23rd Annual CDE Conference, Hamburg, Germany, 19 June - 22 June 2014
German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE) is
pleased to announce its 23rd Annual Conference (19-22 June 2014). It
will be organized by the Department of English and American Studies
(Prof. Ute Berns) at the University of Hamburg and held as a residential
conference at Elsa Brändström Haus in Hamburg.
THEATRE AND HISTORY: CULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS
conference addresses versions and visions of history in contemporary
drama and theatre in English across the world. Just as the "end of
history” proclaimed in 1989 has turned out to be a chimera, so the
historical has remained a powerful presence in the plays and
performances we have seen since then. Many plays challenge hegemonic
historiography from gendered, postcolonial, and ecological perspectives
that pluralize the past. And in re-conceiving the past and historicizing
the present in its cultural transformations and global entanglements,
these plays and performances bear witness to a significant "plurality of
temporalities” (Russell West-Pavlov 2013).
In recent decades,
history has featured in history plays, verbatim or memory plays, staged
biographies, and enactments ‘on location’. They may bear traces of the
activist deployments of history in the 1970s, or react to postmodernist
constructions of a ‘permanent present’ (Paul Virilio 1991). At the same
time the global unsustainability of dominant modes of production has
raised the awareness of the material embeddedness of
processes. Hence playwrights and theatre practitioners do not only stage
but also scrutinize and resist linear notions of history. They create
alternative temporalities, whether traumatic or mythical, religious or
ritualistic. And they address the material or environmental processes
within which these temporalities unfold.
How do the
‘here-and-now’ of the performance situation and the embodied material
process of theatrical performance figure in this? Can the aesthetics of
theatre challenge the notion of necessity, imposed on history in
retrospect and repressing all contingency? And how does theatre recover
history as a process harbouring multiple futures?
The 2014 CDE
conference aims to investigate the relations between theatre and
history, to analyse different temporalities in performance, and to
explore the historical visions thus emerging.
We invite papers in English of 20 minutes length. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
• aesthetic figurations of histories and temporalities
• histories of violence and war
• women and history
• modernity, postcoloniality and history
• history and environment
accordance with CDE’s constitutional policy, papers should deal
exclusively with contemporary (i.e. post-1989) theatre and drama in
ABSTRACTS: Abstracts (300 words) of suggested papers (20
minutes delivery max.) should include a short biographical note plus
full address and institutional affiliation.
DEADLINE: 15 December 2013
CONTACT: Ute Berns (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Von-Melle-Park 6, 20146 Hamburg.
Only paid-up members are eligible to give papers at CDE conferences.
Membership subscriptions may be taken out or renewed during the
conference. For details, please contact the treasurer:
We look forward to receiving your suggestions and welcoming you to Hamburg!
Call for Papers