(The Storey, Lancaster, 11-14 July 2012)
Updates: 25 May 2012:
Full conference programme available for download from files section at the bottom of this page. In the meantime, registration is open: please visit the Lancaster University online shop
Conference fees are:
Full rate: £165/£100 postgraduate.
Day rates are also available. The full rate includes all daytime catering and conference dinner on the evening of Friday 13th. 
The full rate does not include accommodation.  A special deal (£35 per night B&B) has been arranged with the Royal King's Arms hotel, immediately opposite the venue. Please contact Peter Yeandle for information about redeeming this offer.
 (click on speaker's name to access their website)
(Professor Emeritus, University of Lancaster)
(University of Warwick)
(University of Warwick)
(University of South Florida)
Catherine Haill
Jane Pritchard
(Victoria and Albert Museum)
Link here to V&A pantomime site 
(University of Queensland)
(University of Birmingham)
(University of Lancaster)
(University of Nottingham)
(University of Westminster)
This conference will be the third in a series of three organised as part of our AHRC-funded project on the ‘Cultural History of English Pantomime, 1837-1902’. 
27 March: It has been a pleasure to receive so many fascinating proposals. I'll be in touch shortly.
A number of studies, most recent of which is Marty Gould’s Nineteenth-Century Theatre and the Imperial Encounter, have demonstrated ways in which Victorian theatres served as significant sites for the ‘imperial encounter’. Across a variety of theatrical forms, the stage provided a series of visual narratives in which audiences were presented the landscapes, architecture, peoples, and religions of colonised territories.  Moreover, theatre often served as a site for propaganda, educating and enthusing audiences about Britain’s vast empire.


On the one hand, we seek papers exploring theatrical representations of the landscapes, religions and peoples Britons encountered as part of their imperial project.  We are interested especially in discussing the ways in which popular entertainments brought the empire ‘home’ and how this affected patterns of popular culture, including the gendering of public imperial discourse, the formation of racial attitudes and the construction of national identities. Given recent scholarship on provincial theatre, we especially welcome proposals which investigate connections between the ‘local’ and the imperial and the role of performance cultures in promoting civic and municipal identities.


On the other hand, we seek proposals which engage the two-way traffic of imperialism: that is, how were Britons and their colonial project represented in overseas sites, both by Britons abroad and those people and landscapes who became the subject of the colonial gaze.

We welcome proposals which engage the following general themes and areas for exploration:


·         The ‘image’ of empire: visual representations in performance (corporeal enactment; the movement of bodies and artefacts; costumes; props; set design and scene painting; etc) and print (playbills; posters; theatricalisation of visual metaphor in periodicals, literary and early film and radio culture)

·         Variations and hybridisation of performance culture: intertextual crossovers between sites of representation (pantomime, melodrama, lantern shows, dioramas, minstrelsy, exhibitions, festivals, circus, zoos, etc)

·         Performance cultures of celebrity, commemoration and exploration: representation of the military and the navy; of warfare, settlement and conquest; of adventure stories and the patriotic impulse

·         Traffic – the mediation of cultural contact zones on the stage: touring companies; dynastic families; performance sites in the colonies; negotiation/subversion of dominant norms through performance.

·         Race, Science and Identity: peripheral, metropolitan, national and global formations of culture and identity; stage engagements with evolutionary science and anthropology; gendering of theatrical discourse.


Please send proposals (of up to 300 words) to Peter Yeandle (p.yeandle(at)lancaster.ac.uk) by no later than 23 March 2012.