Persistence in American Drama

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
American Theatre and Drama Society & Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Due Date Extended: This panel will consider how American plays, live performances, masters, or movements in American drama and theatre from any period offer strategies for persistence in an age of mechanical reproduction. How do American plays model, operationalize, and/or resist persistence? Why and how do some theatrical voices persist in the national discourse amid marginalization? For example, papers may wish to consider persistence in American drama within Benjaminian, or other, theoretical context(s) regarding the work of art in an age of mechanical reproduction or live performance’s “aura” in a digital age. Research here may also be mindful of how specific American plays, masters, or movements help us to ask persistent questions; such as lines of inquiry that historicize dramatic form(s) and the power relations they encode. This panel will respond to questions at issue for the American Theatre and Drama Society’s discourse community as well as the Modern Language Association’s 2021 Presidential theme: “Judith Butler, the 2020–21 president of the MLA, has chosen Persistence as the presidential theme for the 2021 MLA Annual Conven­tion in Toronto.” Dr. Butler asserts: “As a collective potential, persistence is not primarily individual heroism. It is a force, figure, and concept bound up with endurance, survival, defiance, resistance, creating, and flourishing.” More information about the MLA can be found here: The 2021 Convention will take place 7-10 January in Toronto (The 2022 convention will take place 6-9 January, in Washington D.C.) Please send vita and 250 word abstract by March 15th to Nicole Tabor at  Authors of accepted abstracts must join or renew membership to both ATDS and MLA by April 5, 2020. The ATDS statement of purpose: “The American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS) is an incorporated organization dedicated to the study of theatre and drama in and of the Americas, its varied histories, traditions, literatures, and performances within its cultural contexts. ATDS also encourages the evolving debate exploring national identities and experiences through research, pedagogy, and practice. ATDS recognizes that notions of America and the US encompass migrations of peoples and cultures that overlap and influence one another. To this end, ATDS welcomes scholars, teachers, and practitioners world-wide.” For more information and to join or renew ATDS membership:

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