CFP: Theatres of Global Suffrage (11/1/05; collection)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

Theatres of Global Suffrage: The Plays, Performance and Protest of
Women's Rights

We are seeking proposals for an edited collection on women suffrage

When, despite growing public support for the proposition to extend
votes to women in the early 20th Century, governments refused to
concede, polite requests for equality gave way to waves of provocative
and confrontational protests that employed theatre or performance
techniques to make political statements. This was accompanied by a
paradigm shift from private and conventionally feminine tactics such
as lobbying, letter-writing, and bending the ears of statesmen, to the
more forceful and public tactics of demonstration, public spectacle
and protest. It is no accident that some of the first spokeswomen for
women's rights were actresses since performing roles from Classical
Theatre gave them the embodied experience of speaking with force and
felicity to large audiences.

The performative aspect of women's suffrage as well as the theatrical
and cultural history of women's rights activism is only beginning to
receive comprehensive critical attention. This lapse is due in part
to the way that the singular figure of the shrill, desexualized,
prohibitionist and puritanical bluestocking, metonymically "stands in"
for what was actually an ethnically, socially and geographically
diverse group. This iconic view of the suffragette was created and
popularized by the main-steam media. It revealed more about the fears
that privileged social groups harbored of losing their exclusive
rights, than it did of the demographic of the women's movement. Yet
the popular icon of the suffragette, coupled with the assumption that
political art automatically equals propaganda, have prevented a more
in-depth analysis of the experimental and avant-garde theatrical
projects undertaken by the early women's rights movement.

Rather than organizing along national lines this collection adopts the
comparative and international approach of global feminism; looking for
points of connection or illumination, rather than a consensus about
historical events. This approach is key since the right to vote was
granted to women at different times in different geographical areas;
indeed in some countries has still not come about, or was granted in
such a way that women's actual ability to take part meaningfully and
fully in the election of a leader is severely limited. The collection
will be organized in three categories:

1. Articles about period Suffrage plays in any given country.
2. Articles that examine the theatrical and performative
dimension of suffrage protests (parades, marches, public speeches,
hunger strikes, staged actions).
3. Contemporary representations (plays, performances, films)
about Suffrage and women's rights.

Please email proposals (750 words) and a brief bio (50 words) to both
editors in the body of the text. Please do not send attachments.
Deadline Nov. 1st, 2005.

Dr. Natalie Meisner. Assistant Professor, Dept. of English,
University of Regina, Canada

Dr. Donia Mounsef. Assistant Professor of French and Theatre Studies,
Yale University,

--Donia MounsefAssistant ProfessorFrench & Theater StudiesYale University82-90 Wall St, rm. 420Tel.: (203) 432-4917 ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Fri Aug 12 2005 - 11:07:10 EDT