CFP: Theatre and Film/Cinema and Performance (5/31/07; ASTR, 11/15/07-11/18/07)

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ASTR (American Society for Theatre Research)
Hyatt Regency/Phoenix/November 15-18, 2007
Theatre and Film/Cinema and Performance Reading Group

        Shannon Blake Skelton, The University of Wisconsin-Madison (

             Knopf, Robert, ed. Theater and Film: A Comparative Anthology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.

In the December 2006 Theatre Journal issue centered upon "Film and Theatre," David Z. Saltz writes, "Theatre and film are kindred phenomena whose histories are intimately intertwined." For decades the contentious, yet at times symbiotic, relationship between theatre and cinema has fascinated both scholars and artists. As barriers between disciplines erode to allow for scholarly exploration, the flexible and porous border that separates theatre and film has emerged as an intriguing location for innovative research. By exploring the dynamics of theatre and cinema production, research, history, theory, and pedagogy, the scholar can develop approaches to analysis that move beyond the paradigm of trans-medium adaptation. With such research and analysis, we can ask: How do theatre and film inform one another? How can theoretical issues from one field be applied to the other? How do pedagogues approach the disciplines when both are presented in coursework? How are the mediu
ms utilized in conjunction with, and in opposition to, one another? What is the contemporary state of creative work that integrates performance, theatre and film?

Selected topics for discussion and dialogue include:
Performance and Production Across Mediums
Interdisciplinary Research Approaches
Academic Reception and "Legitimacy" of Theatre, Performance and Film Studies
Popular Culture and Cultural Studies as a Convergence Point for Theatre / Cinema Studies
Aspects of Liveness, Ephemerality, and Authenticity
Constructions of Community
Feminist and Gender Theory
Critical Theory
Devising a Shared Grammar of Aesthetics
Theatre / Film Archive (Preservation, Documentation and Ephemera)
Audience / Spectator Dynamics, Reception, and Phenomenology
Representations of Sexuality, Gender, and Ethnicity
Comparative Analysis
Access and Agency
Queer Theory, Performance, and Representation
Genre: Narrative / Documentary / Musical / Experimental
Issues of Text in the Mediums
Artists in Theatre / Film: Keaton, Chaplin, Welles, Kazan, Bergman, Shepard, Mamet, Taymor, Mendes, and LaBute

To facilitate a conversation between scholars interested in this area of research, a website will be constructed to provide a forum space, areas for blogs and posts, links, and performance and film clips. In addition, this format will allow us to create a virtual conversation both before and after our formal meeting at the ASTR conference. The website will also allow for the creation of a comprehensive and evolving bibliography that will assist in our research.

Participants should contact the facilitator and indicate areas of research and interest, while proposing possible questions and approaches. Please contact the facilitator with proposal by May 31st.

Contact Information:
Shannon Blake Skelton (
The University of Wisconsin-Madison
821 University Ave.
6173 Vilas Hall
Madison, WI 53706
Hyatt Regency Phoenix/November 15-18, 2007/INTERVENING "AMERICA"

The 2007 conference follows the American Society for Theatre Research's self-reflexive fiftieth anniversary and will be hosted in Phoenix, a city located on the geopolitical border between two American nation-states. It thus seems appropriate for ASTR to continue examining the first term in its organizational name. "America" geographically denotes the Western hemisphere or any country therein, and the word has retained its multiple evocative connotations; yet, as Mexican performance artist Jesusa Rodríguez reminds us, "America" is also an interventionist term, imposed, invented, and so all-encompassing that it runs the risk of empty signification. Does "America" predate Vespucci?

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Received on Fri May 11 2007 - 18:57:10 EDT