CFP: JADT – American Theatre & Material Culture


The Publications Committee of the American Theatre and Drama Society invites submissions for the Spring 2013 issue of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre which it is guest editing.  You do not need to be a member of the Society to submit an article, but submissions from the membership are particularly encouraged.  (For more information about the American Theatre and Drama Society, see  The aim of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre is “to promote research on theatre of the Americas and to encourage historical and theoretical approaches to plays, playwrights, performances, and popular theatre traditions.”

For the spring 2013 call, we invite colleagues to explore the topic “American Theatre and Material Culture.”  The term material culture, often employed by archaeologists, refers to the ways artifacts or other concrete things left behind by past cultures reflect prior times and values.  Scholars may wish to address the ways American theatre and drama deals with the relationship of its citizens to objects and ownership – and the ways the society’s response to materiality is a means by which to examine its cultural attitudes.  What is the relation of artifacts to social interaction?  Among many possibilities, essays might examine material culture as a critique of consumerism (“throw-away” culture) or the ways in which culture is reflected in its public architecture and monuments.  Reaching back to all eras in American history, scholars might also consider the ways in which rediscovered material culture from prior eras or peoples preserves images of its society and the ways in which the material remains of an era tell its story.  Material culture may also reflect the ways in which a society organized and understood itself in a particular time period.  How do dramatists and theatre practitioners shape ideas about the ever-changing cultural landscape through its material culture?  How do diverse views on the meaning of objects and structures within a society impact individual lives, the functioning of institutions, and the theatre artists reflecting them?  How do plays and playwrights shape views of material culture?  Contributors are invited to explore historical, critical, and performative perspectives of the relationship of American theatre and drama to ideas of material culture.  Submissions may address theatre and performance from across the Americas, North and South.

Manuscripts (5000-6000 words) should be prepared in conformity with the Chicago Manual of Style, using footnotes rather than endnotes.  Articles should be submitted as e-mail attachments, using Microsoft Word format. Please note that all correspondence will be conducted by e-mail.  Submissions must be received no later than January 2, 2013; please email articles to Jim Fisher,

Authors will be notified about the status of their submissions during the week of January 21, 2013.  The final manuscript revisions of accepted submissions (complete with rights, permissions for images, etc.) must be received by the Publications Committee no later than March 5, 2013.


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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