Theater and Memory

deadline for submissions: 
October 12, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Comparative Drama Conference
contact email: 

"Theater and Memory" Panel


Contact email :


Comparative Drama Conference

Orlando, FL, April 4-6, 2024

Deadline: October 12, 2023

This panel welcomes papers about "Theater and Memory" broadly construed. Actors struggle to remember their lines. Playwrights write against forgetting. Audience members selectively recall their favorite moments from performances. Memory is imperfect and flawed yet is also an essential part of the theater and the practices that surround it.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The role of memorization in theatrical rehearsal and performance.
  • The faltering of memory with age and challenges facing aging actors.
  • The themes of memory and forgetting in dramatic texts and staged performances.
  • The performance of memory and memorializing through public or private events of remembrance.
  • Theatrical venues and other locations as sites of memory.
  • Memory and nostalgia in texts and performances.
  • Misrememberings, dubious testimonies, and the risk of false memories in text and performance.
  • Remembering as resistance against forgetting, censorship, and the passage of time.
  • The spectator's memory and the recollection of what was seen on stage.
  • Collective memory and its relationship to individual memory.
  • The live event, recorded media, and memory.

Prospective participants should keep in mind that this panel will convene in person in Orlando. Although a remote option may be available for portions of CDC 2024, only speakers who attend in person will be considered for this panel.

Proposals are welcome from presenters at any stage of their careers. Authors from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to submit proposals.

If you are interested in presenting a paper in the "Theater and Memory" panel, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words [including name, paper title, institutional affiliation and rank (if applicable)] by October 12, 2023 to Ian Andrew MacDonald at Three papers of 15-minutes apiece will eventually be included in this pre-organized panel. If a sufficient number of strong proposals are submitted, it may be possible to add a second panel on this topic. Applicants will receive an update on the status of their submissions by mid-October.