The Premodern Performance Cultures Network (previously the Early English Drama and Performance Network) is seeking submissions from early- and mid-career researchers on any aspect of performance, theatricality, drama, and play from the early medieval period to c.1750, throughout Europe and beyond. 

This two-day, online symposium invites scholars working across the premodern period to share their research priorities, challenges, and strategies for work in this area. Our aims are threefold: to identify and showcase the innovative work currently underway in premodern performance studies; to facilitate greater conversation across and between period, disciplinary, geographic and cultural divides; and, finally, to scope out future research trajectories, agendas, and opportunities for collaboration in a post-pandemic research environment.

We therefore welcome proposals for either 20-min conference papers or 10-min ‘lightning’ papers on topics that might include, but are not limited to:

  • Archival/Archiving Performance
  • Cross-disciplinary or cross-period approaches
  •  Court Culture, Performance, and Ritual
  • Global/Comparative Perspectives on Premodern Performance
  • Performance Approaches, Theories, Methodologies
  • Music, Song, and Dance
  • Non-Theatrical Performance (e.g. Pageants, Progresses, Tournaments) 
  • Practice-as-Research, Scholar-Artist Collaboration, Reenactment
  • Popular Entertainments: Fairs, Puppetry, Street Performance
  • Premodern Performance and Gender
  • Premodern Performance and Race
  • Spaces, Places, and Architectures of Performance
  • Textual Performance: Sourcing, Editing, Digitizing

We are also very happy to consider more experimental and/or creative presentation formats. Please include details of these along with submissions.

Submissions: please send a title and abstract/summary (around 200 words) and a brief speaker biography to Stephen Watkins ( or Clare Wright ( by Friday 14 May 2021.

The Premodern Performance Cultures Network brings together researchers, students, and practitioners working on all aspects of medieval and early modern performance in the broadest possible terms. International in scope and outlook, the Network encourages cross-disciplinary, cross-period dialogue, taking in performance cultures across the entire premodern world.

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