Call for Papers: PSFG/ATHE 2021 Emerging Scholars Panel Competition

The Performance Studies Focus Group (PSFG) of the Association of Theater in Higher Education (ATHE) conference invites submissions of papers for its Emerging Scholars Panel. The theme of this year’s conference is “RE: ATHE.” The conference is planned to take place in Austin, TX August 5-8, 2021, conditions permitting. Virtual participation is possible, and we encourage applicants to submit their papers, whether they can make it in person or need to present remotely

The PSFG Emerging Scholars Panel is an opportunity for researchers to present their work at a major international conference at the outset of their career. All graduate students and scholars who have not yet presented at ATHE are eligible to apply. Selected emerging scholars are paired with a mentor from the field of Performance Studies who will offer critical feedback on papers in preparation for the conference. Successful applicants receive a $100 stipend as well as complimentary registration to the ATHE PSFG pre-conference.

Located at the boundaries and intersections of scholarly and artistic practice, Performance Studies theorizes and analyzes embodied practices and events, and explores the ways in which performance creates meaning and shapes social life. This year’s PSFG will develop a conversation on the theme of “Re,” in regards to, a call for reckoning and self-reflection as a field and an association, especially in relation to structures of racism and settler colonialism. What needs to be rethought, rejected, reinvented in the wake of this reckoning? In light of this year’s theme, some questions we will consider include:

Reckon – What violences are enacted through paradigms like “professionalization” as they intersect with race, ability, gender, and class? How might performance-oriented methodologies, practices, research, and pedagogies resist, rethink and remake those paradigms?

Reparation – How are we and our affiliated institutions complicit in continuing generational wealth or opportunity gaps? How might we (artists, scholars, educators) facilitate reparations?

Revolt – How can performance methodologies help us attend to current repertoires of revolt and traditions of resistance, and witnessing / spectatorship thereto?

Reframe – What political purchase lies in the act of reframing? How might we, as educators

and public intellectuals, push back on mass media framings? What emerges when BIPOC praxes reframe performance history? How are Indigenous scholars and artists using performance to reframe sovereignty and unsettle settler colonialist epistemologies?

Recuperate–Recover–Repair – How can performance, specifically, address the need to balance recuperation and recovery with the urgency of redress and revolution? What acts of repair–material and affective, abstract or practical–can our methods and techniques enact?

Submissions to the PSFG Emerging Scholars panel may engage these questions generated by the conference theme or may address issues raised by Performance Studies more broadly. Papers across performance modes and historical periods are welcome. Topics may include:

Contested boundaries between performance, theater, and other art forms/disciplines
Performance as a modality of (historical) knowledge

Historiographical approaches to performance

Negotiating and building identity through performance

Situating performance in terms of race, gender, and sexuality

The role of performance in shifting configurations of power and resistance

Performative strategies of the avant-garde

Conflict, confrontation, and dissensus in the performance encounter

Intersections of performance and philosophy

Performance within postcolonial and neocolonial contexts

Performativity and theatricality

Embodiment and technological culture

Papers should be formatted using MLA or author-date Chicago style and adhere to a strict 2000-3000 word limit (including notes). The deadline for submission is Monday, March 1, 2021. Please send completed papers (in Microsoft Word format) without your name anywhere in the text, along with a current CV to PSFG Graduate Representative Clara Margaret Wilch at Results will be announced by April 1, 2021.

Winners will be responsible for registering to ATHE’s membership and conference on their own starting in May, and we will provide guidance in this process, as needed. Stipends will be given as reimbursement during the conference.

Jessi Piggott