THEME –“Performing Arts and the university of the 21st Century: Concepts, Training, and Practice


Conventionally, universities exist as seats of knowledge. Learners and faculty use and contribute to knowledge stores through teaching, research, and publications. However, the 21st Century has seen increasing demand for universities to be more accountable directly to communities they are located; to play a more active role in the development and sustainability of society. (OSISA 7 2016, Tiferra 2015, Coker-Kolo 2013, Matas 2012, Bleiklie et al 2005, Mignolo 2000, and others, like related articles in University World News) Golden is gold. To commemorate its 50 years of molding young Ugandans and others for careers in performing arts and film, Department of Performing Arts and Film (DPAF) at Makerere University will host an international conference and associated events to take stock of knowledge, partnerships, and friendships gained. Importantly, together with stakeholders, DPAF will reflect on its life and work, and plan its next 50 years and beyond.

NOTE: In this conference, performing Arts will embrace those artforms by which we are identified or make our livelihoods. They include creative, performed, and digital arts. They cover Music, Dance, Drama, Storytelling, Poetry, documentaries, comic strips, batik, handcrafts, and screen arts like Film, cartoons and animations. These categories and forms may inform performances and disciplines of study or research.

The Conference is organized by Department of Performing Arts and Film (DPAF) at Makerere University Kampala in partnership with IDEA (International Drama / Theatre and Education Association) and Rostock University of Music and Theatre in Rostock, Germany. Up to 400 guests are expected to attend from within and outside Uganda and, indeed, beyond Africa; that is, Europe, USA, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Asia.

The Conference and Associated Events
A number of exciting events will take place within / alongside the Conference:
(i). The General Council Meeting (GCM) for IDEA (International Drama / Theatre and Education Association. IDEA is an international professional association for Drama / Theatre teachers and practitioners). IDEA President, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, will speak at the Conference.
(ii). A Stakeholders’ Summit / Dialogue to discuss the state of performing arts training and research, and prospects for increased graduates.
(iii). A Planning Meeting for Authors of the African Theatre Webinar (ATW) Series.
(iv). DPAF Alumni Celebration Dinner in February 2023 to fundraise for an outdoor stage / Amphitheatre where students can do their practical training and practice.
(v). A Grand GOLDEN Parade of current and past students, staff, friends and partners in Kampala in mid-March 2023
(vi). Giving back to the community Humanitarian Service Activity (Reading Action Programme) on World Book Day 3 March 2023 at Makerere Primary School (Yellow)
(vii). A week-long exhibition and concerts by DPAF current students and staff in the week before the conference
Paper and workshop presentations, round table discussions, theatre / cultural exhibitions, a book bazaar, sight-seeing, and open-air performances by students and staff will spice up the conference. Guests will be hosted to a theatre show on 27 March 2023 during World Theatre Day celebrations at the Uganda National Theatre in Kampala. (Refer to the Programme below) Book your place NOW! Visit:  

  1. KEY to the Programme
    Keynotes: These are plenary sessions on topical issues on scholarship in the performing arts and of general interest to all participants
    SIG = Special Interest Group to facilitate exchange and sharing of knowledge, skills and experiences specific to disciplines. It’s also a good time for networking.
    Round Table: Round table sessions are intended to debate key issues arising especially from the keynotes and specifically on graduate training in the performing arts
    Parallel sessions: This is the time dedicated to paper presentations and workshops by conference participants who are not key speakers. Care will be taken to give chance to as many presenters as can be accommodated by the programme.
    Genius / Flair Session: This is an entertainment yet creative session led by students of Performing Arts and Film Department at Makerere University. All are free to present
    Melting Pot: This is intended as a relaxation and exchange moment where the conference participants are free to share artistic work by way of performance.

    Conference Papers and Workshop Presentations
    Conference papers and workshops are invited on general topics listed below. Abstracts should be 250 words maximum. The end product is a book publication in 2024 while digital material will be published on DPAF’s hence Makerere University’s e-Library platform. Book Publication guidelines will be communicated in due course.

    • Theories and Aesthetics
    • Text and Performance
    • Practice and Context
    • Interculturality and Globalization
    • Performing arts and university education
    • Institutionalization, Curriculum, and Scholarship
    • Publishing the performing arts
    • Knowledge production and reproducibility
    • Performing artists for tomorrow
    • Digitalization and New Media

    Makerere DPAF-IDEA Conference 2023 at with copies to;;
    *** Abstract Submission deadline: FRIDAY February 24, 2023.
    Conference Registration: US$ 100 (Physical attendance). The fees cover Conference
    attendance, lunches, tea breaks, Conference Bag / Kit, hard copies of the
    Conference Programme and Book of Abstracts, and Certificate of Attendance.
    Payment of Registration Fees can be by Cash (physically) on 27 & 28 March 2023. BUT YOU
    Download Registration Form at:
    This is necessary to enable the Registration Desk assign Credentials in time (i.e. by 26 March)
    Online Conference Fee: US $ 50 (covers Conference Log-Ins, soft copies of the Conference
    Programme and Book of Abstracts, and Certificate of Attendance).