Critical studies of theatre. Third international conference.

Actividad cultural presencial | Del 23 de octubre de 2019 al 25 de octubre de 2019

17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos, Teatro Helénico y Centro Cultural de España en México convocan:




Coordinated by:

Critical Studies of Theatre and Critical Disability Studies, 17, Institute of Critical Studies


From medical discourse, the subjects labelled as ill and “disabled” are conceived as “unabled” and therefore, are relegated. These subjects, who have been disembodied by a functionalist society, nevertheless, produce and express themselves artistically uniquely. Their bodies, their main implement, allow other varieties of relationships and postures which promotes critical thinking skills on aesthetical canons. Consequently, their production is that of resistance that questions and disarticulates normality fictions.

In this third meeting of Critical Studies of Theatre, our purpose is to analyse issues that the relationships between theatre, sickness and “disability” convey. We consider that scenic art, such as theatre, provides a place for ill and “disabled” bodies to become visible: a place where they can produce artistic and aesthetically. Actoriality as a scenic device generates other spaces and forges another type of relationships with these topics and with the specularity of these bodies.

We wish to impulse a discussion that tends towards the depathologization and demedicalization of the bond between art-“disability”-illness, as well as addressing the standpoint of scenic arts in this disarticulation.

Thematic axes

Academic, artistic and performative projects can explore these thematic axes:

  1. Theatre and disability
  2. Theatre and illness
  3. Performative arts, pain, suffering and pleasure
  4. Performative arts and bodies in resistance
  5. Poetics of illness

Submission of abstracts

We cordially extend an invitation to artists, creators, academics, researchers and the public, in general, to participate in this event by sharing artistic, academic, and performative projects that explore and analyse the diverse and complex junctures between “disability”, illness, and arts.  in the event to submit proposals for paper presentations, performances and workshops.

Abstracts will have a maximum of 150 words and will include title, full name, institution (if applicable), email address, format (paper, workshop, performance/theatre play), and, theme. In case of workshops and performances/theatre play please, attach a description of the activity including time, materials and space needed. Additionally, the applicants will submit a brief CV of maximum 500 words including publications and/or performances.  

The deadline for submission is 17th of July. Results will be announced by the 30th of July by personal email. Abstracts will be submitted to the following email address

Date and Place

The event will take place, for two and a half days, from the 23rd to the 25th of October 2019 at the Teatro Helénico in Mexico City. There will be four roundtable discussion, two conferences, five performances and theatre plays, and a workshop. Free admission, pre-registration online.

For more information, please write to

History of Critical Studies of Theatre and Critical Studies of Disability

This meeting is coordinated by Critical Studies of Theatre and Critical Studies of Disability. Critical Studies of the Theatre is an area of extension of 17, Institute of Critical Studies. This institute covers several fields such as psychoanalysis, art, and philosophy. It also offers masters and doctoral courses in critical theory.

Within the field of study, the institute offers a program on Critical Theory in Theatre which consists of courses, seminars, meetings, and studies of contemporary art and theatre from novel perspectives. Onward, annually, since 2016, the “Certificate in theatricality, contemporary bodies, and textualities” has taken place. This yearly event, which is coordinated by Fernanda del Monte and seven other tutors from different countries, analyzes contemporary aesthetic practices.

Two meeting have been, already, held by Critical Theatre Studies, supported by CENART and Carretera 45, on topics such as acting, performance and production methods. These meetings have received more than 400 speakers and participants from throughout the Mexican Republic. In 2016 and 2017, in response to the request of the National Theatre Coordination, a Critical Follow-up of the 36th and 37th National Theater Show were organized.

Critical Studies of Disability, a program that is also offered by the Institute, intends to explore and investigate -critically, intimately and practically- the methods through which “disability” inquiries the reality which it inhabits and is inhabited by. The “disabled” make an immense contribution to society as they hold a unique position that questions fictions of normality. (How come this occur? What syntactic operations does this imply? And what are its consequences?) These are some of the issues the program aims to discuss with people with disability, their families and communities, as well as with researchers and professionals.

In its proposal, to rethink the “disability”, the institute has carried out a series of activities. In 2010, the IX Colloquium The invisible gaze took place. In 2013, the first international colloquium on Critical “disability” Studies entitled On how ‘disability’ questions normality was held. In 2016 the XXI Colloquium: In short, ‘leprosy’” took place. In 2018 the XXV colloquium Art and “disability”: from the norm to the name was organized.

There have been many other activities in which issues concerning “disability” are discussed, such as: “Roundtable on Disability and Rights” included in the XIII Colloquium on Critical Law (2011, Mexico City), “Roundtable on Critical Disability Studies and University” in the XVI Colloquium “University students, entrepreneurs, consultants, all critics” (2014, Mexico City), “Roundtable on Image and Blindness” part of the XVIII Colloquium “The three eras of the image. Actuality and perspective in the Visual Studies” (2015, Mexico City) and “Roundtable on Disabilities and Critical Entrepreneurship” within the XIX Colloquium of critical management horizons (2015, Mexico City). Moreover, in 2010, the institute awarded Evgen Bavčar, the Slovenian-French thinker writer and blind photographer, the first honorific title, Doctorate Honoris Causa. In 2018, Evelyn Glennie, a deaf percussionist who is considered one of the best in the world, was granted the same title.