CFP: Black Theatre at the Crossroads (5/31/06; ASTR, 11/16/06-11/19/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Robert Craig Baum
contact email: 

In Our Hands: Black Theatre at the Crossroads

Jean Young, Cornell University
Robert Craig Baum, European Graduate School

Hotel Allegro, Chicago November 16-19, 2006


 * * * The deadline for submission is May 31, 2006 midnight. * * *


The question is not whether or not Black Theatre is valid so much as
it is recognizing that it is in an invalid state and must recover its
protean expressive force to survive the next millennium.

                                                       --- Paul Carter Harrison


Participants will explore together contemporary Black theatre scholarship, stage history, social and educational institutions, and dramaturgy from within the creative, empowering (nommo) space of the crossroads. We seek to activate old conversations, revisit new problems, and envision future tenses as an opportunity to speak and hear again "the tale of how we were when we were how we will be when we will be" (Parks, Imperceptible Mutabilities).

Abstracts (250-300wds) should address any (combination) of the following frameworks:

* Black Theatre Aesthetics: Values and Practices

* New Interpretations of Classic Texts (e.g., Harrison's _The Drama of Nommo_, Hay's _African American Theatre_, Fabre's _Drumbeats, Masks, and Metaphor_, Hatch and Shine's _Black Theatre USA_, Wilkerson's _9 Plays by Black Women_, etc.)

* Stage-Audience-Community Relationships in Black Theatre

* Middle Passage and Cultural Mourning: Black Theatre/Performance in the African Diaspora (Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, Britain, etc.)

* Black Arts Movement Revisited

* Emerging Voices (e.g., Sharon Bridgforth in Austin, TX; Carl Hancock Rux in Bronx, NY; etc.)

* New Black Theatrical Formulations: Hip Hop Theatre, Spoken Word, Performance Poetry and Documentary Performance (e.g. _A Huey P. Newton Story_)

* Queer Update: The Politics of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender performance practice

* Black Theatre Historiography

* Ritual and Spirituality in Selected Plays, Performances, or Scholarship

* Cultural Retention (Oral History, Slave Legacies, Ritualized Spaces)

* Urban ("Chitlin Circuit") Theatre, TV, and Film (e.g., Disney project development)

* Black Theatre and Curriculum Development

* (Re)New(ed) Relationships: Black Theatre and Dance (e.g., Ralph Lemon's work)

* Isms and Ists: Black Theatre as Feminist and/or Womanist Critique, Expression of Postnationalist Anxiety, Revision of Multiculturalism, Challenge to Patriotism, Engagement with Evangelicalism -- Deconstructionist, Reconstructionist, Post-Neo-Do-Re-Mi-Mi-Mi-constructionist Art Form

Please email submissions as a MS-Word attachment to Robert Craig Baum ( and Jean Young ( Please include contact information and a brief, 125wd biography.

 * * * The deadline for submission is May 31, 2006 midnight. * * *

Selected participants will then prepare an essay-length manuscript and short, one paragraph summary of their seminar work. Both seminar leaders will facilitate electronic dialogues and maintain the "In Our Hands" website, setting an interactive tone for the Chicago gathering.

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Received on Mon May 08 2006 - 08:43:35 EDT