NYU Forum on Ethnodrama: April 21-22, 2017

NYU Forum on Ethnodrama: April 21-22, 2017

NYU Forum on Ethnodrama
The Aesthetics of Research and Playmaking
Program in Educational Theatre at New York University’s Steinhardt School
April 21 and 22, 2017

Join us for a robust conversation about the aesthetics of ethnodrama, the practice of creating a play script from materials such as interview transcripts, field notes, journal entries, and/or print and media artifacts. Theatre artists, academic researchers, and artist-researchers will come together to share ideas, vocabularies, and techniques for engaging audiences with the aesthetic presentation of data and data-based playmaking, while also discussing the opportunities and challenges that emerge when working with this style of theatre and research.

During this two-day event hosted by NYU’s Program in Educational Theatre, participants will consider the following questions:

  • How are the practices of theatre artists and academic researchers similar and distinct, and what can we learn from each other?
  • How are the aesthetics of ethnodrama affected by the context within which it is researched, created, and performed/presented?
  • What are best practices for the development and performance of ethnodramas created within a variety of different contexts (e.g. communities, therapeutic settings, schools, colleges and universities, and professional theatres)?
  • Why does such varied terminology exist for this style of data-based playmaking, and what effect does this have on it?
  • What is the significance and effect of the interplay between aesthetics and ethics in the creation and presentation of an ethnodrama?
  • How is ethnodramatic research regarded within various disciplines throughout the academy, and what are the challenges and opportunities that exist?
  • What are the best methods for assessing the quality of the research and performance/presentation of an ethnodrama?
  • What does the future hold for ethnodrama: what’s new, what are the trends, where are we heading?

Call for Proposals

We invite the global community to submit session proposals dealing with research, artistry, and practice. Proposals can be submitted for workshops, papers, narratives, and performances that address the guiding questions listed above. Submissions are due by Monday, January 16, 2017 (11:59pm, EST), and we strive to notify potential presenters by February 17. We encourage new researchers and practitioners to submit proposals as well, so we can include new voices in the discourse.

Papers and Narratives (30 minutes):
We invite authors to submit a proposal for the presentation of a paper or narrative. Papers and narratives must be grounded in research, artistry, or practice and should somehow address the guiding questions for the forum. Proposals should outline elements of the research, practice, and/or theory-focused work the author wishes to present. Accepted papers and narratives will be organized as much as possible into thematic sessions. 30 minutes will be designated to these presentations: 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes for Q&A.

Workshops (45 or 90 minutes):
We invite practitioners to apply to facilitate workshops relating to the creation and performance/presentation of an ethnodrama. Proposals should outline the details of the workshop: who are the targeted participants, how will the workshop addresses the forum’s guiding questions, what strategies will the facilitator(s) demonstrate, and how will the participants later apply this approach to their own work? Workshops will be held in an open workshop space. Workshops may be provided with a 45 or 90-minute timeslot and accepted practitioners should allow time within that period for discussion.

Artistic Sharings (45 minutes):
We invite authors to apply to share examples of ethnodrama in performance. Proposals should outline elements of research, artistry, practice and/or theory-focused work embedded within the piece. Proposed sharings should have already been staged and/or presented for an audience in another venue prior to their inclusion in the forum and could be comprised of a scene, scenes or the entire ethnodrama. Please note: Sharings will be staged in a workshop space, and will not receive technical support. Sharings will be provided with a 45-minute time slot and accepted presenters should allow time within that period for discussion of the work (i.e. 30 minute sharing/ 15 minute discussion)

Submission Instructions
The submission and review of proposals for the 2017 NYU Forum on Ethnodrama will be managed through an online conference proposal management system called EasyChair. This system gives you, the author, complete control over your submission. You can upload your abstract and check on the review status of your submission. Instructions for submitting your proposal are available here.

  • Proposals should be submitted via the Abstract box in the submission platform. Do not upload additional documents. They will not be reviewed.
  • Proposals must contain an abstract describing the session (250 word maximum) and a biographical statement (150 word maximum per presenter)
  • Proposals will be peer reviewed by an international panel.
  • Click here to submit your proposal.
  • Submissions are due by Monday, January 16, 2017 (11:59pm, EST)
  • Authors/applicants will be notified of the outcome by February 17, 2017.


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We look forward to seeing you at NYU in the spring!

~Your 2017 NYU Forum Committee

Forum Fees

  • NYU Student Registration: $20
  • Other Students Registration: $65
  • Participant and Presenter Registration: $150
  • Daily Registration: $75

Registration Will Open in Winter 2017