The Hague, 3-6 April 2014
Workshop 23: Teatrum Belli: Theater in Times of Spectacular Warfare
Chairs: Ilka Saal, University of Erfurt, Germany; Barbara Ozieblo, University of Málaga, Spain
This workshop investigates the function of theater with regard to war. In particular, it aims to examine to what extent theater still matters at a time when the already intrinsic theatricality of warfare (teatrum belli) has, due to a persistent mediatization in the course of the 20th century, become enhanced to such a degree that war itself emerges as the perfect spectacle. Does the theater still matter in times of spectacular warfare or has it been erased by the theatricality of war?
Furthermore, what do we make of the growing conceptual and aesthetic affinity between theater and war? Besides relying on a similar sense of dramaturgy, mise-en-scène, and division of labor into producer, director, actor, and spectator, both draw attention to their own theatricality, frequently using means based on similar technology (computers, screens, virtual reality). Likewise, a neat division of the two into fact and fiction no longer holds. Cultural critics such as Virilio, Baudrillard, and Zizek have shown, how with regard to production and spectatorship, modern warfare has become increasingly derealized. Likewise, spectators in theater rarely remain untouched by the theatrical experience: they are assaulted by rational and emotional arguments, inundated by the aesthetics of cruelty, agitprop, or multimedia spectacle, which require cognitive as well as emotional efforts and sometimes leave us dazed, confused, helpless. There is even the threat of actual warfare entering the theater, as seen in the Moscow hostage crisis in 2002. How, then, can we relate these two disruptive forces to each other – conceptually, aesthetically, politically?
We invite papers examining this question from the following angles:
• Media & Technology: How has the mass media transmission of war affected the representation of war on stage? Does the increasing use of digital technology in the theater affect how we view war on stage as well as off stage? How do media and technology affect our capacity for empathy and critique? How can theater resist the increasing commodification of war by the media?
• The Body in Pain: Given our constant inundation with images of cruelty, is theater still capable of making visible the physical and emotional consequences of war to those who fight and those who get involved involuntarily? How is violence represented on stage? How can theater as a medium make bodies in pain matter to us?
• Commitment: Is the notion of theater as a site for critical reflection and political intervention still relevant? What does commitment mean in/to the contemporary theater? How do new forms of warfare such as terrorism, drone warfare, and cyber warfare affect and, perhaps, change our notion of commitment in theater?
• Justice: In what ways can/does theater function as a site for translating war not only into poetic but political and ethical justice?
Of course, we are open to related suggestions as well.
Please send a one-page abstract (no more than 500 words) and a one-paragraph bio to both Prof. Ilka Saal at firstname.lastname@example.org and Prof. Barbara Ozieblo at email@example.com by 1st October 2013.
Please read the revised Guidelines for Workshops prepared by the EAAS Board, and note the information on EAAS travel grants below:
Guidelines for EAAS Workshops
- A workshop must be chaired by two persons from different constituent associations of EAAS or other relevant associations for scholars outside the EAAS geographical span. No one may (co-) chair a workshop at two consecutive EAAS conferences.
- Workshop sessions are 2:00 hours.
- Speakers are selected by the workshop chairs from those colleagues responding to the Call for Papers published on the EAAS website. The target number of speakers per session is four, the maximum number is eight (two sessions). Note: Of the speakers in any workshop, not more than two may come from the same country. Speakers must be members of their national Association for American Studies if there exists one in their home country. Speakers from Canada, Israel, Japan, and the USA must be members of their respective American Studies Associations, or of another organization with an appropriate focus (OAH, APSA, etc.). No speaker can present more than one paper at the conference. Chairs can present a paper within their own workshop.
- Speakers must present their papers in person; they are expected to be present at all sessions of their workshop.
- Papers should be presented from notes rather than read off from a script; chairs should spell this out to their contributors and ensure that proper discussion can take place.
- The maximum presentation time for papers is 20 minutes; chairs must keep their speakers within that time frame. The overall structure of the workshop is the responsibility of chairs; chairs MUST comply with these rules in order to: 1) allot each paper the same amount of time; 2) allow sufficient time for discussion.
- October 1, 2013: Proposals for workshop papers (one-page abstract [no more than 500 words] and one-paragraph bios) to reach both workshop chairs
- October 15, 2013: Chairs inform proposers whether their papers have been accepted, and send the list of speakers and paper titles to the EAAS Secretary General.
- Selected speakers can apply for an EAAS Conference Grant by November 15, 2013, and will be notified of their success by December 15, 2013.
- December 31, 2013: Speakers must confirm their participation in the workshop
- January 15, 2014: Chair 1 must send a confirmed list of speakers and paper titles, plus contact details of speakers, to the EAAS Secretary General
- February 3, 2014: final deadline for any last-minute changes to the printed conference program
- Chairs are encouraged to send out electronic versions of abstracts/papers to all speakers in their workshop prior to the conference.
- Workshop chairs should briefly introduce the topic and the speakers at the beginning of the first session. At the end of the last session, chairs might want to sum up the conclusions of the presentations and discussions.
- April 20, 2014 (two weeks after end of conference): Deadline for chair 1 to send titles of two papers proposed for possible inclusion in conference volume (with speaker details) to Secretary-General. Chairs are also encouraged to produce individual volumes based on their workshop papers. Please note, though, that in compliance with a unanimous decision of the EAAS Board at the 1998 Lisbon conference, EAAS subsidies for such volumes are not available.
- April 20, 2014 (two weeks after end of conference): Deadline for chair 2 to send 500-word workshop report to the EAAS Secretary General, Gert Buelens, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The report of approximately 250-500 words should give an idea of the major arguments of papers and of conclusions reached in the workshop.
- Computers with data projection on screens are available in all rooms. If special technical equipment (audio equipment, video equipment beyond the usual) is needed in a workshop, please inform, by February 3, 2014, the EAAS Secretary General, who will consult with local organizers.
- Please address all correspondence concerning workshop matters to the EAAS Secretary General in the first instance. Please acknowledge all correspondence from the Secretary General.
- Workshop chairs should make copies of these Guidelines available to their speakers.
- A meeting of all workshop chairs with the EAAS Secretary General will be scheduled on the first afternoon of the conference to discuss last-minute arrangements.
EAAS grants to enable attendance at the biennial EAAS conference
At its Moscow meeting, the EAAS Board decided to earmark a special conference travel fund within the EAAS budget for the purpose of supporting speakers at the biennial EAAS conference.
- applications must be submitted electronically to the EAAS Vice-President, Professor Meldan Tanrisal(email@example.com), by November 15, 2013;
- applicants can apply for a max. of €500, to cover travel and/or accommodation and/or meals;
- applications should include a letter of acceptance of the paper from the organizers; a copy of the paper abstract; a budget covering the planned attendance (travel, accommodation, meals);
- special consideration will be given to early-career scholars and scholars from countries with a nominal GDP of less than 30,000 USD per capita (according to the most recent IMF list);
- successful applicants will be notified by December 15, 2013 and should then promptly (and no later than December 31) confirm their attendance with their workshop chairs (who need to finalize the workshop program by January 15);
- successful applicants should submit original receipts for all expenses to be covered by the grant to the EAAS Treasurer within two months of the conference travel (by June 1, 2014):
Professor Adina Ciugureanu
Department of English and American Studies
Ovidius University Constanta
Aleea Universitatii 1 (Campus)
900472, Constanta, Romania