katawan (body)] or the celebration of the UP Diliman Month 2018 vis-à-vis the National Arts Month in the Philippines, Bodies in/and Asian Theatres invokes the Asian bodies as creative and critical entities.

IFTR-Asia 2018 attempts to answer these general questions: what do we mean when we talk about bodies in Asian theatres and performances? What do we mean when we talk about Asian bodies in different performances outside the region? How does theatre affect the way we think about the bodies of Asians?

For more information about IFTR-Asia 2018, please visit

Our keynote speakers include Dr. Susan San Kwan (University of California Berkeley), Dr. Julius J. Bautista (Kyoto University) and Ms. Agnes Locsin (Former Artistic Director Ballet Philippines). For more details of our keynote speakers, please visit:

For the roundtable plenary, we have invited renowned physical theatre practitioners and dramaturgs: Mr. Pichet Klunchun (Thailand), Dr. Lim How Ngean (Malaysia) and Ms. Eisa Jocson (Philippines).

Dr. Paul Alexander Rae (University of Melbourne) and Dr. Kathy Foley (University of California Santa Cruz) will facilitate the new scholars sessions.

Founded in 1957, IFTR is the oldest and one of the most prestigious federations of performance practitioners and scholars. Its members are from different disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences interested on the study of theatre and performance vis-à-vis culture and society. As a federation, it boasts a membership coming from more than 60 countries including the United States, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Morocco, Israel, Iceland, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Chile, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Serbia, Finland, Russia, Egypt, Portugal, China, the Philippines to name a few. For other information on the IFTR, please visit

IFTR-Asia 2018 is now accepting abstract submissions.

Before submitting your abstract, please note the following:

  1. Please make sure your abstract is related to the major theme Bodies in/and Asian Theatres or one of the sub-themes ( of IFTR-Asia 2018.
  2. Please limit your abstract to not more than 300 words. Otherwise, the system will not accept your submission.
  3. Please submit a short bionote of not more than 150 words.
  4. You will receive a confirmation email from the conference conveners as soon as your submission is received.
  5. Submission of abstract will end on 15 September 2017.
  6. Announcement of successful submissions shall start on 2 October 2017.

To submit your abstract, please visit:

For inquiries, please email or the conveners Sir Anril P. Tiatco at and Bryan L. Viray at