Call for Proposals: Deadline Feb. 1st 2009
Annual Conference of the American Society for Theatre Research (www.astr.org)
and the Theatre Library Association (http://tla.library.unt.edu/)
San Juan, Puerto Rico • 11-15 November 2009 - Condado Plaza Hotel and Casino
Theatre, Performance, and DestiNation
Theatre shares with travel a set of expectations related to discovery and encounter, a reprieve from the quotidian, and a longing for return. Theatre and performance studies scholarship offers similar vistas. As both journey and destination, theatre and related performance forms – as well as scholarship about them -- encompass a range of experiences from pilgrimage to voyeuristic consumption, producing effects that linger and can transform the once-familiar terrain of "home."
The 2009 conference theme takes inspiration from our destination. Given its own contentious history in relation to questions of statehood and imperialism, and as part of a region inspiring multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of circum-Atlantic art, history, literatures and culture, Puerto Rico offers an imaginative point of departure for inquiries into theatre's historical and contemporary role in constituting cultural and (inter)national forms of belonging.
How might we use the notion of "destination" – a seemingly fixed point of arrival, but one with performative effects beyond the event itself – to re-examine the histories and practices of theatre and performance and its scholarship?
Proposals might consider the following questions:
- How have populations in different historical moments and cultural milieux related to theatre as destination?
- What happens when theatre itself “travels” (as when it tours, or when it is appropriated by or adapted into a cultural destination different from the one originally intended) becoming, in effect, a movable destination?
- How does research travel become performative, in encounters with archives, fellow scholars and investigators, as well as with performers and practitioners?
- How has theatre and performance participated in building or destabilizing nations and nationalism?
- In the context of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the first wars of colonial independence from Spain, leading to nationalist narratives of independence, nationhood, and revolution in many Latin American countries. How has theatre and performance, viewed from within one national tradition or comparatively across nations or regions, played a role in or against this triumphalist rhetoric?
- How does performance in touristic sites mediate historical imaginaries of people, place, and nation?
- What role have “islands” played in theatrical representation, and conversely, how has theatre been construed as such vis-a-vis “mainland” forms of cultural expression?
- How might “island culture” be a trope for larger movements of peoples and ideas between sites of privileged viewing and local experience? That is, how might “island culture” and performance prompt reexaminations of center/periphery logistics in an era of transnational global flows?
Members are encouraged to explore the wide variety of embodied, expressive cultural forms (theatre, dance, fiesta, performance art, international festivals, religious or civil observances) that have made certain sites a destination for audiences as well as for scholars of theatre history and performance studies.
Plenary Papers Proposals for plenary papers take the form of an abstract (max. 250 words) that includes name, affiliation, mailing and email addresses. Full-length papers will not be accepted. Proposals will be selected by the program committee with an eye towards topics that advance conversations in and about the fields of theatre and performance studies.
Working Sessions We invite proposals for working sessions: this category includes seminars, research groups, reading groups, forums, workshops, as well as formats that have yet to be imagined. “Working sessions” is a general category that allows session leader(s) to convene small groups around a proposed area of inquiry or practice, and to structure a method and format that best suits the goals of the group. No formats will be privileged over others; all proposals will be given equal consideration according to their merit.
Proposals include a rationale for the intellectual/scholarly merits of the session as well as a rationale for its format, and must be accompanied by the “ASTR Working Sessions Proposal Form,” attached below.
Proposals related to the conference theme are particularly welcome, but not necessary.
For more information about working sessions see: http://www.astr.org/Conference/WorkingSessionsGuidelines/tabid/128/Default.aspx
All submissions must be received by 1 February 2009 and should be sent as e-mail attachments, in MS Word, to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inquiries are welcome; please contact Sonja Kuftinec or Tamara Underiner at email@example.com with program questions or Nancy Erickson (NEricksn@aol.com) with any questions about conference logistics.
Sonja Kuftinec/Tamara Underiner (program questions)
American Society for Theatre Research
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