Essay collection "Performing the Family Dream House" (abstracts due October 1st, 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Jill Stevenson

Call for contributors to essay collection Performing the Family Dream House: Space, Ritual, and Images of Home, eds. Emily Klein (Saint Mary's College), Jennifer-Scott Mobley (Rollins College), and Jill Stevenson (Marymount Manhattan College).

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. 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. In addition, many plays are set in the home with, in some cases, the house essentially becoming another character. In this and other ways, the home on stage impacts dramaturgy as well as issues of audience reception.

This anthology examines these performances in and around the home from a variety of perspectives. This collection emerged from a panel series at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's 2014 conference. While the collection will include extended versions of papers from that series, the editors are inviting additional papers that will expand the scope, methodologies, subjects, and theories of the volume. Essays might address such issues as: the size/style of houses as performance; how immigrants 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 constructed and performed by means of household spaces and rituals; how localized performances of citizenship and civic participation help to interrogate notions of home, hometown, and neighborhood identities. In addition, papers might examine how playwrights, directors, and/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.

Abstracts (300-500 words) and brief bios due by 1 October 2014. If accepted, full article submissions (5000-9000 words) are due by 1 March 2015. Please email your abstract and brief bio to by the October 1st deadline. Please also direct any questions to all three editors at that same email address. The editors are currently contacting presses about the volume with a manuscript deposit deadline of summer 2015.