Call for Proposals: ATHE 2018 Performance Studies Focus Group

09 October, 2017 by William Lewis | 0 comments

Call for Proposals: ATHE 2018 Performance Studies Focus Group

Call for Proposals: ATHE 2018 Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest Performance Studies Focus Group

Performance Studies Focus Group (PSFG) Sessions

Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference August 1-5, 2018 – Boston, MA
Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest

Submission Deadlines:
October 13: for submission of abstracts for individual papers to conference planner Lindsay Adamson Livingston at
November 1: for submission of complete session proposals directly to ATHE at

The Performance Studies Focus Group (PSFG) of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) invites paper and session proposals for ATHE’s 2018 annual meeting in Boston. Proposals will be welcomed in many formats—e.g. scholarly panels, seminars, roundtables, performance-based presentations, working groups, and other innovative, alternative-session structures—as well as on all theatre- and performance- related topics, particularly those that address the 2018 ATHE conference theme of “Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest.”

Our meeting in Boston—a city that embodies a complicated legacy of revolution and oppression—provides an opportunity to reconsider the performance, memorialization, and utilization of revolution in public life, politics, and education. PSFG encourages papers and proposals representing all historical periods and geographic locations. Proposals might consider some of the following questions, or pose alternatives to them:

  • ●  Politics of Revolution / Revolutionary Politics – In what specific ways has the concept of revolution been used by state actors to construct legitimacy? To enact social control? To rewrite history? How can performance theory elucidate this use in political campaigns, rallies, and other public events? How are “performances of revolution” in public places – museums, heritage sites, festivals – deployed and marketed as political and civic engagements? How do political performances influence and shape our lives?

  • ●  Protest and Performance – What is the relationship between protest and performance today? At different historical moments? How might performance be deployed as a mode of protest or counter- protest? What is the role of performance in resisting oppression? How can protest make hidden and ignored histories visible? How can performance further the necessary work of decolonization and reparation?

  • ●  Revolutionary Bodies – How can we take up questions of revolutionary bodies? What bodies are “made” revolutionary through enactments of law or normalizing ideologies? What are some possible connections between bodily hypervisibility and revolution? How does the paradigm of revolution illuminate the processes of bodily control enacted by the state? How is violence made visible? By what means is surveillance enacted upon bodies? In what ways can sousveillance represent a revolution from below respond by making abuses of power visible? How might an exploration of performing bodies crack open the sedimented meanings of revolution and revolutionary?

  • ●  Revolutionary Pedagogies – How does performance studies as a field continue to offer opportunities to challenge and reimagine education? How can performance scholars and practitioners use performance to interrogate accepted narratives and empower students? In what ways could

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revolutionary performance contribute to the creation of utopian performatives (Dolan) or possible futurities (Muñoz)?

Revolutionary Aesthetics – How do concepts of revolution and the revolutionary inform our thinking about aesthetic creation? Is the concept of revolution helpful in assessing creative movements? What is lost in framing the generation of art in terms of revolution and replacement? How can (and how have) performance theorists and practitioners utilize revolutionary aesthetics to resist repressive cultural formations and ideologies? What possibilities for troubling the familiar divisions between theory and practice, pedagogy and research, can be prompted by a reevaluation of (revolutionary) aesthetics?

How to Submit Your Proposal:

1. All session proposals are filed electronically directly to ATHE. A link to the session proposal form can be found here. All session proposals have a deadline of November 1. After submission, please forward a copy of your completed proposal to Lindsay Adamson Livingston ( Also: please note that all audio-visual technology requests must be included in your completed proposal (see #3 below). Include all requests for guest passes or conference grants. ATHE permits two conference presentations per participant.
2. ATHE also accepts proposals for Multidisciplinary (MD) Sessions. Multidisciplinary Sessions must be sponsored by two different focus groups. All MD session organizers must contact the Conference Planners of both sponsoring groups before submitting their session directly to ATHE. Rather than thinking of these sessions as “multidisciplinary,” then—for much of our work in theatre and performance studies is inherently multidisciplinary—think of these sessions as “multi-focus group.” Crafting your proposal so it will address the constituencies of these different focus groups will likely make your MD Session proposal more successful.

3.Please indicate A/V needs in your session proposal. If you do request audio or visual aids--particularly anLCD Screen and/or sound equipment--please be aware of the following: In order to schedule as many excellent Focus Group sessions as possible your session may be scheduled in a room without any audio or visual aids available. You will need to confirm in the proposal whether or not you would be willing to present this session if the requested audio visual is not available. Please understand that, if you say you
are unwilling to present without and audio visual aids, the odds of your proposal acceptance may be
negatively affected. See additional information about A/V requests here. You may request one piece of
A/V equipment for free (see previous link for list of equipment). If you need more than one piece of A/V
equipment, please remember to apply for the appropriate grant to cover the cost of A/V support at the
time that you submit your session proposal. The grant must be requested separately from the
submission of your proposal.
4. Historically, submissions that pull together a strong panel of participants have been more successful than panels comprised of individually submitted papers. If you are looking for co-panelists, please visit our Facebook Group (here) or contact a PSFG officer about relaying your inquiries to our group membership. 

However, with an eye toward helping to promote networking opportunities via PSFG, especially amongst new ATHE members, we are working to improve the individual-paper submission process. So, when you submit an individual paper proposal, the Focus Group Conference Planner will curate panels, matching up related papers, and then put those authors in touch with one another so that they can craft their own session proposal by the Nov 1 deadline. In order to facilitate this process, individual paper proposals must be received directly by the Conference Planner Lindsay Adamson Livingston (, no later than October 13th. These proposals should include title and affiliation, contact information, a brief bio, an abstract of 250 words, and specifications for any A/V needs.

5. Notifications for accepted and rejected sessions are typically announced by mid-March. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact:

Lindsay Adamson Livingston
PSFG Conference Planner
Department of Theatre and Media Arts Brigham Young University

Provo, UT 84604 

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