CFP for Performance History Seminar, CATR 2016: “Community and the Making of Histories”



Performance History Seminar:

”Community and the Making of Histories"

Proposals are invited for a seminar exploring the challenges of performance history, as it relates to the ongoing research of participants. Like earlier seminars at CATR/ARCT, including last year’s Performance History Seminar, this session–convened by Stephen Johnson (University of Toronto), Heather Davis-Fisch (University of the Fraser Valley), and Roberta Barker (Dalhousie University)–will explore the relationship between the historian of performance and documentary evidence; but it will also encourage participants to raise more general questions concerning provenance, disciplinary and cross-disciplinary benefits and challenges, and other issues that have arisen while conducting research.

One focus this year will be the way our research engages with the idea of ‘community,’ broadly defined: the ways in which historians invent and re-invent cohesive audiences and audience responses to events in their efforts to make sense of the remaining documents; the efforts of performance practitioners to establish themselves in relation to their community, as outsiders, as harbingers of the future, as guardians of the past, or as something else entirely; the potentials—and challenges—of community-engaged or qualitative performance history research; or the ways in which historians themselves forge communities—disciplinary, sub-disciplinary, and cross-disciplinary; collaborative and antagonistic—as they go about the business of making history. Potential participants may examine the general call for proposals on the website for further ideas and are encouraged to think about the Congress theme–and the word ‘communities’–in considering their proposals. To be clear, however, we also welcome proposals that do not directly address this theme; it is meant only to provide direction for discussion.

Participants will submit ‘working papers’ by April 15, 2016, exploring a challenge they are facing in their ongoing research, along with documents if appropriate, all of which will be posted to a website in advance of the conference for viewing by participants and registrants. We will divide participants into groups for on-line discussion, assign respondents, and organize the conference session as a series of related research questions for discussion. Papers will not be read during the seminar, but will act as pretexts for conversation.

We encourage proposals from graduate students, scholars early in their careers, and seasoned veterans. The area of research is not restricted to a particular time or place. Explorations of the challenges inherent in discussing any area of drama, theatre and performance studies will be welcome.

Please send initial proposals of no more than 250 words, along with a brief biography, to Roberta Barker at barkerr. Copy in the body of the email, please.

Deadline for submission is 15 January 2016. We welcome questions in advance of submitting a proposal.

Very best wishes,

Dr. Roberta Barker
Associate Professor and Associate Director (Theatre)
Fountain School of Performing Arts
Dalhousie University
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Tel: (902) 494-1495
Fax: (902) 494-1499
E-mail: barkerr