CFP – ATDS @ ATHE: Elective Performances



ATHE, 2-5 AUGUST 2012


Panel Coordinator:  Iris Smith Fischer

As part of a special set of coordinated panels titled “ATDS @ 25: Looking Forward, Looking Back,” on behalf of the American Theatre and Drama Society I invite submissions for a panel that engages both the Society’s celebration and ATHE’s conference theme, “Performance as/is Civic Engagement: Advocate, Collaborate, Educate.”

The 2012 Presidential and national elections will take place shortly after ATHE meets in Washington, D.C. As preparations for the elections begin to gather momentum, ATDS invites consideration of the relations between theatre and elections in the 21st century. Papers may address any of the aspects of elections:

• the formal choosing of a person for an office, usually by the votes of a constituent body;
• the exercise of deliberate choice or preference; choice between alternatives, esp. in matters of conduct;
• having the power of elective officers or representatives by vote;

or the characteristic of being elective:

• of physical forces and agencies; having a tendency to operate on or combine with certain objects in preference to others;
• an optional subject or course of study.

To what extent does theatre participate in elections? Does theatre encourage debate? More broadly, does theatre invite deliberation and choice in the 21st century? Does theatre address certain audiences in preference to others? What power does theatre have in the lives of the voters? What are the elective characteristics of theatre considered as twice-behaved behavior, i.e. performance? Is theatre elective in the 21st century—i.e., is it dispensable?


Proposals should be no more than 250 words and should be submitted to me at Abstracts must include paper title and contact information and must specify any audio-visual needs.

Proposers will be notified of inclusion in the session by October 23, but please note that preliminary acceptance does not guarantee acceptance of the panel by the ATHE Conference Committee. ATHE will notify ATDS of panels accepted/rejected by late February.


About Sarah Bay-Cheng

Professor of Theater at Bowdoin College. Co-host for the On TAP (Theatre and Performance Studies) podcast at Editor for the book series Avant-Gardes in Performance (Palgrave). Sporadically blogging about theatre, performance, and digital culture. twitter: @performaddict
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