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Call for Papers: International Ibsen Conference “Ibsen and Power”

The XIVth International Ibsen Conference will be held at the Ibsenhuset Concert Hall in Skien, Norway, on 5-8 September 2018. The conference is organized by the Centre for Ibsen Studies, University of Oslo in co-operation with Skien Municipality. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 November 2017.

Submit your abstract

Ibsen and Power

The theme of the conference will be “Ibsen and Power,” since in some basic sense all of Ibsen’s plays can be seen as investigations of power and power relations. On page and stage Ibsen is often seen as interrogating and critiquing the workings of power in terms of gender, class, economy, or politics. Power in Ibsen is, however, not merely negative or something to be resisted. The power of truth, art, and the individual, or the empowerment of women and youth are also obvious “Ibsenian” themes. Power and power relations are also important aspects of the reception and use of Ibsen in different contexts: in reviews and literary history, in the theatre, in political struggle and censorship, in soft diplomacy, nation building, education, and theatre for development, just to mention a few.

We encourage all participants to devote thought in some way to this main theme so as to advance the common discussion at the conference. Papers may address, but are by no means restricted to, the following subtopics:

  1. The thematic depictions of power in Ibsen’s texts or performances thereof, including: family and gender relations; connections between individual will and character; figurations of corruption, money, and economic systems; issues of rhetoric and ideology.
  2. The aesthetic power of Ibsen’s work to generate changes in the arts, including: his influence on other authors and artists; the function of his dramas as a dramatic model; and the power of the performance situation.
  3. The power of mediation, including: the dynamics of adaptation and translation; and the role of critics, intellectuals, and other cultural mediators as power brokers.
  4. Institutional power and its relationship to Ibsen’s work in the social realm, such as: state censorship and/or sponsorship; the use of Ibsen in political struggle; gender politics; Ibsen in education; and the recent role of Ibsen’s work in Norwegian soft diplomacy.
  5. Effects of individual and community empowerment generated by Ibsen’s work, such as: character and individual identity production; Ibsenian roles as benchmarks or tests of acting skill; the prestige of Ibsenian actors; or Ibsen’s work as a means of community empowerment.
  6. The emergence of new identities and new cultures as a result of Ibsen’s influence.
  7. Ibsen and social change in terms of power relations between men and women, between the individual and the community, and between the self and the state/society. Ibsen’s global impact on new concepts of power relations.

Instructions for abstract submission

All papers should be planned for a maximum of 20 minutes in presentation length. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words long and should include a brief 1-page CV. The deadline is November 15, 2017. 

Please submit your abstract to:

Please include the following information at the top of the page:

  • Name
  • Institutional Affiliation, if any
  • 3-4 keywords describing the presentation
  • Audio-visual requirements, if any

An announcement of the proposals accepted will be made no later than December 1, 2017.



The participation fee is expected to be approximately 1600,- NOK (includes lunch).

Should you require funding, kindly contact us by email.

Published May 3, 2017 9:15 AM - Last modified Dec. 4, 2017 3:34 PM