On 4 and 5 July 2016 the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham hosted the international conference Environment, Economy and Climate Change: Stages in Transition, organised by Dr Vicky Angelaki and Professor Graham Saunders. The event took place at the Department's theatre, George Cadbury Hall, also allowing us to showcase our excellent facilities.
Professor Graham Saunders and Dr Vicky Angelaki opening the conference
Participants in the event included interdisciplinary academics and practitioners from major European and British Universities. Further to important research papers concentrating on theatre and the environment, the conference also featured a new performance piece on the Anthropocene by Professor Ian Fairchild (Birmingham), which was developed and curated in collaboration with Dr Angelaki and Dr Paul Geary. Over the course of the two days, participants in the conference (including established academics, emerging scholars both at PhD and ECR level as well as Undergraduate students) had the opportunity to engage in a fruitful discussion concerning one of the greatest challenges facing society at our time, with a particular focus on how theatre, from text-based to non-text-based performance, has negotiated these challenging conditions in order to foster awareness amongst theatre audiences.
Professor Ian Fairchild reflecting on the Anthropocene
The event had been in the making for over a year, reflecting Dr Angelaki's sustained research involvement in issues of theatre and climate change and the understanding that this is a topic that invites international and multidisciplinary collaboration. The work of other academics in Drama and especially Dr Adam Ledger (who is currently developing the timely performance project Where's My Igloo Gone with the Bone Ensemble) and Dr Cristina Delgado-Garcia created the ideal conditions for hosting this event at the Department. Our current PGR students Andrew Lennon (PhD/Midlands 3 Cities), Charlotte Meades (MA by Research), Jessica Parfitt (PhD) and Stephanie Taylor (PhD) collaborated with the organisers in running the event, reflecting the Department's strong commitment to its Postgraduate Researchers and to the ongoing integration of their work to our research ethos.
Professor Jools Gilson, Dr Chris Megson, and Dr Adam Ledger talking about landscapes and communities
Dr Vicky Angelaki is a Lecturer in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts and Head of Postgraduate Research for the School of English, Drama, and American and Canadian Studies. She is the co-organiser of the Environment, Economy and Climate Change: Stages in Transition conference.