The 2011 Drama for Life Africa Research Conference

dfl conference 2011



“Knowledge is not acquired merely through abstract, rational thought or idealism, but by experiencing, interacting and reflecting on the material world in which we live.”

(Paulo Freire Brazilian educator and influential theorist of participatory education)

Drama For Life Logo African Research Conference logo

Building on the results and insights of three successful conferences in the past years, the focus of the 4th Drama for Life Africa Research Conference will be on the pedagogy of Applied Drama and Theatre practice. The main aim of the event is to evaluate different methods of Applied Drama and Theatre teaching strategies, research and pedagogy within the South African and international context: How can we synthesize and integrate current findings on HIV/AIDS education and training? How can we broaden Applied Drama and Theatre programmes to address questions of human rights, social justice and cultural diversity? How can we establish learner-based, ethical research driven programmes? Practitioners and academics who work in the field of Applied Drama and Theatre will have the opportunity to present their pedagogical approaches and debate with other conference participants.

Drama for Life is looking forward to the presentation of this year’s keynote speaker: Professor Gay Morris (University of Cape Town).

Professor Gay Morris has been teaching in the Drama Department at the University of Cape Town since 1976 and was Head of the Department from 1996-2003. Currently she is the Graduate Programmer’s Convenor at UCT Drama Department. In 2010 Morris achieved her PhD with the title “Own-made in the (post-)new South Africa: a study of theatre originating from selected townships in the vicinity of Cape Town”. She currently serves her second term on the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Theatre Research and is also an active member of the Theatrical Event Working Group. At the Drama for Life Africa Research Conference she will examine the role of the Applied Theatre practitioner as well as ethical practice in Applied Theatre research. In two days, the conference participants will take part in 25 paper presentations, workshops and open discussions. At the 4th Africa Research Conference Drama for Life will host attendees from 6different countries, namely Canada, Ghana, Uganda, UK, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The two day conference will be followed by a closed research workshop conference co-hosted by Drama for Life, Department of Social Work at Wits School of Human and Community Development and the Department of Social Work at MacMaster University from Canada. This intensive research gathering will explore the relationship between social work and the arts.

Stakeholders in the field of Applied Drama and Theatre are invited to attend the conference as guest auditors. If you would like to participate, please email your details to or register at the first day of Conference at 8 am at the Professional Development Hub at Wits University Campus.

We would like to acknowledge the contribution of our partners in this year’s Conference:

– The University of the Witwatersrand

– Goethe Institut

– German International Corporation (GIZ)

– Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)

– Oppenheimer Memorial Trust


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