ASTR/TLA 2014 Conference Call for Proposals

November 20-23, 2014

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore MD

Beyond Soldiers and Generals:  Performing Wartime Identities, Ideologies, and Material Culture

Convened by: Jenna L. Kubly, Independent Scholar, Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix, Miami University,

As part of the ongoing theatre of war working group, we seek to continue our exploration of war’s relationship to theatre and performance. The investigation of multiple theatres of war is relevant because the presentation of war—whether ancient or current struggle – always involves performances of ideology and identity. But not all actors in particular theatres of war are human agents, and we would like to explore specifically the way that other aspects of war perform; for example, the way countries, ideologies (i.e. Marxism), weapons, or propaganda perform. This working group seeks to bring together a diverse group of scholars, methodologies, and research interests to continue our conversation about the complex representation of war in culture, and the performative nature of war in its various theatres.

Papers might address how plays, performances, musicals, operas, popular entertainments, re-enactments, and dance relate to these ideas:

·           Performances of/at sites of war — battlefields, memorial, museums, military camps ·           What is the result of resituating a non-war play to a war zone? Or performing at a wartime site?                                                                                                             ·           The afterlife of wartime imagery – red poppies, mushroom cloud – and its uses and abuses                                                                                                                        ·           Performing the remains and artifacts of war                                                        ·           The proliferation of documentary war-time theater                                               ·           Mythmaking/deconstruction centered around ideologies, (cult) personalities, and institutions                                                                                                                 ·           The performance of war in everyday life – via the media, the internet, daily conversations                                                                                                             ·           Performing the memorialization and commemoration of war, its victories and losses ·           War games and simulations – recreational online played with avatars, the elaborate spectacles of the past, government-sponsored projects                                                  ·           The performance of light, sound, and smell during battle – the distinctive sound of a machine guns, Blitz blackouts, smell of mustard gas                                                     ·           The military-entertainment-complex – how does theatre benefit from (or expose) commercialization of war?

First, participants will submit a preliminary draft by September 20, 2014. Conveners will facilitate an exchange of papers; participants will respond to 3-4 papers. Revised papers (15-20 pages) should be submitted by October 27, 2014. The conveners will divide participants into different small subgroups for another exchange of papers. 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.

As a significant amount of discussion will have occurred before the conference itself, two-hours should be sufficient.

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, as a single document, a 300-word abstract, along with name, affiliation, contact information, and brief bio (150 words) to and by May 31, 2014.


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