ATHE 2022 Theatre History Focus Group Call for papers, panels, roundtables, workshops

deadline for submissions: 
November 8, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
ATHE Theatre History Focus Group
contact email: 

Theatre History Focus Group 2022 CFP
Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference
July 28-31, 2022; Detroit MI

ATHE’s Theatre History Focus Group (THFG) invites proposals for papers and panels dealing with the scholarship and pedagogy of theatre history for next year’s conference in Detroit, MI.

Submission Deadlines (later than normal this year):

Conference Theme:


This year’s theme, Rehearsing the Possible: Practicing Reparative Creativity, asks us to consider Detroit as we build on practices and ideas from ATHE 2021: questioning institutional oppression, reconsidering historical structures, and practicing sustained change. We continue our work to rehearse scholarship and inquiry into incomplete histories and pedagogical innovations. Augusto Boal reminds us that theatre affords possibilities of “combining memory and imagination--two indissociable psychic processes--to reinvent the past and to invent the future” (Boal 1997). 


THFG hosts both research sessions that focus on scholarly work in the field of theatre history broadly defined and also sessions having to do with teaching theatre history. The THFG invites proposals for panels, roundtables, performances, workshops, and other session events that engage with these ideas. 


Sessions might address:

  • UnfinishedHistories: how do we contextualize or communicate unfinished plays, productions, or communities in and around theatre? What connotations do rehearsals and unfinishedness carry?

  • ReparativeSpeculation: how does theatre make impossible futures possible (Afro-futurism, Indigenous futurism, Queer futurism, utopianism, virtual reality)? How does futurism redefine or reinvent the past?

  • Global Reassurations: moving beyond the postcolonial, how does the global majority author past/present/future in theatre? How does global scholarship or creative work destabilize white supremacy in theatre history practices, especially pedagogical practices? 

  • Local Positioning: how is Detroit theatricalized and staged historically or how is the history of Detroit mapped in theatre? How is it absent in American theatre? How do tourists/scholars/students contextualize the city? 

  • Restorative Rehearsals: how can classrooms or research spaces (libraries, archives) serve as rehearsal for abolishing oppressive practices? How do we restore historically marginalized theatre in these spaces?  


We also invite papers that do not directly reference the conference theme but that reflect the scholarly and pedagogical focus of the Theatre History Focus Group. THFG is committed to giving voice to a diversity of methodological approaches and geographical emphases, including submissions incorporating approaches that emphasize inter/trans-national and inter/trans-cultural exchanges in performance texts, process, or production. 


Individual Papers:

Only completed panels (with all presenters assembled) may be submitted to ATHE. However, we are happy to help make connections between people who have papers but not panels. Simply submit your abstract using the Google form:

by November 8. We will group related papers together and put you in touch. We will also walk you through how to put together and submit a panel proposal to ATHE by the December 1 deadline. 

Multidisciplinary Sessions:

If your session addresses theatre history but is also appropriate for another Focus Group, you may select THFG as one of your 2 Focus Groups for an MD panel. Please contact the conference planners for each of the targeted Focus Groups before submitting the panel. MD proposals are ranked by each of their designated Focus Groups.

Communication Within the FG

To find panelists or just connect with other members of the focus group, try the THFG Google Group (email to be added) and/or Facebook page (

Also, check in on our website:


Questions? Contact THFG Conference Planner Vicky Lantz at 

More information about ATHE’s plans for the conference: