Materiality and Invisibility in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies


The UW Madison Theatre and Drama Graduate Student
Organization Invites Submissions for our Spring 2018 Conference

April 13th & 14th, 2018

Materiality and Invisibility in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies

The stage is often thought of as a space of materialism–it is defined by the “stuff” that brings theatre and performance into being. But beyond the “stuff” that populates the world of drama and performance, there are the myriad invisible processes and spectres of the stage. If we expand our study of theatre and performance to include what is both visible and material as well as what is beyond the reach of our naked eye, we can more closely and thoughtfully examine the network of structures and objects that compose the theatrical world. This conference seeks to bridge the study of material culture with what is immaterial–what is invisible–both onstage and off.

Our Keynote speaker this year is Andrew Sofer, author of The Stage Life of Props and Dark Matter: Invisibility in Drama, Theatre, and Performance. He is a professor in the English Department at Boston College, and his research focuses on how objects that are used in textual and theatrical settings carry with them complex meanings and implications for performance. TDGSO invites a broad range of submissions that respond to any aspect of invisibility or materiality in theatre or performance writ largely; we are interested in any work that engages the material culture of performance as well as the invisible material that structures it. We welcome proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtable sessions, workshops and performances. All practitioners and scholars are encouraged to apply. Graduate students from all universities and departments are encouraged to submit their abstracts.

Please submit an abstract or plan for your presentation of 500 words or less by February 20th, 2018. Your submission should include the following information: title of proposal, presenter’s name, university and department affiliation, 75-word bio, technology and workshop requests, and email address. Applicants will be notified by February 25th, 2018 Proposals and questions may be directed to Please include the words “Conference Proposal” in the subject line of your email. We look forward to your submissions!