ASTR/TLA 2011: Economies of Theatre (http://www.astr.org/featured-news/205-astr-2011-cfp)
Working Session Call for Papers
Session title: Trading (on) Minority Stock: Changing Identities within Theatrical Markets of History, Theory, and Performance
For: Theatre, Performance Studies, History, Economics, and related fields
Description: This roundtable session will explore the stakes of changing minority identities over time. That is, how does the theatrical currency of an ethnic and/or minority (read: non-“white” and/or non-“hetero”) identity increase or decrease given the historical context in which it is being discussed? Does any set of identities hold sway over others in particular eras, and can we understand why?
In essence, this roundtable seeks to understand, through dialogue, the changing nature of identity: who is identified as whom? Who stands to benefit or to gain from the utilization of certain identities onstage and in theoretical discourse? What are the stakes for claiming an identity as a scholar or for historical agents?
For example, papers can consider these questions in the context of historical moments of performance, contemporary controversies surrounding identity and theatre practitioners or performances, historiographical concerns for theatre history, or similar.
Possible questions to consider:
1. Can historical context be thought of in terms of market circumstances? That is, how can the timing of when these identities gain traction - in theoretical discourse and on the stage – be informed by the rise and fall of specific historical contexts? Alternately, how might historical agents engineer the rise and fall of minority identities despite the market fluctuations?
2. How do these fluctuating markets influence the vocabulary used by contemporaries and historians to identify historical actors and structures? Given this, how can historians treat these identities responsibly across different eras?
3. Can minority identities be thought of in terms of derivatives? How do theatre discourse and performance link minority identities to a perceived or hoped-for future?
4. How are these identities traded on in theory and in practice? What market circumstances converge to make certain minority identities into productive payoffs onstage or in theory?
5. In what ways do minority identities interplay between theory and practice? That is, do the identities on which discourse focuses also end up being the identities on which stage performance focuses, and vice versa? How do minority identities become a shared conversation between theory and practice, traded up or down, depending on historical circumstances?
Participation: Participants will be asked to prepare papers ahead of time to circulate among the group. This will form the basis for a three-part discussion at the conference. Within the session time, participants will contribute to a larger group discussion, as well as small group discussions.
By the end of the working group, participants and audience members should be able to articulate significant questions of identity and the act of identifying that circulate throughout the history and theory of theatre and performance.
Submission: Please send abstracts (500 words) and a brief biography (300 words) to Esther Terry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For general information: visit http://www.astr.org/conference/working-sessions-guidelines
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