ATHE LGBTQ Focus Group Call for Proposals (Nov 1)

full name / name of organization: 
LGBTQ Focus Group of Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
contact email: 

CFP: LGBTQ Focus Group Call for Proposals
Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference
July 24–27, 2014, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel, Scottsdale, AZ

Submission Deadlines:
Individual Papers or Presentations: October 1 (send to Conference Planner Jason Fitzgerald at
Complete Sessions: November 1 (submit online directly to ATHE at and to the Conference Planner at

The LGBTQ Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) invites panel, performance, roundtable, seminar, "text-and-response," working group, and related proposals for ATHE 2014 in Scottsdale, AZ. Although presentations on all topics related to theatre and performance in general and to LGBTQ concerns in particular will be considered, we encourage participants to develop ideas related to the conference theme, "Dream Acts: Performance as Refuge, Resistance, and Renewal."

At once capacious and provocative, the conference theme "Dream Acts" takes aim at the boundaries of our professional, political, and theatrical imaginings, the edges of the dream-able where queer thought and practice are found. Following our discussion during the 2013 Membership Meeting, the LGBTQ Focus Group is interested in sessions that explore boundaries of all kinds—the horizons of our deepest desires, the borders that must and must not be crossed, the limits we have created and for which we must take responsibility. We hope that our sessions will broaden the scope of what queer performance, theory, pedagogy, and activism can address. Questions to be considered may include:
• Whose dreams are queer art and queer activism responsible to, and whose dreams do they more frequently—or necessarily—defer? How does one dream from a contradictory or intersectional position within a social, economic, and political situation?
• What role does queerness play in defining citizenship for present and future generations? Twenty years after Prior Walter promised "We will be citizens," how have once dissident identities become not only participants in the power structures of the state but also tools for co-opting the participation of others? What roles do theatre and performance play in homonationalist projects in the U.S. and abroad?
• What new questions and methodologies must be brought to queer theatre and performance scholarship? How and why do we teach, document, and interpret queer performance history in 2014? How does an expertise in queer theatre and performance history function in today's professional world, academic and otherwise? Where do/should we go from here?
• ATHE 2014 is taking place in the desert! In what new ways can queer public performance turn up the heat in an increasingly sex-negative culture? After spending ATHE 2013 in a tropical tourist capital, what economies of queer tourism have flourished in the very different environment of the American southwest? Given that queer spatial imaginaries have often moved between urban, suburban, and rural space, what literal or symbolic roles does the desert play in queer experience?
• Not only deserted spaces but deserted times can prove sources of renewal. What forms of queer futurity and possibility lie in archives rarely mined in the study of queer performance? How might medieval representations of the body revive 21st-century challenges to political representation? How might ancient Roman or Indian forms of desire, love, and cohabitation expand our own capacity to imagine non-traditional and non-marital forms of union?

We also invite session coordinators to think queerly and creatively about the session formats they propose and the disciplinary diversity of the colleagues in those proposed sessions (though traditional panel proposals are, of course, welcome). What more radical alternatives to the traditional panel have yet to be conceived, and what radical methodologies and topics have yet to be tested out? How might a session take advantage of the conference's locale to craft site-specific performance interventions? In short, what borders can your session cross, and what deserts can it queer?

1. Completed proposals (with all session members assembled) must be submitted directly to ATHE at no later than 11:59pm on November 1, 2014. Please forward a copy of your completed proposal to Jason Fitzgerald (, and note that all technology requests must be included in your completed proposal. Consultation with the LGBTQ conference planner well in advance of the November 1 deadline is recommended and appreciated.
2. While complete sessions are strongly encouraged, individual paper proposals may be submitted to the LGBTQ Focus Group Conference Planner, Jason Fitzgerald, at The conference planner will attempt to group submissions into cohesive sessions but cannot guarantee inclusion. In order to be considered, individual proposals must be submitted by October 1, 2014. Abstracts (250 words) must include the presentation title and the submitter's contact information and specify any A/V needs. Individuals looking for session collaborators prior to the November 1 deadline are encouraged to use the LGBTQ listserv to circulate questions or possible session topics ( Do not submit your individual proposal on the ATHE website, as ATHE does not accept individual paper submissions.
3. All A/V support is fee-based, but grants for A/V support are available and you are encouraged to apply. To do so, follow the directions on the proposal submissions form at ATHE's website when you propose your session, and fill out any additional information required. You will be notified of grant monies at the same time that you are notified of the status of your session. Be aware that ATHE cannot accommodate A/V requests submitted after November 1 without substantial cost to the individual presenter.
4. Please note that ATHE runs from Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27 in 2014. The application form will not accept scheduling preferences, so availability for all session participants for the entirety of the four days is assumed.
5. We encourage session coordinators whose proposals encompass the interests of multiple Focus Groups to apply for a Multidisciplinary Session (which includes 3 sponsoring Focus Groups). Presenters wishing to create Multidisciplinary Sessions should contact the Focus Group conference planners for each of the three groups that they propose as co-sponsors of their sessions, as Multidisciplinary Session coordinators who do not complete this step are likely to have their sessions ranked low or rejected.
6. Presenters proposing sessions outside the traditional panel format are asked to be specific in their proposals concerning the structure and number of participants so that ATHE can be notified about time/space needs. If you have questions about how to categorize your session within the application, wish to have feedback on your concept, etc., please contact the LGBTQ Focus Group Conference Planner at
7. ATHE will notify the LGBTQ Focus Group concerning accepted or rejected panels some time in February. Participants should expect to hear from the Conference Planner or the session coordinator regarding the status of their submission(s) by early March.