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Theatre and political correctness – International Symposium of Theatre Critics and Theatre Scholars

Organisers: Sterijino Pozorje, Novi Sad
International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC)
Novi Sad and Belgrade, Serbia, May 26th – 29th, 2024

The traditional International Symposium of Theatre Critics and Theatre Scholars will be held from 27th to 28th 2024 in Novi Sad (Serbia), organized by Sterijino Pozorje, the Festival of National Drama and Theatre, in collaboration with the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC/AICT).


Ass. Prof. PhD Marina Milivojević Mađarev, Academy of Arts, Novi Sad (Serbia), president of the board of directors of the Association of critics and theatre experts of Serbia


Prof. PhD Darko Lukić independent researcher, Germany

Political correctness is the demand of our days. It has brought many improvements to social life that could be defined in the broadest sense as greater rights and visibility of the Other: women, children, the LGBTIQA+ community, various minority communities, persons with disabilities, racial, ethnic and religious minorities etc.… On the other hand, the one who was (and still is) privileged gets the impression that flourishing of the underrepresented or oppressed communities supported by political correctness provokes his losing ground under the feet. The situation in the world is far from simple. In the countries where the rights of Others are threatened, standing up for political correctness is a means of struggle. At the same time, as the concept of political correctness spreads around the world, inflation of the term also occurs. This leads to an empty form and empty words that become just another screen behind which essential injustices are hidden again.

The influence of political correctness on the theatre brings a serial of questions:

  • Does it bring more freedom to theatre art or restrictions? How the definition and understanding of political correctness depend on different cultural contexts?
  • When foundations and governments make project requests to artists to create performances based on any kind of politically defined themes, are they supporting the art or making the limitations?
  • What are politically incorrect themes and artistic actions and what are their values if at all?
  • How did political correctness influence a theatre investigation of crucial social problems of our times: ecological and migrant crises, intolerance towards minorities, populism, etc?
  • Does political correctness limit comedy and especially satire?
  • How does political correctness influence new stage interpretations of classical plays, those written in a completely different cultural, social and political context?

We hope that the Symposium will provide answers to some of these questions.   

Those interested, please send an abstract of 200 words (max), and your short bio (of no more than 80 words) to: theatrecriticssymposium@gmail.com.

Length of articles: Reading time 15 minutes (maximum)
Submission deadline for abstracts: 20th February 2024
Notification (of acceptance or rejection): 30th March 2024
Final date for article submission:  21th May 2024
Conference language is English

We are kindly inviting interested colleagues to send a resume of their work (up to 500 words) in English to the following addresses:  theatrecriticssymposium@gmail.com until the 20th February 2024. Once your proposals are accepted, we would appreciate if the complete texts (up to 5000 words) in English were sent until the 21th May 2024. The papers will not be read during the Symposium, they will be available to the participants in advance on the website of Sterijino Pozorje (www.pozorje.org.rs) instead, as well in the Symposium material. Authors are expected only to present the main theses and conclusions of their papers in 15 minutes, so there is enough time left for a discussion. Participants will have at their disposal technical equipment and support of Power Point and DVD presentations. The Symposium will be held in English.

Sterijino pozorje will take care of the expenses for food and accommodation in Novi Sad and theatre tickets, as well as the transportation between airport Belgrade and Novi Sad and vice versa. Participants coming from Europe will be provided with accommodation for three nights (arrival in Novi Sad on 26th May, departure on the 29th May) and participants coming from outside of Europe directly to Serbia for up to four nights (arrival in Novi Sad on the 25th May).

Symposium Chairpersons

Ass. Prof. PhD Marina Milivojević Mađarev
Prof. PhD Darko Lukić