"Women Performing Spirituality in the Avant Garde" ATHE 2010, August 3-6

full name / name of organization: 
Association for Theatre in Higher Education/ATHE

CFP: "Women Performing Spirituality in the Avant Garde"
A multidisciplinary panel with the Religion and Theatre, Women and Theatre, and Performance Studies focus groups.

The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) 2010 Conference
Los Angeles, CA, August 3-6, 2010
"Theatre Alive: Theatre, Media, and Survival"

The theme for the 2010 conference is "Theatre Alive: Theatre, Media, and Survival." This panel desires to bring together theatre/performance practices pioneered by women artists whose avant garde innovations also have a religious or spiritual interest. The religious background and influences of Ruth St. Dennis' and Martha Graham's choreography, the mysticism behind Emmy Hemmings' writings on Dada, the apophatic expression in the plays of Susan Glaspell and the challenge to linguistic patriarchy/theology in the writing of Gertrude Stein are inspiring examples. Performance, the chosen medium of these artists, also serves as a medium for religious or spiritual expression and investigation. What is it about spirituality and the avant garde together that can contribute to new readings of women in the performing arts? What can women's experience of theatre and performance as simultaneously religious or spiritual expression bring to a discussion of women in the political sphere? Why is religious/spiritual expression still an important aspect of the work of women performers, writers, and scholars today, whether that expression be framed by an institutional religious practice or influenced by a sense of ritual? How is the performance of religion or spirituality integral to the survival of women today, both on the theatre's stage and the world stage?

This panel invites scholars to consider such terms as "spirituality," "religion," "performance" and "theatre" broadly, and to think through the hesitancy that might preclude a scholar from making connections between religious/spiritual practice and the study of performance. We seek also to explicate the intersection between a historical bias against religion/spirituality in the academy, and the fact that this academy has also been historically lacking in women's perspectives.

Please send your one page abstract to Claire Chambers Blackstock at cmcblackstock@ucdavis.edu. Include your name, affiliation, the title of your paper, mailing address, phone number, and email address with your submission, as well as a short bio. If applicable, please also specify what AV equipment you will require. The deadline for abstracts is October 27, 2009. You can find out more about ATHE at www.athe.org. We look forward to your submission!

Best regards,
Claire Chambers Blackstock, University of California Davis
Crystal Hoffman, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Panel organizers