[UPDATE] CDE Conference 2016 – CFP: "Theater and Mobility"

full name / name of organization: 
The German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English

25th Annual CDE Conference, Eichstätt, 26-29 May 2016

The German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE) is pleased to announce its 25th Annual Conference (26-29 May 2016). It is organized by the Chair of American Studies, Faculty of Languages and Literatures, at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt/Germany, and will be held as a residential conference at the Collegium Willibaldinum in Eichstätt.


The 2016 CDE conference addresses the ongoing debate on issues of mobility in relation to contemporary drama and theater in English worldwide.

A multicultural and global world has triggered a widespread and increasing fascination with all aspects and processes related to mobility in the humanities and social sciences. Due to a traditional focus on theatre as a closed performance space, the "black box" (Balme 2014), a thorough and critical engagement with the topic is still in demand in theater studies. And yet, a wide and growing array of theatrical performances is intricately engaged with issues of mobility as they stage stories of transnational traveling and experiences of migrancy and diaspora. With a nod to the documentary mode, African-American dramatist Lynne Nottage investigates the plight of women in civil war-torn Congo, and thus travels to interview women who are themselves unable to move. Closer to home, contemporary theater is preoccupied with issues of social mobility, as playwright Lisa D'Amour's Pulitzer prize finalist Detroit tells the tale of two couples in uncertain financial times and in fear of the downward spiral. With a long history of mobile theatrical practices, the Living Theater still tours the globe, firmly believing in the power of theater-on-site as a way of coping with conflict and the history of armed struggles.
How are these mobilities produced in contemporary plays? What is the role of media and digital technology in the staging of mobility on the supposedly static place called the stage? What can be said about the aesthetics of speed and mobility on the contemporary stage? How can theater move out of the "black box," create and enrich public spheres and eventually contribute to a revitalized civic culture?

Increasing and intensified discussion of and research on mobility is essential to theater studies. The 2016 CDE conference aims to reflect on theoretical, methodological and artistic work in order to throw light on mobility in the context of contemporary theater and drama in English.

Confirmed Speakers:

Christopher Balme (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich)
David Savran (CUNY)
Tadashi Uchino (University of Tokyo)
Fiona Wilkie (University of Roehampton, London)

We invite papers in English of 20 minutes length, with possible topics including (but not being limited to):

• the intellectual, affective and corporeal dimensions of mobility in theatrical practice
• forms of mobility in theater and drama with regard to texts and performance, the audience, and the community
• transnational mobilities, migrant stories, positionings and contestations of the displaced, exile and diasporic experience
• uses of media and digital technology
• speed, modernity, and the aesthetics of mobility
• moving places, mobile bodies: mobility and place/situatedness
• theater, conflict, and politics; theater-on-site, "theater in the streets"
• touring companies; transnational theater networks
• gender-, race- and class-inflected mobilities; social mobility, ghettoization
• intersections of disability and mobility on the theater stage
• traveling ideas: theater "out of the box" and into the public sphere
• issues of translation; semiotic mobility

In accordance with CDE's constitutional policy, papers should deal exclusively with contemporary (i.e. post-1989) theatre and drama in English.

Abstracts: Abstracts (300 words) of suggested papers (20 minutes delivery max.) should include a short biographical note plus full address and institutional affiliation.
Deadline: 31 December 2015
Send to: Kerstin Schmidt (Kerstin.Schmidt@ku.de) and Nathalie Aghoro (nathalie.aghoro@ku.de)

N.B. Only paid-up members are eligible to give papers at CDE conferences. Membership subscriptions may be taken out or renewed during the conference. For details, please contact CDE's treasurer Monika Pietrzak-Franger (m.pietrzak-franger@tu-braunschweig.de).