The 27th Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) Conference – English

The 27th Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) Conference

Florida 2024


PTO Conference Dates: May 30th to June 2nd, 2024

Post-Conference Workshop with Julian Boal: June 2nd to June 4th, 2024

Location: Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL

Online Conference Dates: June 25th and 26th, 2024

*****PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED!!***** (for proposals for both online & in-person sessions). The extension for submitting proposals ends on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 (with notification by the end of February). Submit your proposal here: CLICK HERE

Note for those applying from outside the US: Because of the timeline of visa applications and the need to purchase international flight itineraries further in advance, proposals that are received from applicants who reside outside the U.S. will be prioritized in the order of the review of proposals, and those individuals will receive earlier notification about the status of their proposals. Therefore, if you reside outside the U.S. and want to receive notification earlier than February 12, submit your proposal early, as proposals from outside the U.S. will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Navigating Waters: From Oppression to Liberation 

In Florida, and across the world, water is multi-dimensional. The theme of “Navigating Waters: From Oppression to Liberation” is a call to action, a call to unite, and a call to create a better future for all. The theme can refer to the dangers faced by immigrants crossing perilous waterways in search of safety, and frontline communities most directly impacted by climate catastrophe, rising sea levels, hurricanes, storm surges, and more. It acknowledges the historical and contemporary realities that shape our world, including the ongoing struggles for justice by African Americans, many of whose ancestors fought and survived kidnapping and being trafficked across deadly waters to the Americas as part of the genocidal system of slavery. It can also refer to the power of water to connect, cleanse, sustain, and give life. Indeed, as proclaimed by many Indigenous communities, water-protectors, and others: “Water is life!” 

St. Pete is a coastal city nestled by the Gulf of Mexico, and Eckerd College’s campus is surrounded by water, further emphasizing the theme’s connection to the local context of PTO 2024. For the movements, groups, and individuals in Florida who are actively fighting against oppression every day, their efforts face greater challenges due to specific policies that make existing inequalities and injustices worse. Many of us at present have been impacted by newly enacted and proposed laws, and are unsure of their long-term impacts in our communities; whether or not we can count on our judicial systems to uphold our rights; and whether or not we can unite across lines of difference to co-create the world we all want to live in. In these complex political waters, we find challenges that impact a range of communities. 

We seek proposals for workshops and panels that actively engage participants in practical, hands-on exercises, critical dialogues, and performances; explore stories of resilience, community empowerment, and diverse strategies for understanding and acting in the world. 

This conference is a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and building new coalitions. We encourage proposals that not only address challenges but also celebrate innovative solutions and victories that bring joy and inspire change. 

So as to best support and amplify the work of Florida-based, local activists, artists, and educators who have direct experience with the challenges and opportunities here in the Sunshine State, we strongly encourage you to offer proposals. Your insights, experience and perspectives on the challenges to making change are invaluable in understanding the nuances of the issues faced by local communities, and for rising together.

Furthermore, we are committed to including opportunities for youth participation and perspectives. The voices, ideas and innovations of the younger, rising generations are vital to navigating the dangerous waters of which we speak. We encourage you to tap the youth activists you know and support them to propose sessions. 

We believe that through unity and creative action, we can transform adversity into a force for positive change.“Navigating Waters: From Oppression to Liberation” reflects our dedication to addressing current pressing social issues and uniting diverse voices in the pursuit of a just and equitable world.


If you are not sure how to communicate some part of your idea or how to submit a conference proposal, you can email us at with a question or idea, and we can collaborate with you to develop that idea. In addition, you can learn more about Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Theatre of the Oppressed at

A note on language:

We release this Call for Proposals in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. We have the capacity to read and respond to proposals in those languages and for presenters to offer sessions in all three of them. We also plan to mark clearly in the program the language(s) of delivery for each conference session. We regret that PTO does not currently have the capacity, however, to guarantee language interpretation and translation for conference attendees onsite during the conference itself. Our lower-cost conference fees are designed for economic accessibility, but that also means that our budget typically cannot allow for full translation and interpretation for all sessions. However, we will provide an option on the registration form for presenters to indicate languages spoken, and we will work very hard to facilitate as much interpretation as we can. Though a majority of program sessions have happened in English in the past, we will also try to de-center English whenever it is possible to do so.

 Session lengths and session format options

   Single Session: 90 minutes

  Double Session: Two back-to-back 90-minute sessions totaling three hours. (This includes a 15-minute break. Please note that you may have participants join one or both parts of your double session.)

  Workshops: Techniques and Applications: Interactive workshops that focus on exploring, explaining, and experiencing techniques of PO/TO or liberatory practices. Workshops may also present adaptations, expansions, and permutations of the work developed for various situations, circumstances, and populations, or present case studies that highlight liberatory artistic and educational techniques. 

  Performances: Interactive performances that promote and problematize transformation, liberation, social justice, and/or political engagement. The conference should not be seen merely as a showcase, but rather as an opportunity to engage in interactive exploration of the performance itself, the topics about which it was created, or both.

  Youth-Led Session: Any session by, for, and about youth-led initiatives. We broadly define “youth-led” as projects and sessions with significant leadership from young people up to age 24, although we recognize meaningful support from elder collaborators may also be integral to the success of such projects and conference sessions. Financial support opportunities are available through scholarships and volunteer opportunities.

  Roundtable Discussions: Discussions or debates between activists, artists, organizers, and/or popular educators. Sessions may also ask attendees to participate in dialogue around specific concepts, techniques, or case studies related to PO/TO or liberatory practices work. These are proposals to host a conversation with others about a topic of interest, rather than a fully formed presentation of your own ideas or conclusions.

  Panel: Pre-formed group of 3-4 presentations addressing a specific area of PO/TO or liberatory work. All presenters must have agreed to participate and be part of the proposal.  Sessions should also include dialogue or other interaction with attendees.

  Paper Presentation: Summary of research or issue in PO/TO or liberatory practices work and theory, delivered from notes. Papers should NOT be read, but rather presented. Each presentation should last approximately 10-12 minutes, excluding discussion. We will cluster papers in groups of 3-4, under a proposed theme, with time for dialogue. Not eligible for a double session.

  Anti-Oppression Workshops:  Specific interactive workshops in various aspects of anti-oppression work, including language/terminology, specific communities and populations, challenges and ethics, and working methodologies rooted in liberatory education and/or TO techniques.

  Critical Dialogues: These sessions provide spaces for group dialogues around specific, complex questions about liberatory work. The dialogue may be facilitated by one or more people, but everyone attending the session is invited to participate fully in the entire dialogue. Dialogues might follow a Freirean problem-posing model or other liberatory models and may or may not include workshop-like activities.

  Well-Being and Community Care: These sessions may address such topics as health and well-being for activists, embodied healing for practitioners, and other practices of self and community care for folks directly engaged in movement-based or other social justice work.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE (for proposals for both online & in-person sessions): January 8, 2023 (with notification by the end of February). Submit your proposal here: CLICK HERE