CFP: Theatre History Focus Group (11/1/06; ATHE, 7/26/07-7/29/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Bruce Kirle
contact email: 

The Theatre History Focus Group (THFG) invites proposals for panels, roundtable discussions, papers, and alternative session formats for the annual meeting of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), which will be held in New Orleans from July 26-29, 2007. Deadline for submissions is November 1, 2006.
The THFG promotes the study, research, and teaching of theatre history within university and college theatre departments, encourages and inspires scholarly exchange, cultivates the lively discussion of ideas pertaining to the discipline of theatre history, provides opportunities for its members to communicate the results of their research to one another and to the larger theatre community, and fosters dialogues with other, multidisciplinary areas of study.
The theme for the 2007 conference is "Regenerations: Theatre and Performance as a Regenerative Force." Included in the lexicon of related concepts is rebuilding (histories of rebirth), regrowth (recycling), repetition and revision, reimagining (both New Orleans and 21st century theatre in general), and referencing (differences and similarities; race, gender, culture, generation, vision). Clearly, the connection between regeneration and post-Katrina New Orleans is evident; however, panels, papers, and discussions can interpret the theme of regeneration in a much broader context. How does theatre and theatre history constantly imagine and reinvent itself? How does theatre reflect shifting perceptions of American society, and how does American identity continually reimagine and reinvent itself? How do theatre historians use the past to regenerate the present and the present to reinterpret the past? As Nietzsche wrote, "We try to give ourselves a new past from which we sho!
 uld have liked to descend instead of the past from which we actually descended." In other words, historians write the past in terms of the present to read the present in terms of the past.
Sumbissions may be either discipline specific or multidisciplinary. The THFG welcomes panel topics that address the history of theatre practice, theatre historiography, or the relationship between theatre and history in a larger sense. Given this year's conference theme, we encourage proposals that address regeneration, reinvention, and reimagining in its broadest sense.
The THFG is particularly interested in building bridges between scholars and practitioners, as well as between the Academy and larger communities, including international communities. We also welcome and encourage proposals that involve senior, mid-level, and junior scholars, as well as graduate students. The interchange of dialogue and conversation between scholars at all levels of career development is important for the discipline.
To submit an electronic proposal for a complete session, visit the ATHE website at and complete an online proposal form by November 1, 2006. All submissions are now electronic, and must go through the ATHE website. Click on "Session Proposal Forms Are Available Online." The ATHE website also contains information regarding session format descriptions and further proposal information.
If your session is multidisciplinary and addresses theatre history, we encourage you to consider THFG as one of your target focus groups. All multidisciplinary panels must list three targeted focus groups. Multidisciplinary panels must also be submitted online at the ATHE website. In addition, coordinators of multidisicplinary panels and proposals should consult via email the THFG conference planner before submitting online. The conference planner will give you feedback and evaluate your proposal during the selection process. Please contact Bruce Kirle at the following email address: or
Please be aware that ATHE does not consider individual submissions. Your paper must be part of a panel. You must team with others to form a panel or roundtable. Paper panels usually consist of 3 participants and a chair. Roundtable discussions can include more participants. Consult the ATHE website for further information. Once you have joined or formed a panel, you (or someone else on your panel or roundtable) are responsible for submitting your completed proposal online directly to ATHE, NOT to the THFG conference planner.
The THFG invites you to brainstorm proposals, panel ideas, and paper topics through the THFG yahoo chat line. Use the address bar on your computer and type in If you are not currently a member of the THFG, you can join via this chat line. If you have any trouble, please contact our webmaster, Dan Smith, at You can also develop sessions through the ATHE listsev. In addition, to these options, if you have a paper and are looking for a panel, the conference planner will try to assist in matching you with others to create a full-panel proposal, which either you or another member of your panel must then submit directly to ATHE by November 1, 2006. In this instance, send a 200-word abstract of individual papers by email to by October 18, 2005 at the very latest. Please be aware, however, that once you have been teamed or join others in a panel, you (or someone else in your panel) must submit yo!
 ur completed proposal directly to ATHE rather than to the conference planner.
Please submit all requests for Grants and Guest Passes along with your panel proposal. ATHE does not typically award Guest Passes to persons who are affiliated with a college or university. Grant requests to cover equipment costs are most often successful if they accompany the panel proposal. Consult the ATHE website for information on availability and associated costs for Audio Visual Equipment. To facilitate conference planning, include requests for Audio Visual Equipment with your proposal.
Bruce Kirle
Theatre History Focus Group Chair/Conference Planner
Head, Music Theatre Division
BA Honors Acting Program
Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London)
Email: or
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Received on Mon Oct 09 2006 - 11:48:28 EDT