From the 2012 international tour of War Horse to Aquila Theatre’s novel approach to looking at veterans in ancient Greek plays, scholarly investigations of the intersections of war and performance are thriving. As part of the ongoing theatre of war working group, we seek to continue our exploration of the traditions and innovations of war on stage. Performing war is relevant to this year’s conference theme because the presentation of war, whether a current conflict or an ancient one, is permeated by notions of history and historiography, memory and memorial. The working group seeks to bring together a broad range of approaches, and scholars from all levels of expertise are welcome to apply and help enrich work on the histories of performance and war.
Papers might address how plays, performances, musicals, operas, popular entertainments, re-enactments, and dance help answer these questions:
- How has war affected the writing of theatre history? What histories/archives/documents/performances have been lost because of war and battle?
- Has war-time created new audiences or new stages?
- By whom and for whom are plays about or during war? (Soldiers? POWs? Civilians?)
- How has theatre contributed to “writing” and “righting” histories of war? What voices have been heard because of performance?
- What dramatic works have become part of the “standard” repertoire of war-time plays? What contributes to their canonization?
- What is the result of resituating a non-war play to a war zone? Do aesthetic practices, spectator expectations, or the contemporary sociopolitical climate contribute to these re-imaginings?
- How does war on stage affect, contribute to, or detract from, monuments and memorials of war? How has theatre been employed in reconciliation efforts in war/post-war zones?
The format for this working group has four distinct components. First, participants will submit a preliminary draft by September 20, 2012. The conveners will help facilitate an initial exchange of papers; participants are expected to read and respond to 3-4 papers at this time. Final papers (15-20 pages) should be submitted by October 18, 2012. The conveners will divide the participants into different small subgroups for another exchange of papers. There will also be an online discussion prior to the conference. During the conference session, subgroups will respond to larger questions suggested by the conveners, before coming together for a discussion that will include all participants.
All papers must be submitted electronically in MS Word or a compatible format. Images, video, music or other multimedia are strongly encouraged, but the participant must be able share it with the group prior to the conference.
Please submit a 300-word abstract, along with name, affiliation, and brief bio (250 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by May 31, 2012.
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