TLA Plenary - Call for Papers
2011 Annual Conference of the American Society for Theatre Research-
Theatre Library Association
Montreal, Canada, November 2011
Fringe Economies, Commercial Ventures, and Cultural Repositories
Popular entertainments – circus, magic, conjuring, solo performance, sketch and improvisational comedy – historically have competed in an environment driven by the profit motive. However, many of these practices emerged as celebrations of cultural heritage, and circumvented obstacles of gender, race and body type that defined complementary performing art forms. They rooted themselves in urban areas and touring circuits to maximize their income potential. Some have achieved global recognition such as Cirque de Soleil, David Copperfield, Criss Angel, and Second City.
Nevertheless, much of this important output remains under the radar and neglected in representation in formal archives, libraries and special collections dedicated to the performing arts. Asserting that theatre is an economic enterprise unto itself, this panel seeks to investigate how traditional commercial performing art forms – as well as those off the grid – participate in standard and accepted documentation and preservation strategies through their records, repositories, and performance practices.
We invite proposals to consider the following questions:
• How do these popular forms – at once mainstream and alternative – sustain the economy of their cultural expression, manage their records, and market themselves in this highly competitive environment?
• How can these documents inform us about the larger cultural economies of interstate and international travel, festival circuits, as well as urban identity, renewal and redevelopment?
• How should cultural repositories participate in documenting commercial artists and organizations?
• How do historical and contemporary theatre circuits contribute to a richer understanding of cultural heritage?
• Does popular comedy reinforce, interrogate or subvert the status quo?
Colleen Reilly, TLA Plenary Chair
Department of Theatre
300C Miller Auditorium
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania 16057-1326
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)