Call for Panelists - Bodies Out of Work: Staging the Experience of Unemployment (ATHE 2016)

full name / name of organization: 
Laura Farrell-Wortman
contact email: 

We are seeking participants for a proposed panel on the staging of unemployment for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) 2016 conference in Chicago, IL.

Bodies Out of Work: Staging the Experience of Unemployment

In considering this year's conference theme of "bodies at work," we must simultaneously reconcile the precarity of contemporary labor: "bodies at work" also occur alongside "bodies out of work." Moreover, the un- and under-employed body has increasingly garnered attention in both performance and academic circles via discourses of faculty adjunctification, the limits of non-profit funding models in supporting theatre-making, and the shifting landscape of labor in both classrooms and on stages.

Given these realities, this panel explores the theatricalization of unemployment and underemployment both in the academy and beyond it. How do playwrights and theatre artists conceive of the experience of losing one's livelihood? In what ways can we use theatre to explore the complex social, psychological and political ramifications of unemployment and contingent labor? What does it mean for unpaid, uncontracted or underemployed theatre artists to create and stage these works? The panel takes particular interest in analyses of these experiences from a variety of time periods and geographical locations.

Please submit a short abstract, including bio and a/v needs, to farrellwortm@wisc.edu by October 1, 2015.