CFP: Popular Entertainment and American Theater before 1900 (7/31/05; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Nicolas Witschi

Popular Entertainment and American Theater prior to 1900
A Special Issue of Comparative Drama

Living as we do in an age dominated by such mechanically reproducible media
as television, cinema, and photography, we are often hard-pressed to recall
that for most Americans prior to 1900, the most widely available and
accessible medium of visual entertainment was theater (and theater-like
productions). From Royall Tyler to Augustin Daly, from Uncle Tom's Cabin to
P. T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill, the late 18th- and 19th- centuries offered a
stunning array of staged performances that not only offered idle amusement
but also crafted and reflected the very frameworks within which knowledge of
the world could be organized or produced.

This special issue of Comparative Drama seeks to illuminate and explore the
wide range of theatrical productions in the United States before 1900.
Topics may include (but need not be limited to): popular melodrama;
minstrelsy; touring performers and performances; Wild West shows, historical
reenactments, and Indian plays; museums and traveling circuses; the rise of
the Broadway impresario; the development of stage realism; technological
innovation and stagecraft; race and gender as factors in popularity and/or
appeals to specific audience(s); humbugs and hoaxes; regionalism and
theater; the relationship of theater with other arts (i.e., the
contributions and/or representations crafted by painters, photographers, and
novelists); social and cultural performance beyond the formal stage. Send
completed essays (25 pages max., double-spaced) to:

Nicolas S Witschi
Dept. of English
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5331.

Any queries may be directed to Nicolas Witschi at
<>. For manuscript preparation guidelines, please
consult <>.

Deadline: July 31, 2005

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Sun Oct 24 2004 - 21:10:07 EDT