CfP: Medieval English Theatre Conference, Friday 12 – Saturday 13 April 2019

Medieval English Theatre Conference, Friday 12th – Saturday 13th April 2019
University of Fribourg, Switzerland

People and Places: Networks, Communities, and Early Theatre

Theatre is inevitably collaborative, as actors, with the help of designers and creators of costumes, props, sets, present script-writers’ words to a generally willing and cooperative audience. In order to understand Early Theatre, it is often necessary to consider very particular types of collaboration, seeing plays as the distinctive products of specific communities, considering the importance of specific performance sites to a play’s interpretation, exploring the significance of certain social groups or networks — religious, professional, academic — as creators and audiences of individual productions. This kind of understanding will inevitably draw together a range of evidence in a scholarly enterprise that is often also highly collaborative: historical fact drawn from the archives; literary insight drawn from textual analysis; information about material circumstances drawn from practical performance research. For forty years, the conferences of Medieval English Theatre have offered an opportunity for intellectual collaboration, and the journal has presented some of the best scholarship that has resulted from the vibrant intellectual network that is METh. At this celebratory conference, honouring the first 40 years of METh, we invite papers that explore examples of early theatre as site-specific, or as the products of particular networks or communities, medieval or post-medieval.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Multiple hands in play manuscripts
• The influence of patrons on plays, whether individuals or groups such as guilds
• Adaptation of plays for a particular historical performance or location
• Adaptation of performance texts for print
• Transmission of play texts through networks of religious orders
• Confessional adaptation of plays at the Reformation
• Critical reflections on early plays translated e.g. The South African Mysteries
• Critical reflections on post-medieval adaptations e.g. Duffy’s Everyman

Please submit your proposals for 20 minute papers, by 1 December 2018, to

On the day before the conference (Thursday) there will be a Postgraduate and Early Career Symposium organised with the Early English Drama & Performance Network.

This is a special celebration METh conference, in honour of the organisation’s 40th anniversary, and is therefore longer than the traditional one-day conference. We encourage conference attendees to consider arriving in time to join the EEDPN delegates for dinner on the evening of 11 April; METh attendees might also wish to consider staying in Fribourg until 14 April to witness the Palm Sunday procession in town, and other local medieval and theatrical delights. We understand that a longer stay in Switzerland will add to costs for delegates; flying mid-week is, however, usually cheaper and booking early also ensures reasonable fares. Easyjet, Swiss, and British Airways offer good low-costs fares if booked well in advance: Fribourg is easily accessible from Geneva, Zurich and Basel airports. Food and accommodation are both expensive in Switzerland, but we are all set to help! We have sponsorship to keep registration fees low (these include lunches and coffees); we hope to offer some graduate bursaries; we are happy to help with finding
affordable accommodation options.

Further details and registration information will be posted at