"The Family Dream House: Performing Identity through Space, Ritual, and Iconographies of Home" (10/17/13; ATHE, 7/24-27/14)

full name / name of organization: 
Jill Stevenson
contact email: 

"The Family Dream House: Performing Identity through Space, Ritual, and Iconographies of Home"
Session for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's 2014 Conference
July 24th-27th, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ

Throughout history and across cultures, people have used the space in and around their houses to articulate and perform specific identities. For example, in many communities the lawn provides a landscape for identity construction; however, given environmental implications, lawns can also be especially contested sites, especially in a place like Scottsdale (ATHE's 2014 conference location). The choice to put up a national flag (or a flag representing a specific organization), to place political placards in yards, or to hang religious images or icons in the home, especially in entryways where visitors will see them immediately, are all tactics that stage specific identities and relationships, whether real or imagined.

This session will examine these performances in and around the home from a variety of perspectives. The organizer invites papers that consider issues such as: the size/style of houses; how immigrants might use the home to maintain links with their homeland or to articulate integration into another culture; how people use houses to stage particular civil/civic rights, such as the right to defend oneself or the right to bear arms; how gender is often constructed and performed by means of household spaces and rituals. In addition, papers might examine how playwrights, directors, or designers have used the physical house on stage to assert or challenge assumptions about family, community, or national values. Papers that explore this topic from any geographic, cultural, or theoretical perspective are welcome.

Please send a one-page abstract and brief bio to Jill Stevenson (jillstevenson@gmail.com) by October 17th. Feel free to email Jill with questions. For information about ATHE, please visit http://www.athe.org/