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Working Sessions - 2019 Annual Conference
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ASTR/TLA 2019 Annual Conference, November 7-10

2019 Working Sessions

Arab Publics/ Public Arabs: Theatre at Home and in the Diaspora

Conveners: George Potter, Valparaiso University
Hala Baki, University of California, Santa Barbara
Misha Hadar, University of Minnesota

Now in its third year, this working session gathers national scholars of Arab and Arab diaspora theatre and performance at different career levels. It addresses current issues of the representation and cultural production of Arabs around the world, as well as the relationship between Arab theatre, Arab publics, and the publicly contested construction of Arabness. By convening native and non-native experts, as well as scholars who wish to develop their expertise, the session hopes to create a community that holds itself accountable for the fair representation of precarious subjects in performance and theatre scholarship.

Mirsajadi Ali-Reza, University of Pittsburgh
Subversion and the Cyberpublic: Queer Performance and Communion in MENA Instagram

Hala Baki, University of California, Santa Barbara
Arab American Theater: Between Discourses and Institutions

Jeffry Casey, Norwich University
Displacing the Audience: Reimagining Refuge in The Jungle and As Far as My Fingertips Will Take Me

Gary English, University of Connecticut
Antigone’s Notebook: Mythic Archetypes, Palestinian Theatre and Public Life

Jesus Leyva, University of Minnesota
Ballet in the Maghreb: Towards a National Algerian Form

Gerald Pitchford, University of Montevallo
The Milk Statement: Syrian Artists’ Role in the 2011 Protests and in Transforming Western Theatrical Practice

George Potter, Valparaiso University
Fifty Shades of Switching: BDSM Fluidity and Performing Past the Orientalism Binary

Samer Al-Saber, Stanford University
Staging Refugee Rights and Realities: Immersive Suffering in Good Chance Theatre’s The Jungle

James Al-Shamma, Belmont University, and Amir Al-Azraki, University of Waterloo
An American Soldier through Iraqi Eyes: Abdul Razaq Al-Rubai’s A Strange Bird on Our Roof

Megan Stahl, Boston College
Crossing Borders, Pushing Boundaries: The Interactive Performances of Leila Buck

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Artists as Producers: Politics, Aesthetics, Institutions in the 21st Century

Conveners: Minou Arjomand, University of Texas at Austin
Jason Fitzgerald, University of Pittsburgh

In the second decade of the 21st century, is it still worthwhile to argue that art can be an agent of utopian, anti-capitalist transformation? Whom is art really for, and whom does it serve? We turn to two new books about politics and the art world, Hito Steyerl’s Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War (2017) and Yates McKee’s Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition (2016), to provide a shared lens for this inquiry. Bridging the worlds of theatre and art, we will discuss how recent achievements and institutional realities in the theatre, broadly conceived, demand a reconsideration of Steyerl’s and McKee’s arguments. Conversely, we will consider how these authors’ claims force us to re-evaluate the state of contemporary performance and activism. Finally, we will ask how reconceiving theater publics as art publics shifts how we think about the politics of both.

Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, University of Texas at Austin
Artists as the Producers of Infrastructure

David Bruin, Yale School of Drama
Off the Clock: The Time Signatures of M. Lamar's Lordship and Bondage

Andrés Fabián Henao Castro, University of Massachusetts, Boston
The Intersectional Militant or The Social Reproducer as Artist

Miriam Felton-Dansky, Bard College
Anonymity, Redaction, and the Audience as Producer

Laura Dougherty, Hamline University
Public Landscape and Civic Performance

Bertie Ferdman, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
Performance Containers

Jacob Gallagher-Ross, University of the Toronto
Infrastructures of Experiment

Ryan Anthony Hatch, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
The New Autonomy

Annie Holt, University of Central Oklahoma
The Art of Self-Producing?

Vicki Hoskins, University of Pittsburgh
Playbill's Pride: Commodifying Queerness for Broadway’s Publics

Kristin Leahey, Boston University
Four of the Many Signs of Change in the U.S. Nonprofit Theatre

Mary McAvoy, Arizona State University
Confronting the Work: Youth Performance, Amateurism, and Political Resistance

Sarah Saddler, American University of Beirut
Performing Corporate Bodies: Artistic Publics in Global Capitalism

Andrew Starner, University of Pennsylvania
Playing Artist: Theatre and the Contemporary Museum-Going Experience

Sarah J. Townsend, Pennsylvania State University
Artists as Producers on (and of) an Uneven Stage

Elliott Turley, Florida State University
Theatre’s Aesthetic Entanglements

Anna White-Nockleby, Harvard University
Acting from Home: Domestic Theater in Contemporary Argentina

Alisa Zhulina, New York University
Rock the Boat: Specters of Marx at the Venice Biennale

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Casting as Public Practice: Representation, Identity, and Agency

Conveners: Justine Nakase, Independent Scholar
Lawrence Smith, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Casting is simultaneously an artistic and economic practice, speaking to matters of “representation” on many levels. An actor is asked to represent a character through moments of mimesis, but may also be identified as a member of a group in ways that speak to type or stereotype, social constructs such as raced or gendered identities, or appear as a representative in a political sense. How are these multi-layered aspects of representation navigated in the moment of performance, both by the performer and the production? How does the performer’s body speak to or against the fictional framework of the performance, and to what degree can or should we (as actors, directors, dramaturgs, or theatre scholars) curate or direct audience perception? This working group proposes both a theoretical and practical exploration of how approaches to casting can shift, challenge, inform, or provoke theatre’s many publics in their attitudes or understandings towards underrepresented bodies.

Megan Ammirati, University of California, Davis
Silk Rags: Casting Class in the People’s Republic of China

Rhonda Blair, Southern Methodist University
“Serf,” “slave,” “ownership,” and bodies in context: Meaning and embodied cognition

Deepsikha Chatterjee, The Graduate Center, CUNY and Hunter College
Season Selection in a Minority Serving Institution: Challenges Faced and Lessons Learned

Amy Cook, Stony Brook University
Visible bodies on the Political Stage

Marianne DiQuattro, Faith Artis, and Meredith Egan, Rollins College
Create With Me: A Spectrum of Inclusive Theatre Education Models

Nic Hamel, University of Texas at Austin
At the Frontiers of Inclusion: Employing Theatre-Makers with Intellectual Disabilities

Hyewon Kim, Duke University
Casting Practices in South Korean Theatre

Li-Min Lin, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
From Hula Girls to Crazy Rich Asians: Ethnicity Reconstructed Again?

Lindsey Mantoan, Linfield College
Reimagining Early American History: The Casting Practices of Hamilton and OSF’s Oklahoma!

Carol Martin, New York University
How We Become Who We Are: Casting Children and Nonprofessional Actors in the Work of Milo Rau

Ryan McKinney, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Casting Considerations In/Out of Urban Community Colleges

Jessica Pearson, Tufts University
“A Typical New Yorker”: Sono Osato and Wartime Japanese-American Identity in On the Town

Marlis Schweitzer, York University
Retuning to rochdale: David Yee and Nina Lee Aquino’s “Bespoke” Approach to Casting and Creating New Work with University Actors

Katherine Schaap Williams, University of Toronto
Shakespeare, Disability, and Casting Practices

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Disidentifying Borders: Coalitional Futurity and Migration (Muñoz)

Conveners: Hilary Cooperman, Rollins College,
Dominika Laster, University of New Mexico

Special format for 2019! See program for details.

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East Asia in/and the Public

Conveners: So-Rim Lee, University of Pennsylvania
Tara Rodman, University of California, Irvine
Ji Hyon (Kayla) Yuh, CUNY Baruch College/Montclair State University

This working group investigates ways in which experiences of modernity in East Asia have shaped the spaces and practices of the Public — not necessarily in contradistinction to “the West,” but as nuanced, imbricated histories. While we are often drawn to instances of minoritarian world-making, this year’s conference location outside of Washington D.C. also suggests performances of diplomacy, statecraft, war-making, and memorialization. Further, just as publics are created in the presence of physical bodies, we might also think of disembodied or imagined publics, such as online K-Pop fandom communities, or Japan’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine for “its” war dead. Contemplating the public as performance critically engages with the question, in turn, of what is private in East Asia. In bath houses, the use of book covers, partitioned domestic spaces, and hidden dance halls, we see how both formal and quotidian performances invoke the private, even as publics are simultaneously called into being.

Yizhou Huang, Tufts University
The Many Publics of English-Language Performances in Interwar Shanghai

Reginald Jackson, University of Michigan
Precarious Maritime Publics: White Supremacy and Minstrel Diplomacy in 19th-century Japan

Hayana Kim, Northwestern University
Embodying Democracies in South Korea: Spectacular Formations of Publics in the Gwangju Uprising

So-Rim Lee, University of Pennsylvania
Sex, “Braingasm,” and Digital Intimacy: Korean ASMRtists Perform on YouTube’s Virtual Public

Weiyu Li, University of Washington
China is a New Heaven: W.E.B. Du Bois’ Visits in China

Peter Spearman, Tufts University
“Nothing Can Be Unwound”: Affect, Horror, and Memory in Detention

Emily Wilcox, University of Michigan
Cold War Counter-Publics and the Ghosts of Pan-Asianism: the Japanese Matsuyama Ballet’s 1958 White-Haired Girl Tour in China

Wei-Chi Wu, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology
Performance of Practices: International Folk Dancers and Their Embodiment in Taiwan’s Public Space

Soo Ryon Yoon, Lingnan University
African Diasporic Rhythms and the Middle Class “Public” in Korea, 1920s–1940s

Ji Hyon (Kayla) Yuh, CUNY Baruch College/Montclair State University
Making a Public Spectacle of Faith: Musical Theatre in Korea since the 1980s

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Ecology & Performance

Conveners: Ashley Chang, Yale School of Drama
Katie Schaag, Georgia Tech
Kelli Shermeyer, University of Virginia
Clara Wilch, University of California Los Angeles

Climate change and the Anthropocene/Capitalocene/Plantationocene/Chthulucene disrupt the very idea of publics, expanding the domain of the public beyond the category of the human, while also demanding urgent revisions to social and political theories of justice, law, and agency. This year’s Ecology & Performance session attempts to bridge these strands of critical theory by inviting participants to consider the many valences of ecological publics — from policy to activism, performance to pedagogy, vibrant materialities to nonhuman assemblages. Activating collective interventions in lieu of individual scholarship, participants will work together on theoretical and practice-based provocations. Our working group is a space to form collective political and artistic imaginaries through collaborative knowledge generation, resource sharing, and strategic acts of creativity. Materializing the conference theme, we’ll create temporary micro-models of the kinds of publics that are needed to address the pressing concerns of climate change.

Vivian Appler, College of Charleston
Higher Ground: Performing Public Policy in (Sub)Urban U.S. Wetlands

Lydia Borowicz, University of California, Santa Barbara
We’re In This Together: Performative Kinship in the Anthropocene

Shelby Brewster, University of Pittsburgh
Critiquing the Anthropocene Paradigm

Elin Diamond, Rutgers University
Fornes, Recycling, and Dewey’s Common World

Sarah Fahmy, University of Colorado, Boulder
Activating Disidentified Voices: Towards Women Leading Sustainability in Neocolonial Communities

Philip Wesley Gates, Independent Artist/Scholar
Squirming Bodies: Choreographing Ecological Publics

Jisun Kim, Yale School of Drama
Representing Ecology

Mika Lillit Lior, University of California, Los Angeles
Performing Ecologies: Towards a Site-Specific, Eco-logistical Practice

Carlos Ortiz, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Defining a Non-anthropocentric Theatre: The Methods and Reconceptualizations of Manuela Infante

Malin Palani, Carleton College
Listening Toward Death, Walking To Ward Off Extinction

Abby Schroering, Columbia University
Cultivating the Nation: Performing Ecologies at the United States Botanic Garden

Angenette Spalink, Texas A&M University
Ecological Publics and Performance: A Practice-based Resource

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Gender, Sexuality, and Performance in Latin America and the Caribbean: From Marxist Masculinity to #MeToo and #NiUnaMenos

Conveners: Katherine Zien, McGill University, katherine.zien[at]
Brenda Werth, American University, werth[at]

Across the Americas, we are seeing a rise in uses of performance in the public sphere to mobilize action and raise consciousness of gender and sexuality justice. These performances of gender and sexual rights both beckon to past social choreographies and beg new interpretations of what it means to stage activism now. Embedded in international networks and buttressed by technologies of communication and transfer, movements such as No Más, #MeToo and #NiUnaMenos have emerged in tandem with changing human rights discourse, legislation and media ethics. This working group examines the role of performance in gender and sexual rights struggles in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on the deep, intersectional histories and practices that have given rise to current movements. Participants’ papers address the historicity of gender and sexual justice movements, as well as their rootedness in theatre and performance practices.

Candice Amich, Vanderbilt University
Femicide in Cuba: A Crime Without a Name

Anne García-Romero, University of Notre Dame
Trauma, Gender and the Body in Contemporary South American Playwriting

C. Tova Markenson, Northwestern University
Performing First-wave Feminism: Yiddish Theatre and Feminine Morality in Río de la Plata (1900–1930)

Leticia Robles-Moreno, Muhlenberg College
Collectives-in-difference: Performing Transnational Feminist Resistance in the Americas

Karina Gutiérrez, Stanford University
Confetti, Punk, and Spatial Disruptions: Social Protest Through a Feminist Lens

Paola Hernández, University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Power of Performance: The Theatrics of Street and Social Platform Demonstrations in Argentina

Ana Puga, The Ohio State University
Central American Migrant Women and Caravans in Performative Protests of Violence

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Impacting Audiences: Methods for Studying Change

Conveners: Matt Omasta, Utah State University
Dani Snyder-Young, Northeastern University

Many activist, applied, and educational performance projects are created with the goal of shifting the perspectives of participants and/or audience members on a particular issue, and of late there has been much interest in understanding what embodied impacts performance events are having on their audiences.

This session examines methodologies for studying potential impact(s) of performances on audiences, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, arts-based, participatory, and historical approaches. Papers discuss studies exploring various aspects of the relationship(s) and / or interaction(s) between theatrical performances and audiences (historical and contemporary), with an emphasis on how methodological considerations influenced their studies.

Specifically, scholars discuss how the methods and methodologies they employed (including the theoretical and practical assumptions inherent to those methodologies) guided their inquiries, including how methodological assumptions and practices helped shape their studies' research questions; influenced data collection and analysis; and informed scholars' conclusions and warranted assertions.

Scott Mealey, University of Toronto
(Ac)counting for Change: Artist-Friendly, Quantitative Approaches for Recognizing and Contextualizing Shifts in Spectatorial Thinking

Stephani Etheridge Woodson, Arizona State University
Change, Public-Making, and Assessment Frameworks in Art and Design Community Cultural Development

Liz Laurie, Northwestern University
The Challenges of Researching Cosplay at Fan Conventions

Chris Corbo, Rutgers University
Drafting Harlem, Revising Melodrama: Archival Insights into Audience Expectation

Matthew Franks, University of Warwick
Ephemera and Audiences at the Royal Court Theatre

Kelsey Jacobson, Queen’s University
Hashtags, Virtual Networks, and the Social Media Spectator: Towards Digital Theatre Audience Ethnographies

Angela Duggins, Southern Illinois University
Intuitionism as a Tool for Applied Theatre Research

George Belliveau, The University of British Columbia
Key Questions in Evaluating Audience Impact: A Mixed Method Approach in Research-Based Theatre

Claire Syler, University of Missouri
Prioritizing Black Experience, or the Inevitability of Educating White Audiences

Eric Brinkman, The Ohio State University
“Should be required reading”: Understanding Audience Response Through Customer Reviews

Signy Lynch, York University
The Gaze Turned Inward: A Reflexive Approach to Performance Research through Cliff Cardinal’s Huff

Holly Maples, Brunel University London
The “Spect-Researcher”: Audiences, Sensorial Spectatorship, and the “Performance Laboratory”

Steven Greenwood, McGill University
“We're All in This Together”: Cultivating and Engaging with Participatory and Vocal Audiences

Lisa Aikman, University of Toronto and Jennifer Roberts-Smith, University of Waterloo
What are you thinking/saying/doing differently, now? And now? And now? An iterative, relational method for assessing audience impact

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Indigenous Research in the Americas: “You Shall Not Pass!” - Activating the Uncommon, the Irreconcilable, and the Indigenous in the Public Commons

Conveners: Jill Carter, University of Toronto
Jenn Cole, Trent University
Adron Farris, Independent Scholar

With its manicured green spaces and grandiose monoliths, monuments, and museums, Washington, D.C. performs itself as a mute celebrant of colonial violence—of bloody acts and treaties violated. Inspired by the land-defenders and change-agents whose bodies shield the bodies of myriad kin from the rapine exercise of settler-appetites, and responding to Metis Curator David Garneau’s 2016 call for the activation of “irreconcilable spaces of [Indigeneity]” Indigenous Research in the Americas embarks upon a collaborative exploration and curation of discrete, “irreconcilable” spaces in which our members severally activate refusal, acknowledgement, redress, and/or condolence. What is the work that we must do for ourselves (apart)? What is the work that calls us together? What is the work of remembering and restor(y)ing treaty relationships?

Melinda Buckwalter, Texas Woman’s University
Welcome to the Territory of the Piscataway: [Re-]resignifying U.S. National Monuments

Jill Carter, University of Toronto
At the Edge of Encounter

Alesha Claveria, University of California, Santa Barbara
History, Sacrality, and Intervention in Native North American Theater

Jenn Cole, Trent University
Patawomeck River: My/Our Relations, My/Our River Stories

Adron Farris, Independent Scholar
On These Lands that Have Borne Witness

Natalie Rewa, Queen’s University
Transnational Scenographic Dramaturgies: Morphing Dialogues Between Nations

Kimberly Richards, University of California, Berkeley
Standing with Standing Rock: Solidarity and the Politics of Plural Performative Action

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In Memoriam: Public Spaces of Performance, Remembrance, Trauma, and Mourning

Conveners: D.J. Hopkins, San Diego State University
Shelley Orr, San Diego State University
Alison Urban, University of California–San Diego

This session invites researchers to consider memorials, museums, theatrical performances, and other sites and practices that structure public spaces for remembrance, political action, and education. Using the nation’s capital as a shared site of inquiry, participants will visit sites in DC (in advance of the session) and explore the relationship between performance and public space — including urban, architectural, cultural, and theatrical spaces among many built, natural, and social spaces — as seen through the lenses of trauma, mourning, and memory. This session will feature discussions of participants’ papers as well as a debrief of the site visits. Participants will review their (shared) experiences of / at these sites of memorialization and public mourning, creating a shared / collective experience through which we will seek to develop new research on this topic.

Meredith Conti, The University at Buffalo, SUNY
Where He Fell: Macabre Tourism and the Immortal Death of Abraham Lincoln at Washington D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre

Adam Versenyi, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill/PlayMakers Repertory Company
Performing Sites of Memory

Alexis Riley, University of Texas at Austin
Sites of Mad Memory: Oregon State Hospital’s Mental Health Memorial

Andrew Bentley, Indiana University
From the Archive to the Repertoire: Urban Spatial Performance in Postwar Guatemala

Susan Bennett, University of Calgary
The Commodification of Memory

Rebecca Rovit, University of Kansas
Memorializing Mauthausen: Public Performance in Violated Spaces

Aviva Neff, The Ohio State University
Thanatorism and the Performative Memorial

Scott Magelssen, University of Washington
Performance, Flight, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Hana Worthen, Barnard College and Columbia University
Public Intimacies: The First National Veterans Theatre Festival

Theresa Smalec, Bronx Community College, CUNY
Transmitting the Holocaust to New Audiences: “Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.”

LaRonika Thomas, University of Maryland, College Park
Water in the Desert: Performances of Labor, Landscape, and Memory in Las Vegas

Kim Solga, University of Western Ontario
The Global City and the global city: Learning from Post-Industrial Places

Inga Meier, Stephen F. Austin University
Telling Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Trauma, Narrative Structure, and the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum

Nancy Cho, Carleton College
Hotel as Unlikely Memorial: Performing Public Memory in Karen Tei Yamashita's I Hotel

Ahmed Asi, University of California, Santa Barbara
Remaining in Play: Memorializing the Actor-Avatar in Digital Game-Space

Alison Urban, University of California, San Diego
Ethnodrama as Prosthetic Memory: [Re]membering 9/12 through Come from Away

Shelley Orr and D.J. Hopkins, San Diego State University
Revisiting Lower Manhattan: Memory / Memorial / Performance

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Latinx Publics

Conveners: Jon D. Rossini, University of California, Davis
Patricia Ybarra, Brown University,

As current U.S. public discourse around Latinx bodies continues to invoke threat, limits, celebration, and appropriation we must find different ways of thinking about the historical intimacies of Latinx performance (onstage, in the street, in everyday life) and consider the geographies and geometries of Latinx publics. We examine and reimagine the intersections of performances and publics (in regional theater, commercial tours, experimental interventions, and in the streets) in a world shadowed by the continued failed response to Hurricane Maria, family separation, anxiety over migrant caravans, and increasing recognition of shifting class, national origin, linguistic and regional demographics of Latinx populations. We ask: how can we understand Latinx performance and reception in the present, and how might alternative conceptions of Latinx publics be excavated from our pasts? While there is an urgency to this question, we will also remember the long history of colonialism, conquest, migration, assimilation, transculturation, and resistance.

Patrice Amon, California State University, San Marcos and San Diego Repertory Theatre
Innocence and Guilt in Latinx Publics

Dennis Sloan, Bowling Green State University
“A Goal Without Borders”: The Many Publics of San Diego's Teatro Meta, 1980–1992

Javier Hurtado, Tufts University
La Pastorela: Teaching Kinship, Desire, and Gender through Catholic Pageantry

Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez, University of California, Los Angeles
Reprovals of Bodies in Motion: Body Art in Steel and Flesh

Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn, Yale University
The Distance of Love: Borders and Healing in Quiara Hudes’ Miss You Like Hell

Elena Machado Sáez, Bucknell University
Debt of Gratitude: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Politics of U.S. Latinx Twitter

Eric Mayer-Garcia, Indiana University
Riffing off Broadway: Musical INTAR

Megan Bailon, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Teatro Pregones in Minnesota: Recognizing Post-Maria Latinx Publics, Expanding Latinx Communities

Marcos Steuernagel, University of Colorado, Boulder
The Rise and Fall of Project Brazil

Paloma Martinez Cruz, The Ohio State University
On Culinary Brownface and the Colonial Logic of the Speedy Gonzalez Combo Plate

Gwyneth Shanks, Colby College
“Our Bodies Are Archives”: Embodying Latinx Social Worlds and Queer Desires in All That Can Happen by Guadalupe Rosales and Mariana Valencia

Lilianne Lugo Herrera, University of Miami
La Medea: Bending the Limits of the Theatrical and its Publics

Daphnie Sicre, Loyola Marymount University
Afro-Latinx Identity as Public Performance

Colleen Rua, University of Florida
The Capeman, In the Heights and Latinx Publics

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A Matter of Public Taste(s): Food, Performance, and Commensality

Conveners: Joshua Abrams, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Kristin Hunt, Arizona State University

This working group interrogates the role food plays in constructing, nourishing, and contesting notions of the public. From food as a site of creolization, tracing narratives of contact, colonialism, and interaction in both domestic and public spaces, to initiatives like José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen, which has fed publics across states of emergency, food collides bodily and political realities and imaginaries as well as serving as a means of staging and preserving public identities. Pursuing our research within the context of the kitchen, itself a site in which public and private spheres often intersect, participants will develop a pre-conference off-site food performance engaging relationships between labor, food, the human body, and the collective publics invoked in events of cooking and eating. The in-conference session will allow participants to share their work and discoveries made in performance within a broader discussion about the intersections of food, performance, and public spaces.

Joshua Abrams, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
Urban Terroirs: Cooking and Dining as Performative Intervention

Kiera Bono, The Graduate Center, CUNY
“On Thee I Feed”: Eucharistic Ritual as White Assimilationist Performance

Romain Leo Burtin, University of Leeds School of Performance and Cultural Industries
With Bread: Re-Framing Migrant-Local Relationships through Commensal Performance

Thalia Hoffman, Haifa University and Leiden University
Eating\\Feeding the other, a journey through “Interior Parts”

Kelley Holley, University of Maryland, College Park
Dramaturgies of Food: Staging Alternative Places and Times in Site-Specific Performance

Kristin Hunt, Arizona State University
Gut Knowledges: Culinary Mimesis, Truth, and Justice in the 21st Century

David Mancini, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sugar, Flour, Butter: Baking a Better Society one Confection at a Time

Erin Mee, New York University
Eating Rasa

Edward Whittall, Independent Scholar
Eating in Ruins: Le Pavillon at The Hearn Power Station

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Monsters in the Public Sphere

Conveners: Michael M. Chemers, University of California, Santa Cruz
Analola Santana, Dartmouth College

This working session invites scholars to investigate theatrical representations of the “monstrous body” through processes of social disqualification. We define “monstrosity” broadly, to describe the cultural processes by which certain bodies are configured to be threateningly deviant, whether by race, gender, sexuality, nationality, immigration status, or physical or psychological extraordinariness, and so we include “freak shows” and other exhibitions of human anomaly. We investigate cultural products that force the audience to take notice of their own complicated relationship with configurations of self and other. Following Roach and strong trends in Disability Studies, we investigate the monster as a performative surrogate which permits the public playing out of social anxieties. For this reason, and perhaps now more than ever, bodies configured as deviant (on stage and off) have to negotiate an existence in a particularly hostile public sphere.

Rustem Altinay, Sabanci University
Summoning Monsters for a Utopian Audience: Rıza Nur and the Dissident Politics of Turkish Opera

Sarah Campbell, Arkansas State University
The Monster in the Jungle: The Xtáabay as Monstrous Woman

Zach Dailey, Texas Tech University
Of Biblical Proportions: The Monstrosity of Identity Politics in Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale

Zachary Dorsey, James Madison University
Making Little Monsters: Drag Storytime Performances in Public Places

Anita Gonzalez, University of Michigan
Monsters of Africa and the Loss of Identity

Jeff Kaplan, Manhattanville College
Sea Monsters: Refugees and the Liminal Space of International Maritime Law

Claire Mason, University of Wisconsin
“A Girl Remembers”: Emancipated Spectatorship and the Power of Agency in Dystopian Young Adult Narratives

Alex Miller, University of Maryland, College Park
By the Pricking of My Thumbdrive: Digital Embodiment, Performance, and the Rise of the Techno-Witch

Carlos Salazar, University of Washington
PAYASOS, CABEZUDOS & CIMARRONAS: race, otherness and monstrosity in masquerade tradition

Aoise Stratford, Cornell University
Married to the Monster: The Construction and Reception of the Gothic Other on Stage

John Warrick, North Central College
Materiality and Monstrosity in Early Modern England: Christofel van Sichem’s Dragon Engraving and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

Samuel Yates, George Washington University
The New Triple-threat: Disability, Biopolitics, and Hypercapacity

Shadow Zimmerman, University of Washington
Mussolini as Monster: Objects of Anti-Fascist Performance

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“Not a Pollyanna View”: Performance, Tourism, and Publics

Conveners: Jennifer A. Kokai, Weber State University
Tom Robson, Millikin University

Performance—be it traditional drama or the immersive theatre of tourist sites—engages with multiple publics. The goal of creating appealing immersive or touristic performances with a “common” understanding of history, can actually serve more to identify fractures, divisions, and the legacies of white supremacy that undergird tourism. While the term “immersive theatre” belongs to the 21st Century, the practice of immersive theatre has been going on in significant ways for decades. After all, what is a theme park but “an alternative medium where all the senses are engaged and manipulated?” (Josephine Machon, 21-22). This Working Group continues the conversation on tourism and immersive theatre that began with the 2017 conference. Participants explore the imagined audiences for tourist performances, the role of the tourist as actor, and the ways that the changing reception of tourist attractions allow us to chart shifting notions of engaged publics.

Sara Brooke Christian, Louisiana State University
From Fear to Festival: When Monsters Become Mascots

Meg Cunningham, University of Surrey, UK
Scenographic Storyworlds: World-Building and Place-Making

Tara Demmy, University of Maryland, College Park
There’s a Black Woman in Betsy’s Basement: Historical Reenactment as Creative Dissent in The Betsy Ross House

Chloe Edmonson, University of Central Florida
“A Lost and Wretched Sorority”: Nineteenth-Century Waiter-Girls and the Immersivity of New York’s Concert Saloons

Laura Jeanne Ferdinand, Northwestern University
Etched in the Flesh: Exploring the Repertoire of Confederate Monuments

Macy Jones, University of Arkansas, Fort Smith
Hell on The Border: The Public Participant in Fort Smith’s Immersive Old West Pastiche

Jennifer A. Kokai, Weber State University
When Immersion is a Splash Zone: The Scenography of Whale Display Tourism in the United States

Christen Mandracchia, University of Maryland, College Park
“The Triumph of Isabella”: An Immersive Experience of Renaissance Mass-Spectacle

Eleanor Owicki, Indiana University
A Visitor’s Guide to the Troubles: Tourism and the Construction of Narrative in West Belfast

Tom Robson, Millikin University
Unwanted Authorship: When Disney Tourists Seize the Stage

Jacob Rorem, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
“Not a Pioneer View”: Playing Pioneer in Native Space at the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Daniel Smith, Michigan State University
Libertine Tourist Attractions: Rococo Sexuality and Immersive Exhibitions in Twenty-First Century Paris

Weston Twardowski, Northwestern University
Peering into the Past: New Orleans’ Flooded House Museum and Re/Living History

Margaret Werry, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Staging Culture in the Media Age

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Other Publics/Counter Publics

Conveners: Vivek V. Narayan, Independent Scholar

Sharvari Sastry, University of Chicago

Ryan Hartigan, Cornish College of the Arts

Joshua Williams, New York University

Rishika Mehrishi, Stanford University


Colonialism frames the conditions of modernity in the Global South. As a form of governance and an apparatus of dispossession, colonialism compelled a new reckoning among colonized peoples about what constitutes a “public.” Under colonial regimes across the Global South, theatre emerged as a critical site for the articulation of new forms of collectivity, resistance, and community. In contemporary postcolonial times, media-powered popular uprisings like the Arab Spring demonstrate how media and technology rearticulate questions of publics and counterpublics. What theatres does (post)coloniality operate in now, and what are its publics? How can performance—as theory, method, and analytic—help us in thinking about the many publics of, and within, the Global South? What points of divergence, connection, and incommensurability with the Global North, and within the Global South, can such an investigation reveal? Ultimately, what can such a performance-centric view of publics from the Global South contribute to the theory and practice of popular politics around the world?


Brian Valente-Quinn, University of Colorado, Boulder
Of Sufi Stories on Francophone Stage Spaces: The Search for New Senegalese Publics

Matthew Bent, Northwestern University
The Shiraz Arts Festival, Public Debates, and the Transnational Foundations of Performance Theory

Vivek Narayan, Independent Scholar
Performative Egalitarianisms and a Genealogy of the Human in Mid-nineteenth Century Travancore, South India

Rishika Meherishi, Stanford University
Sepoys “in motion” and Greased Cartridges: Human-nonhuman Counterpublic of 1857 India

Julia Goldstein, Baruch College
Desperate to Fight: Twenty-First Century Women Protagonists in East African Theatre

Christian Flaugh, The University at Buffalo, SUNY
Carnival Counter/Publics: Le Popo Carnaval as Practice of Revolting Subjects in Côte d’Ivoire

Sheetala Bhat, University of Western Ontario
In-between Love: Performance of Intimate Love as Making of Counter-publics in Mandeep Raikhy’s Queen-size

Kellen Hoxworth, Florida State University
The Jim Crow Global South: Minstrelsy’s Repertoires as Colonial Discourse

Joshua Williams, New York University
Killing the Snake a Second Time: Wangechi Mutu and the Creaturely

Suhaila Meera, Stanford University
An Embodied Erotic-Aesthetic: The Playful Courtesan in Turn-of-the-Century India

K. Frances Leider, University of Pittsburgh
Monstrous Rapists and the Myth of the Dangerous Public in Urban India

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Pacific Publics: Transpacific Performance

Conveners: Diana Looser, Stanford University
Shannon Steen, University of California, Berkeley

The Transpacific Performance working group provides a forum for supporting and advancing the exciting scholarship in theatre and performance studies taking place across the Pacific. At present, much performance-related research on the Pacific world tends to be split into numerous sub-regions (e.g., East Asia, U.S.-China, Oceania/Pacific Islands, Australasia). Just as Black Atlantic scholarship brought into coherence a geocultural entity that had been previously only been seen as disparate regional systems, this new working group considers how these very distinctive areas of the Pacific might be brought into productive conversation with one another. The group gathers together a wide range of perspectives, sites, and methodologies to pursue a critical transpacific performance studies that extends and rethinks the “transpacific turn” emerging across several disciplines. This year, we explore how this approach might provide new insights into how, and to what ends, diverse “Pacific publics” have been constituted and engaged through performance.

Colleen Kim Daniher, San Francisco State University
“KL Meets the Bay”: Race, Regionalism, and the Sound of Yuna’s Transpacific Malaysia

Jenna Gerdsen, University of Maryland, College Park
Staging Da Kine: An Examination of Kumu Kahua Theatre and Hawaii’s “Local” Drama Tradition

Daphne Lei, University of California, Irvine
Sounding Locally, Listening Transpacifically: The State of Asian/American Theatrical Music

Qianru Li, University of California, Irvine
From Cage to Stage: Within These Walls and Dreams of Flight, Angel Island, and Militarism

Siyuan Liu, University of British Columbia
Transpacific Interactions and Modern Asian Theatre in the Public Sphere

Sharon Mazer, Auckland University of Technology
The Christchurch Mosque Murders and What Came After: Performing a Public “We” in the Wake of Tragedy in Aotearoa New Zealand

Paul Rae, University of Melbourne
What is Local about “Local Dance” in Kiribati?

Rebecca Wear, University of California, Santa Barbara
Weiwuying: Arts Complex, Neoliberal Workings, and New Diasporas

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Pedagogy of Extraordinary Bodies

Conveners: Jessica Brater, Montclair State University
Michelle Liu Carriger, University of Los Angeles

Theatre indeed encompasses and coalesces many publics, but one that we as Theatre and Performance Studies academics encounter most often is the shifting public of the undergraduate classroom. Acknowledging that the front line in decolonizing, diversifying, and broadening the meaning and import of theater and performance is undergraduate-focused teaching, particularly in the ‘service’ and survey classes that make up so many students’ first and often only exposure to theater and performance studies, we will continue dialogue around training and support for diversifying and decolonizing theater syllabi, culminating in 2019 with the creation of a syllabus, assessment, and lesson plan peer-reviewed database to be initially populated with the work of the 2019 and earlier working session participants. Additional conference attendees interested in participating in the database and other pedagogy issues will be welcome at this session.

Rachel Wolfe, Utica College
Lessons from three years of “Pedagogy of Extraordinary Bodies”: How the working group has shaped my teaching

Jonathan Shandell, Arcadia University
Can't We All Just Get Along? A Theater (and Film and TV) Studies Service Course

Lindsay Cummings, University of Connecticut
The Precarious Pedagogy of Alter Egos

Danielle Drees, Columbia University
Space and Land in the U.S. Theater Classroom

Mark Pizzato, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Potential Uses for a New Textbook, “Mapping Global Theatre Histories”

Annika Speer, University of California, Riverside
Pedagogy of Public Speaking: Prioritizing Embodied Performance

Angela Ahlgren, Bowling Green State University
Performing Theater Histories: Revising Performance Projects for the Contemporary Inclusive Classroom

Antonia Krueger, Eckerd College
Speaking on Behalf of Place through Digital Audio Performance

Tim Good, DePauw University
Complete the Image – Augusto Boal

Deborah Kochman, University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee and Hannah Fazio, Florida State University

Mending in “Safe Spaces”: Teaching in the Aftermath of Mass Shootings at Hot Yoga Tallahassee and Florida State University’s Strozier Library

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Performing a People’s Public: Theatre’s New Publics in Central and East Europe and Russia

Conveners: Jacob Juntunen, Southern Illinois University
Margarita Kompelmakher, West Valley College
Rachel Merrill Moss, Northwestern University

In Theatre and Performance in Eastern Europe: The Changing Scene (2008), Barnett and Skelton outline the ways in which the communist period was artistically and socially generative as performers and audiences were able to develop a mutually understood symbolic code by which criticism of ruling authorities and statements of popular defiance could be communicated. Following this cue, this working group investigates the heterogenous, public-making possibilities in the historical spectrum of Central, East European and Russian theatre, as an antidote to the global moment of rising nationalism, xenophobia, and digital censorship and misuse. We examine theatrical occurrences that allowed, and continue to allow, deeply political conversations to occur. Working group participants will delve into historical and contemporary theatrical publics in the region, and ask what we can glean from performance to discuss (and combat) times as debilitating and polarizing as those we live in now.

Sabina Amanbayeva, Oklahoma City University
Popular Shakespeare in the 1970s Soviet Union: Vladimir Vysotsky's Hamlet

Dennis Beck, James Madison University
Avoiding the Subject: How the “How” of Czech New Theatre Cultivates the Si(gh)te of a New Public

Elaine Chen, California State University, Long Beach
Interest—Observation—Critique: The Rehearsal in Brecht's Theater of the Public

Greer Gerni, Indiana University
Chekhov’s Plays in 21st Century Performance

Jacob Juntunen, Southern Illinois University
Onstage Sexual Violence Without Scopophilia: Tadeusz Kantor’s Dead Class and Wielopole, Wielopole

Margarita Kompelmakher, ACLS/Mellon Postdoctoral Public Fellow, Alliance Theater
History and New Media in Kryly Halopa's productions of Pants, Chernobyl and Brest Stories

Alisa Ballard Lin, The Ohio State University
A New Public for Theater Studies in the Early USSR

Julia Listengarten, University of Central Florida
Pussy Riot’s Theatre of Public Protest: Guerrilla Performances, Global Interventions, and
Mediatized Images of Violence

Rachel Merrill Moss, Northwestern University
Skrzypek as Jewish Stand-In: Fiddler on the Roof in Poland

Julija Pesic, University of Toronto
Local Narratives in the Era of Cultural Pluralism in the Performance Art of Marina Abramović

Adair Rounthwaite, University of Washington, Seattle
This Is Not My World: Performance in Public Space in Socialist Zagreb

Aniko Szucs, Yale University
“Passivist” Activism: Performative Actions against Authoritarianism in Hungary

Sara Taylor, Webster University
Reclaiming the People’s Public: The Celebration of the Eve of the Seventieth Anniversary of the Great October Revolution

Vessela S. Warner,The University of Alabama at Birmingham
How to Make an Audience Bark: De-Colonizatizing the Bulgarian Public Space during Postcommunist Transition

Stephen Wilmer, Trinity College Dublin
Transnational Nationalism; or, Are Theatres Becoming Dangerous in Central and Eastern Europe?

Monica Yadav, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
Emergence of Theatre Object as a Repository of Memory: An Investigation into Tadeusz Kantor’s Practice of Theatre

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Performing Multiple Publics in Global Asias

Conveners: Jyana Browne, University of Maryland
Amanda Culp, Vassar College
Sissi Liu, Brown University

Now in its second year, the Global Asias working session explores how publics have formed historically and are currently (re)configuring in Global Asian contexts. This year's session, Performing Multiple Publics in Global Asias, builds upon new research in the emerging field of Global Asian Studies and seeks to define Global Asias broadly to encompass geo-political and lingo-cultural spaces as well as virtual communities. Our session will interrogate what constitutes a public beyond the Western intellectual tradition, re-examining and re-framing the theoretical foundations of “publics” from Global Asian perspectives. This session seeks to consider Global Asia(s) not as a singular geo-political or lingo-cultural designation, but as plural, embodied, and lived conditions experienced through the intermixing of race and ethnicity on a global scale, that play out in scenarios of migration and immigration, acculturation and assimilation.

Jyana S. Browne, University of Maryland, College Park
Mobile Publics in Early Modern Japan

Po-Hsien Chu, University of Maryland, College Park
The Public Display of Fabricated Chineseness in Christopher Chen's Caught

Yoseph Joned Ndaruhadi, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Thursday Silent Act: Assembly and Public Space in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia

Adrianna DiRisio, The University at Buffalo, SUNY
Reactivating Orientalism in Yang Liping's Rite of Spring

Sarah Johnson, Texas Tech University
Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge: A Flowergory Manifold as Intercultural Playwriting

Minwoo Park, University of California, Irvine and San Diego
Colonial Memory Living in the Individual: Language in Colonial and Postcolonial Korea

Sukanya Chakrabarti, San Francisco State University
Kalikata to Calcutta to Kolkata to London: Performing Multiple Publics In Between a Colonial Past and a “Glocal” Present

Sissi Liu, Brown University
Global Asian Designers Dress Women of the U.S. Presidential Families: Race, Gender, and Fashion Designturgy’s Multiple Publics

Amanda Culp, Vassar College
Many Languages, Many Publics?: Unpacking Multilingual Performance in Pre-Modern India

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Pre-1850 Publics and the History of Performance

Conveners: Julia Fawcett, University of California Berkeley
Kristina Straub, Carnegie Mellon University

This working session will take up questions about how to engage with “theater’s many publics,” with particular attention to the unique challenges that these questions pose to scholars who study pre-1850 performance. “The public” is a concept often used to indicate those who are not part of a prescribed or exclusive elite. But terms like “the voting public” or “public opinion” were and are often used to exclude those who do not fit normative ideas of what a “citizen” or a “subject” should be. Scholars of pre-1850 theater and performance must innovate new theories, practices, and methodologies to rediscover and to publish their stories. How can performance studies provide new theories and methods for broadening the range of voices with which their scholarship engages? How can studying history deepen our understanding of our own culture’s many publics and how they developed?

Emily Banta, Rutgers University
Laughing at the Playhouse: Sol Smith and his Theater Publics

Gina M. Di Salvo, University of Tennessee
Chorographic Sanctity: Itinerant Holiness and Making of Public Saints in Stuart Drama

Paul François, Laboratoire des Sciences du Numérique de Nantes, Ecole Centrale de Nantes
Embodiment and Simulation: Playing the Public in a VR Eighteenth-Century Theatre

Michael Lawrence Franz, Florida State University
The Illustrious Lady: Madeleine Béjart’s Role as Actress/Administrator in Seventeenth Century French Theatre Practice

Lisa A. Freeman, University of Illinois at Chicago
Theatrical Representation and “the eye of the Publick”: The Dramaturgical Politics of George Colman's The Iron Chest

Sarah Hancock, Carnegie Mellon University
Nosegay Fan’s Floral Fashions: The Public Influence of Feminine Aesthetics

Franklin J. Hildy, University of Maryland, College Park
The Triumph of Isabella 1615 – a Digital Exploration of Performance Iconology

Jeffrey M. Leichman, Louisiana State University
Embodiment and Simulation: Playing the Public in a VR Eighteenth-Century Theatre

Shelby Lunderman, University of Washington
The “Mixed Assembly” of William Dunlap's André: Navigating Sentiments Towards Execution in the “Earliest American Tragedy”

Chelsea Phillips, Villanova University
The Pregnancy and the Restoration Stage

Kirsten Pullen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A Tale of Two Charlottes: Transfeminism and the Archive

Jennifer Row, University of Minnesota
The Spectacle of Disability and the Arts of Confinement: the Invalides under Louis XIV

Richard Schoch, Queen’s University Belfast
Performing Restoration Shakespeare Today: Staging Davenant's Macbeth

Samuel T. Shanks, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Nativism in the Playhouses: Reconceptualizing the “Rowdy” Spectator in Early Nineteenth-Century America

Donovan Sherman, Seton Hall University
“Still, I Danced”: Public Philosophy in Early Modern Drama

Jane Wessel, United States Naval Academy
Theatrical Publics Beyond London: Reshaping Samuel Foote’s The Mayor of Garret across Time and Space

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Private Lives in Public Spaces: Performances of Autobiography

Conveners: Ryan Claycomb, West Virginia University
Ariel Watson, St. Mary’s University

This Working Session develops theories of the autobiographical, private, and self-revelatory across a variety of publics and modes of performance. How does this paradox of the private staged for public consumption bedevil, subvert, or uphold our institutional structures? Self-presentation and first-person narratives demarcate and undermine the boundaries between creative, scholarly, pedagogical, and administrative labor in our professional lives. They create an often-arbitrary distinction between personal and public, individual and collective, official and private, real and imagined, labor and pleasure. We take up here the many genres and venues through which private selves are performed, revealed, obscured, and documented in publics across theatre practice, pedagogy, and scholarship. How do these constructions of the performing subject implicate the publics for whom performance happens? How do they negotiate the boundaries between privacy and revelation? And why value revelation in light of a deep cultural skepticism about authenticity?

Rebecca Ormiston, Stanford University
Doctors Perform Long Day’s Journey into Night: Acting and America’s Opioid Crisis

Nick Salvato, Cornell University
Hello Berlin: 2019 Notes from the Field

Elizabeth M. Melton, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Autobiography, Anti-Racism, and Performance as Scholarly Praxis

Heidi Bean, Bridgewater State University
Theatricalizing the Self as Sleuth

Nancy Copeland, University of Toronto
Testing the Limits of Autobiography in Jordan Tannahill’s Declarations

Lindsay Brandon Hunter, The University at Buffalo, SUNY
Deepfakery and Wearing Gillian: Revelation through Concealment

Nick Fesette, Oxford College of Emory University
Bearing Witness to a “Real”: Performing Prison, (Re)Writing Self

Ibby Cizmar, Vanderbilt University
Constructing Autobiography in the Archive: Ernie McClintock (1937–2003)

Laine Zisman Newman, University of Toronto
Ghetto: Dark is the Night Reflexive Readings of My Grandfather's Words

Caitlin Kane, Cornell University
Performing Versions of Self in Albany Park Theatre Project’s Learning Curve

Sarah Balkin, University of Melbourne
Hannah Gadsby’s Comic Persona

T. Nikki Cesare Schotzko, University of Toronto
Out of line & off the grid: living with dying well in the Chthulucene

Jaime Leigh Gray, University of California, Santa Barbara
Tweeting @Ireland, Intimate Confessions, Feminist Performances, and the Irish Body Politic

Daniel Sack, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The Lachrymatory: Inside the Cabinet of Memories

Jonelle Walker, University of Maryland, College Park
Contrapoints’ Contranyms: Performing White Trans Femininity for the Alt-Right

Samuel Blake, Cornell University
“They’re not women’s clothes, They’re mine. I bought them”: Restoring the Term Transvestite and the Comedy of Eddie Izzard

Ariel Watson, Saint Mary’s University
Empathy and Criticism as Bodiliness

Ryan Claycomb, Colorado State University
The Artist is Absent: On Autobiographical Performers and their Published Autobiographies

Jenn Stephenson, Queen’s University
Autobiography in the Audience: Talking about Loss in Lost Together and Foreign Radical

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Public Animals and Performance

Conveners: Kim Marra, University of Iowa
Jen Parker-Starbuck, Royal Holloway, University of London

This session considers interspecies dynamics in the self-consciously national public context of Washington, D.C. and beyond. Animals “perform” a public history of exchange and engagement; they are on display and show, and are, for example via National Zoo’s Webcams, “streamed” to make them visible around the world. Foundational human-animal relationships are ubiquitously memorialized in public art and monuments throughout public landscapes inhabited by millions of living wild and domestic creatures. We will consider how non-human animals figure into concepts of “public” and “performance” and how they perform with and for the masses of people living and touring in public spaces. Participants will investigate places of human-animal interaction in the nation’s capital, either virtually or onsite, recognizing the contested nature of zoos and other public performances of animal life. We will engage with ethical questions raised through animals in “performance,” especially as they are imbricated in constructing a national public sphere.

Dominic Dongilli, University of Iowa
Zoonotic Americans: Performing Disease, Contagion & Bio-citizenship at the Smithsonian Museums

Megan Lewis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Performing in the Crosshairs: The Roles of Animals in the Safari

Kim Marra, University of Iowa
Across Species and Media: The Pull of Horses in Urban U.S. Performance, 1860–1920

Katherine Mezur, University of California, Berkeley
Japan’s Public and Private Non-human Animals (in Art, Performance, and Media)

Jen Parker-Starbuck, Royal Holloway, University of London
Moving into the Virtual: Performing Animal Agency

Kristen Tregar, University of California, San Diego
Military Animals in the Age of Digital Grief

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Publicizing (Theatrical) Working Conditions: Labor, Uprisings, and Unionization in American Theatre and Drama from 1880 to 1940

Conveners: Rick DesRochers, Lehman College, CUNY
Claudia Wilsch Case, Lehman College, CUNY

This session examines intersections of labor conflicts and theatrical performance in America from the 19th century to the present. Responding to scholarship by Colette A. Hyman (1997), Arthur Frank Wertheim (2006), Sean P. Holmes (2013), Dorothy Chansky (2015), Elizabeth Osborne and Christine Woodworth (2015), and Timothy R. White (2015), we examine how the labor movement has engaged American audiences and the general public, from the days of vaudeville to recent theatrical expressions of labor tensions. Evoking applicable contexts of social class, political affiliation, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and/or sexuality, this working group explores how (theatrical) labor has engaged the public, both onstage and off. We also consider labor conditions that provoked revolts, ways workers have used the stage as a public platform for stirring labor action, and/or the connection of labor unions to American theatre and drama.

Rick DesRochers, Lehman College, CUNY
The Transformation of Public Education and Child Labor and Welfare on the American Vaudeville Stage During the Progressive Era, 1890–1915

Claudia Wilsch Case, Lehman College, CUNY
Labor as Art/Art as Labor: Performances at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in the 1930s

Chris Woodworth, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Contagious Conditions: Smallpox and the Forcible Quarantines of the Joshua Simpkins Opera Company and Mahara’s Minstrels

David Bisaha, Binghamton University, SUNY
Theatre Labor in the World of Tomorrow: Labor and the 1939 World’s Fair

Anne Potter, Columbia University
“That’s closed shop! That’s a union!”: Actors Equity and the Performance History of The Cradle Will Rock

Dr. Michael Lueger, Emerson College and Boston College
“I Wrote the Play and I Sold It”: Lottie Blair Parker, Martha Morton, and the Work of Professional Women Playwrights at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Jennifer R. Collins, The Ohio State University, Newark
Strike, Rally, and Massacre: The Haymarket Affair as the Reign of Terror in Steele MacKaye’s Paul Kauvar; or Anarchy (1887)

Ann Folino White, Michigan State University
Just Specialty Numbers: The Serious Implications of Laughing about AEA’s Ruling on Jumbo (1935)

Rachel Miller, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Black Performers and Labor Advocacy in the Indianapolis Freeman

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The Public’s Many Theatres

Conveners: Ryan Donovan, The New School
Barrie Gelles, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Outside of The Public Theater in New York City hangs a banner proclaiming “Theater Of, By & For All People.” As a landmark theatrical institution, The Public Theater sustains a local, national, and global profile. This working session asks what role does the theatre that calls itself “The Public” play in the artistic, political, and cultural field of theatre history and contemporary performance?

The Public Theater’s archives and histories are ripe for new analysis and reexamination in light of the increasingly complex entanglements of aesthetics, capital, and politics since its founding by Joe Papp in 1954 as the Shakespeare Workshop and its re-branding in 1967 as The Public Theater. Furthermore, because The Public is engaged in many genres, many levels of development, and many locations and spaces, this working session includes a variety of approaches to a wide range of topics from cabaret and choreopoems to musicals and new plays.

Nicolas Benacerraf, The Graduate Center, CUNY
The Room Where It Happened: How Hamilton Constructs Its Viewing Public

Casey Berner, Independent Scholar
Singular Sensations: The Public Theater’s New Musicals and Artistic Directors

Benjamin Gillespie, The Graduate Center, CUNY
“Seeking Asylum”: (Retro)Spectating Justin Vivian Bond’s Queer Aging Persona(s) at Joe’s Pub

Emily Lathrop, The George Washington University
“This Green Plot Shall Be Our Stage”: Public Shakespeare, Audience Engagement, and the Park

Laura MacDonald, Michigan State University
A Cultural Seedling and Broadway’s Conscience: The Public Theater’s Audience Engagement and Commercial Impact

Cindy Rosenthal, Hofstra University
Bring in ‘Da Noise (and Other Broadway Transfers): How The Public Dismantles the Divide between Mainstream and Experimental

Adam Sheaffer, Marquette University
“Shall I Have Audience?”: Play-as-Public-Event in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Mobile Theater

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Puppetry and Material Performance

Conveners: Alissa Mello, Fulbright Fellow, Listaháskóli Íslands
Claudia Orenstein, CUNY Hunter College/The Graduate Center
Dassia N. Posner, Northwestern University

For centuries, puppets have wielded unique power by connecting humans with gods, fascinating publics of all continents and ages, and bringing a more complex form of liveness to live theatre, while expanding imaginative worlds, providing political commentary, and modeling more egalitarian ways of connecting with the material world. Yet puppetry’s ever-burgeoning publics still outstrip the currently available modes for analyzing its specifics and describing its power. This Working Session therefore proposes a deeper investigation into the methodologies of puppetry and material performance in three key areas:

How can exploring puppetry’s connections and similarities with and across other disciplines provide puppetry’s varied publics with a deeper understanding of its breadth and relevance?
How do we analyze and articulate creative laws that are specific to puppetry and material performance?
How might the vocabularies of puppetry analysis provide new, rich ways to understand how objects function in art forms with shared concerns?

Kelly I. Aliano, Long Island University, Post Campus
Playing with Posthuman Puppetry: From Robots to Digital Avatars in Performance

Pia Banzhaf, Michigan State University
“The Willing Suspension of Disbelief” – What’s in a Phrase?

Deniz Başar, Concordia University
Karagöz Shadow Puppet Play “Lunatic Asylum” and How Madness was Portrayed in a 19th Century Popular İstanbul Entertainment

Heather J. Denyer, California State University, Fullerton
Restoration, Repatriation, and Resurrection in Afrotopia: The Return of African Cultural Heritage

Laura Purcell-Gates, Bath Spa University, UK
Puppetry and Material Dramaturgies: Developing a Practice-based Analytic

Jennifer Goodlander, Indiana University
Puppets and Literature – Looking for Things in Words or Manipulating Wayang in Pramoedya's Buru Quartet

Alícia Hernàndez Grande, Northwestern University
The Protesting Puppets: A New Approach to Mass Protests in Catalonia’s Independence Process

Tony Gunn, Brigham Young University
A Tiny and Massive Spectacle: The Howard Bros. Circus at the Ringling Museum

Kyounghye Kwon, University of North Georgia
New Satire for New Publics: Korean Traditional Puppetry’s Contemporary Satire by Theatre Groups SaniNeomeo and Eumma Gaengkkaeng

Cary M. Mazer, University of Pennsylvania
Puppets, Machines, and Disabled Bodies

Alissa Mello, Independent Scholar
Towards a Theory of Trans-Embodiment

Claudia Orenstein, Hunter College, CUNY
The Image Aspect of the Puppet

Hui Peng, The University at Buffalo, SUNY
“Body-headphone”: A Contract with the Aural Devices in Remote X

Hazel Rickard, University of Minnesota
Animating Spiritualist Tables: Nineteenth Century Material Performance and the Return of the Dead

Colette Searls, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Distance, Distillation, and Duality: What Material Characters Perform

Jane Catherine Shaw, The New School
The Puppet Body as Archive of Performance

Skye Strauss, Northwestern University
Kneehigh’s Sleeping “Things”: Exploring the Link Between Unruly Emotions and Expressive Materiality

Larry Switzky, University of Toronto
Puppetry as Technology and Infrastructure

Blair Thomas, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago/Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival
The Auratic Presence of the Puppet

Chee-Hann Wu, University of California, Irvine
Finding A Way Back Home (if there is any): Puppet and Its Double Theater’s “Homecoming

Janni Younge, Independent Scholar
Devised Theatre and Puppetry: an investigation into the integration of object and dramaturgical development in collaborative theatre-making process

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queer nightlife performance: flesh, pleasure, and power at night (Muñoz)

Conveners: Kemi Adeyemi, University of Washington
Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, Northwestern University
Kareem Khubchandani, Tufts University

Returning in 2020!

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Quiet Resistance: The Body as Site of Survival/Subversion

Conveners: Matthew Shifflett, University of Mississippi
Matthew R. Wilson, George Washington University

Classic treatments of political or protest theatre often elucidate performance acts that directly intervene in public discourse and mobilize audiences, but this definition can privilege political performance as a discursive act within relatively open societies. In “private” spaces and closed societies (pre-democratic, non-democratic, or authoritarian), we might find other categories of subversion among performative acts that position themselves as apolitical and harmless. These performances go beyond the binary of “authority” and “resistance” and render instead a subjectivity that is simultaneously acquiescent and subversive.

This session explores performances that “embody” this paradox and expand privileging terms such as “political,” “protest,” and “subversive” by giving voice to performances of resistance within modes of survival. By examining work that frames the body as a resource for navigating multiple layers of accommodation and resistance, we seek to open a fresh dialogue around the resistance-acquiescence paradox.

Natalie Dollison, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
A Day in the Life: Multiple Publics and Targeted Narratives at Basotho Cultural Village

Stephanie Engel, Tufts University
Thin Bodies and Lapsed Minds: An Affective Recovery of Abject Anorexia

Les Gray, University of Maryland, College Park
Black Suffering and Silent Self-Defense: Police Brutality Videos and Sousveillance

Juliet Guzzetta , Michigan State University
Corporeal Intelligence: The Somatic Dramaturgy of Giuliana Musso in Mio eroe (My Hero)

Q-mars Haeri, University of Maryland, College Park
The Popular Also Rises: Quite Resistances of Takht-e-Howzi Theatre in the 1950s and ’60s Tehran

Talley Murphy, Brown University
On Mutilation: Survival Acts, Black Futurities, and Slavery in Motion

Charles O’Malley, Yale University
A Very Specific Anarchy: The Cockettes’ Subversion, Critique, and Celebration of Gender

Elyse Singer, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Safeguarding Sanity: Gestures of Female Madness as Self-Preservation

Sarah Wilbur, Duke University
Bureaucratic Angling in the Dance Program at the National Endowment for the Arts (1981–1996)

Jeanne Willcoxon, Hamilton College
Contemplating the Body in the Time of Performance: The “Attitudes” of Emma Lyon

Matthew R. Wilson, George Washington University
Action A Parte: Survival/Subversion in Early Commedia dell’Arte Practice

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Right Wing Publics for Theatrical Performance

Conveners: Joanna Dee Das, Washington University in St. Louis
Kimberly Jannarone, University of California, Santa Cruz

Publics for live performance come in many varieties, although academic scholarship tends to focus on performance that engages with progressive and liberal values. People from across the right-of-center political spectrum, however, also use theater and performance to spread their worldviews, including those who identify as mainstream conservatives and those who see themselves as part of radical right-wing movements. Such political performances do not fall into any one aesthetic category; rather, they include populist forms like the variety show, activist forms such as rallies, and experimental work. Building on recent scholarship engaging with Christian conservative performance, worldwide experimental performance in the service of reactionary or right-wing ideologies, and more, this Working Group will push the conversation into thinking about the publics served by such performances. We hope to explore how performance supports ideologies along the right-of-center political spectrum, who demands such performances, and what effects they have on their publics.

Sara Brady, Bronx Community College, CUNY
Heartbeat Bills and 99 Years: The Right-Wing Anti-Abortion Judicial Experiment

Doria E. Charlson, Brown University
Performance and White Ethnic Populism in FSA Migratory Labor Camps

Joanna Dee Das, Washington University in St. Louis
“Bransonizing” the Theater: Anti-Theatricality in the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World”

Douglas Eacho, Stanford University
Magnetic Attractions: Fascism, Automation, and a Theater that Performed Itself

Robyn Lee Horn, The University at Buffalo, SUNY
Marked Women: Hell Houses, Abortion, and Performances of Misogyny

Kimberly Jannarone, Yale School of Drama
Publicly Performing Politics: The Mass Gymnastics of North Korea

Carla Lahey, Louisiana State University/Hesston College
Stages for Salvation: Engaging Conservative Publics through Youth-Driven Evangelical Performance

Christopher Martin, Independent Scholar
Making America Great Again: Selling the American Dream to Transnational Game Show Publics

Derek Miller, Harvard University
Phantom Never Dies
Katie Morris, Louisiana State University
Ronald Reagan Would Never: The Right-Wing Push for Prison Reform

Joshua Polster, Emerson College
“Massacre” Place: The Riot at the Astor Opera House

Meenakshi Ponnuswami, Bucknell University
Comedy and the Racist Public

Phoebe Rumsey, The Graduate Center, CUNY
“Family Friendly” Shows: Shifting Publics for Theatrical Performance in Las Vegas, Nevada

Kate Neff Stone, Santiago Canyon College
“Like Arrows in the Hands of a Warrior”: The Quiverfull Movement, the Religious Right, and a Fertile Public

Stephen Wilmer, Trinity College Dublin
Transnational Nationalism; or, Are Theatres Becoming Dangerous in Central and
Eastern Europe?

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Separations of Church and Stage: Performing Sacred and Secular Publics

Conveners: Debra Caplan, Baruch College, CUNY
Rebecca Kastleman, College of the Holy Cross
Heather S. Nathans, Tufts University

Problems arise from the act of performing belief in public. Across geographical and cultural contexts, many publics are marked as secular, yet continue to be shaped by the work of religious actors. Similarly, theatrical representations of religion often generate controversy. While some societies presume a distinction between religious and secular publics, others insist that religious practices and identities are intricately entangled with many forms of life. In such contexts, there may be no such thing as a “secular” theater. Where and how, then, do we differentiate between religious and secular performance? How do these definitions shape our account of theatrical audiences as well as the publics and counterpublics that they reflect? This session broadens existing explorations of theater and religion, while also examining performance’s historical debts to religious practice. We take particular interest in research that situates religious performance in relation to processes of migration, diaspora, and transcultural exchange.


Ruthie Abeliovich, University of Haifa, Israel
“Kol Nidre” in the Yiddish Theatre

Joseph D’Ambrosi, Indiana University
Sanctifying the Native: Evangelical Influence on “Secular” Indian Melodrama

Michelle Cowin Gibbs, St. Olaf College
Tellin’ Like It Is: A Black Feminist Reading of Religiosity and the Public Performance of Black Christian Rhetoric in Zora Neale Hurston’s De Turkey and De Law (1930)

Rebecca Kastleman, University of Virginia
Representing Faithfully: Contested Histories of Religious Performance on the Modern Stage

Patrick Maley, Centenary University
African American Theater and Theology

Carla Neuss, University of California, Los Angeles
An Event That Creates Faith: Destabilizing Secularity through South African Medievalist Performance

Dan Nield, University of Chester, UK
Nuns run amok – escaping theologically cloistered sexuality

Thomas Oldham, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
Beyond Dishonour: Bhatti, Birmingham, and Behzti

Grace Kessler Overbeke, Duke University
Playing Jewish without Saying “Jewish”: Jean Carroll, the first Jewish Female Stand-up Comedian

Carlos Salazar-Zeledón, University of Washington
Religious Performance, Power Performance

Megan Sanborn Jones, Brigham Young University
Jesus Plays: The Form and Function of Jesus Christ as a Character in American Theatre

Sara Sanchez-Zweig, Rutgers University
Holy Haul: Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble and Connecting Through Digital Consumerism

Jill Stevenson, Marymount Manhattan College
“It is happening!”: Future Fascination in Christian End Time Performances

Dana Tanner-Kennedy, University of Alberta
Jewish-American Plays on the 21st Century Secular Stage

Stephanie Vella, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Jane Harrison’s Primitive Greek Body: Ritual Temporality and Secular Modernity

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Social Dramas for Fractured Publics: Crisis and Reconciliation in Activist Performance

Conveners: Sonja Arsham Kuftinec, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
John Fletcher, Louisiana State University

What should activist performance do, and for whom? Victor Turner’s classic theory of social drama describes two gestures of social change performance. In his breach and crisis stages, performance creates and deepens ruptures within the body politic. In the redress and reconciliation stages, performance heals social fissures: building bridges, fostering inter-group empathy, and re-establishing unity. Activists across the political spectrum disagree about exactly where to locate ourselves on this social-dramaturgical arc. Is this the time for making ties or breaking ties, for heightening contradictions or depolarizing affective divisions? Performing either breach or rapprochement today, however, proves complicated. Activists must grapple with the reality of manifold micro- and macro-publics and competing social dramas. Our working group features diverse case studies investigating how disruptions appropriate to some struggles may disrupt efforts for redress equally germane to others. Which public, we ask, do activists perform for? Which social-dramatic gestures take precedence?

Chris Bell, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities,
Performing Acts of Protection: Water, Oil, and the Irreconcilable

Serap Erincin, Louisiana State University
Ends of Public Protest: Future Technologies, Vulnerable Bodies, and Radical Movements

Allison Gibbes, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
“Performative Wokeness”: Facebook Social Drama and the Virtual Nations of Tag Group Culture

Chloe Johnston, Lake Forest College
Climbing Monuments: Performance, Risk, and the Activism of Height OR “When they go low…”

Elliot Leffler, University of Toronto
Reforming the Oberammergau Passion Play

Lindsay Livingston, Bowdoin College
Transforming Guns: Performing Restoration and Reconciliation in U.S. Gun Culture

Laura A. Lodewyck, North Central College
Conversation in Crisis: The Crowd’s Feeling and Call to Action

Gary Luter, University of Tampa
Small Places, Close to Home: Performing for Progress in the Larger World

Amber Muller, University of California, Davis
Glass Washrooms and Questions of Settler Homonationalism

Elizabeth A. Osborne, Florida State University
Transforming American Elections…or Not: It Can’t Happen Here and the Performance of Possibility

Jonathan M. Rizzardi, University of Washington
The 1967 Newark Riots: Staging Civil Disobedience and the Avant-Garde Performance of Radical Protest

Victoria Lynn Scrimer, University of Maryland, College Park
From Bearing Witness to Being Witnessed: Directing the Activist Gaze

Rebecca Struch, University of California, Berkeley
Refusing False Publics: Activist Performances on Edge

Michael Valdez, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
All Hail Egg Boy: Thoughts at the Crossroads of Public Performance and Digital Activism

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Theatre’s Many Crowds

Conveners: David Calder, University of Manchester
Jordana Cox, University of Waterloo

When performance happens, crowds are often on the scene: performers can draw a crowd or stand out from the crowd; crowds, themselves, can perform. They hum in the lobbies of theatres; they snake through airport security; they march, litter, and hold up traffic. Crowds are a fixture of modern public life.

In theories of collective action, however, “the crowd” often recedes to the margins while the more respectable “public” takes center stage. Whereas the crowd may be scattered, libidinal, out-of-control, the public is disciplined, effectual and - especially since Habermas - rational. In stories of democratic social change, “the public” stars, while the crowd lurks in the shadows – perhaps an understudy, rival, or unruly foil.

What is the relationship between theatre’s many publics and its many crowds? How do crowds perform, historically, conceptually, and historiographically. When and how do crowds become publics, in the theatre, online, and in the streets?

Cindy Bates, Empire State College, SUNY
Public into Crowd: Performing Identity at the Astor Place Opera House, May 1849

David Calder, University of Manchester
Unfeeling Crowds in the Mountebank Melodrama

David Carlyon, Iona College
Democracy, Theater, Circus: Crowds? Mobs? Sheeple?

Jordana Cox, University of Waterloo
Contagious Crowds in the FTP’s Spirochete

Dan Cullen, Bowling Green State University
Memetic Minstrelsy: What Viral Amateur Dance Reveals about 21st-Century Racism

Daniel Johnson, Rutgers University
The Politics of Waste in Antebellum Theater Reception

Sam Kolodezh, University of California, San Diego
Making the Early Modern Crowd: World-Building, Time, and the Character of the Crowd

Scott Kushner, University of Rhode Island
The Lobby as Audience Factory

Elise Robinson, University of Georgia
Staging the Crowd: Early Feminist Activist Performance in Votes for Women!

Daniel J. Ruppel, Brown University
Present Readers and Absent Crowds: Performing Publics in 16th-Century French Festival Books

Anna Waller, Columbia University
Antitheatrical Crowds and “Those Beautiful Dames”: Mass Formations in Busby Berkeley’s Dames

Guojun Wang, Vanderbilt University
Invisible Spectators: Dead Bodies and Forensic Examination in Early Modern Chinese Drama.

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Theatres of Public Diplomacy

Conveners: James R. Ball III, Texas A&M University
David Donkor, Texas A&M University
Derek Goldman, Georgetown University

The craft of diplomacy is spectacular, theatrical, and performative, and so begs the attention of scholars of theatre and performance. This working session is dedicated to theorizing the performances of states on the world stage. This session considers cultural diplomacy, diplomatic theatre, and the spectacular performances of states, their leaders, and their populations on an expanded field of the global arts of statecraft. What is the role of performance in diplomacy? How can we advance interventions into global politics by artists, scholars, and activists? Treating theatre as both an artform and as a practice of political actors, this session unites scholars interested in intercultural dance performance, theatre as a soft power tool, arts activism on the world stage, embodied dimensions of governance, sports performance by heads of state, the theatricality of racialized law, speechmaking in colonial contexts, war and medicine, indigenous sovereignties, performed nationalisms, spaces of memory, and related themes.

Sean Bartley, Independent Scholar
Can’t Check This: Vladimir Putin’s Hockey Performances

Dr. Natka Bianchini, Loyola University Maryland
DunaPart Dissent: Using Theatre as Public Protest in Budapest, Hungary

Mary Karen Dahl, Florida State University
“Knock, knock, it’s Enoch”: Performing National Division on the International Stage

David Donkor, Texas A&M University
Dance of the “Show Boy”: Staging Political Legitimacy at Ghana’s Independence Celebration

Gad Guterman, Conservatory of Theatre Arts, Webster University
Enter the Nine: How Justices’ Public Performances Alter the United States Supreme Court

Olivia Eljaiek-Hendricks, Emory University
Contextualizing Performances of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango-Opera within U.S.-Latin American Relations

Christiana Molldrem Harkulich, Miami University of Ohio
An Indian Princess, a King and Queen, and a President: Diplomatic Performance and Indigenous Sovereignties

Marcus Johnson, University of Washington
Theatre of the Mind: Formations of U.S. Nationalism in the 19th Century

Warren Kluber, Columbia University
Theatre of Operations / Operating Theatre: War-as-Medicine in American Statecraft

Kelli Coleman Moore, University of California, Santa Barbara
The Bully Pulpit: Genealogies of Violence at the Washington National Cathedral

Dr. des. Rashna Darius Nicholson, The University of Hong Kong
Carrots and Sticks: Palestinian Development, Soft Power, and the Theatre of Resistance

Tony Perucci, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dissensus and Diplomacy

Jared Strange, University of Maryland, College Park
The President Takes to the Field: Performing Political Authority in the European Soccer Arena

Áine Josephine Tyrrell, Stanford University
Securing the [white man’s] world via the “War on Terror”: how the U.S. Patriot Act scripts violence against communities of colour across military-civilian lines

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Theatre's Private Publics and the Politics of Performance

Conveners: Andrew Friedman, Ball State University
Andrew Goldberg, CUNY Graduate Center

This session explores how theatre’s capacity to operate as both a public and private space contributes to its political potential. Often, theatre will take the private and make it visible, engaging in an act of publicity. But many forms of theatre seal off the outside world, inviting an audience inside a space of privacy. Both of these gestures have a political valence: theatrical acts of publicity can challenge ideologies by rendering them apparent, engage in acts of representation or recognition, or stake a claim to certain rights; theatrical acts of privacy can provide an arena for subversive ideas, reconfigure social relations, or encourage new political subjectivities to emerge. Or, might theatre dissolve these concepts altogether, suspending the very categories of “private” and “public”? In this working session we ask how theatre’s public/private indeterminacy shapes its political potential and allows us to conceptualize new forms of political engagement.

Patrick Denney, Yale School of Drama
Plush Punks: Radical Softness in/as Performance

Fernando Fonseca, Pacheco Temple University
Guatemala’s The President: A Social and Commercial Blockbuster that Elicited Political Repression

Andrew Goldberg, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Tragedy and the Violation of Privacy in Milo Rau’s Five Easy Pieces

Harry Hoke, Tufts University
NO TRESPASSING: Law and Subjectivity in Núria Güell’s “Intervention #1”

Chengyuan (Eva) Huang, University of California, Irvine
Remaking Collective Poetic Dwellings: On Migrant Worker Theatre Workshops in Shenzhen

Amy B. Huang, Brown University
Staging Secrecy and Affecting Asianness

Jieun Lee, Wake Forest University
Reimagining the (Re)Public of Korean American Adoptees

Stefka Mihaylova, University of Washington, Seattle
Exposing the Private Spectator: Forced Entertainment's Anti-Liberal Theatre

Jessica Nakamura, University of California, Santa Barbara
Private Lives of Ostracized Subjects: The Zainichi Korean Home in Contemporary Japanese Theater

Elizabeth M. Phillips, Harvard University
Crocodile Tears: Performing Sincerity in the Reality TV Confessional

Scott Proudfit, Elon University
Resisting Mediatization in 21st Century Immersive and Invisible Theatre

Osvaldo Sandoval, Colgate University
Staging the Archive: Unmasking the Hidden Truth of the Disappeared in NN12 (2010) by Gracia Morales

Jennifer Schmidt, Hanover College
The Private/Public Performances of Beatrice Herford in Vaudeville

Megan Shea, New York University
Ceci N’est Pas Une Victime: Emma Sulkowicz’s Carry That Weight

Bridget Marie Sundin, Illinois Wesleyan University
“Black Girl Magic: Subverting Dominant Narratives on the Early 20th Century Cabaret and Variety Stage

Alison Walls, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Saving the World from Fascism One Child at a Time: The U.S. Surrogate Mother as Democratic Savior in Tomorrow, the World

Bretton White, Colby College
Tatlin's Revisited: Public Performance in Cuba After Fidel

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Transfeminisms' Many Publics: Towards a Pedagogical Resource for Transfeminist Education

Conveners: Bess Rowen, Villanova University
Janet Werther, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Rye Gentleman, University of Minnesota

While the federal government seeks to eliminate transgender Americans from rhetorical existence, and pronoun usage is debated under the auspices of academic freedom, transgender performance nonetheless proliferates: in the past few years, we’ve witnessed an explosion of trans representation in theatre, television, and beyond. How can transfeminist theatre and performance studies scholarship productively intervene in these oppositional discourses on trans life?

This year’s working group will focus on the address and intended audiences of our performing subjects and our own writing. Questions include: Who are the publics of transfeminist performance? Who are the publics of transfeminist theatre scholarship? Which publics has our work failed to hail, and how can we most effectively address a broad public of theatre audiences and scholars?

Framed by these questions, our session will focus on the co-creation of a “Transfeminist Theatre and Performance Studies Pedagogy Resource” which we will make publicly available after the conference.

Jo Michael Rezes, Tufts University
[Trans]versing Time: Transfeminist Critiques of Temporality in Theatre Praxis

Sarah Bess Rowen, Villanova University
Acts of (Trans)fer: Exploring Trans, Nonbinary, Genderfluid, and Trans-adjacent Performances

Janet Werther, The Graduate Center, CUNY
From Whence to Where: Directionalities of Transition in Mainstream Theatrical Representation

Rye Gentleman, University of Minnesota; Kara Raphaeli, Independent Scholar
Transfeminist Theatre and Performance Studies Pedagogy Resource: Bibliography and Best Practices

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Transnational Performance: Bridging Disjunctive Publics

Conveners: Joyelle Ball, Stonehill College
Yasmine Jahanmir, American University of Kuwait
Haddy Kreie, Drury University

From Guy Debord in 1967, to Arjun Appadurai in 1990, and James Ferguson in 2006, scholars have claimed that increased transnational interconnectivity has produced enduring public anxiety regarding the sanctity of cultural difference and the promise of cultural hybridity, resulting in a deepened alienation within the social relationships that define various publics. Transnational performance practices (e.g., cross-cultural performance, intercultural performance, culturally specific performance performed beyond the limits of its specific geographic origin, digitally integrative performance, and tourism, among others) sit at an intersection of Appadurai’s five global flows (people, media, technology, capital, and ideology) and have the potential to respond to the disjuncture that dominates this globalizing moment by engaging transnational publics in events that remain connected to liveness and co-presence. This working group engages with the question: How do transnational performances intervene in the crisis of disjunction, especially where contingent publics are concerned?

Mohamadreza Babaee, Bowling Green State University
Choreography of Borders: Performing Middle Eastern Racial Mobility in Saba Zavarei’s Looking for Tehran

Nic Barilar, University of Pittsburgh
Irish and Hoosier Memories in the World Premiere of Seán O’Casey’s The Drums of Father Ned

Yasmine Jahanmir, American University of Kuwait
Imagining Persia: Iranian Immigrant Notions of Home in International Pop Star Googoosh’s Music

Ric Knowles, University of Guelph
Intracultural Theatre Festivals as Transnational Performance

Debra Levine, Harvard University
The Superpowers of Overseas Filipina Workers (OFW): Mimetic production and translocal public reception in Eisa Jocson’s The Filipino Superwoman Band (2019)

Zachary Price, Texas A&M University
Transnational Afro Asian Performance and the Martial Arts Imagination

Emily Sahakian, University of Georgia
Ubu Repertory Theater: Franco-Americanism, Disjuncture, and Social Change

Bryan Schmidt, St. Olaf College
Indigenous Cont(r)act: Boruca Culture as Tourist Commodity at Costa Rica’s Envision Festival

Hanife Schulte, Independent Scholar
Ethnographic Study of Audienceship in Immigration-Themed Theatre at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin

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Worlds of Knowledge: Science, Performance, and the Public

Conveners: Cole Remmen, University of California, Santa Barbara
Bella Poynton, University at Buffalo

This session considers how performance intersects with (or constitutes) public engagement with/of science. Free from the proverbial “ivory tower”, scientific breakthroughs are now regularly public knowledge. Advancements in physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine shape understandings of ourselves and the universe, becoming touchstones of public consciousness. Innovations in communications and robotics increasingly integrate technology into our lives. Science-fiction dominates film and television, while burgeoning science-driven theater demonstrates the power of performance in communicating scientific ideas. Curiously, science denialism has also grown, with conspiracy theorists of all types engaging in public discourse from social media to Congress. Meanwhile, scientists demonstrate renewed public engagement, including public lectures, outreach programs, and STEM activism. Interplay between science, performance, and the public is at an all-time high. At this crucial point, performance studies can provide new considerations of this relationship, offering vital interventions into our understanding of science’s role in society through theater, embodiment, and performance.

Virginia Anderson, Connecticut College
Prophylactic Performance: Eva Moon’s The Mutant Diaries: Unzipping My Genes at FORCE 2018

Lauren R. Beck, University of New Haven
Dramaturging the Mystic Mathematical

Mackenzie Bounds, Florida State University
The Invisible Hours: Immersive Audience in Virtual Reality

Dorothy Chansky, Texas Tech University
Good Cause/Bad Luck: All the Living

Alexandra Curth, Independent Scholar
You Woke Her Up: Artificial Intelligence on Stage

Suzahn Ebrahimian, Brown University
Cyborg Performance in the Not-So-Distant Present: Tracing the tangles of identity, technology, and bodily practice

Alex Ferrone, Duke University
Politicizing Publics in Alistair McDowall’s Sci-Fi Theatre

Derek Gingrich, York University
Dramatic World-Building and Optical Paradigms

Kyueun Kim, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Technologies of Knowledge: Recrafting the Bodies and Reconstituting the Publics

Mia Levenson, Tufts University
Anatomizing Whiteness: Minstrelsy and the Legacy of Anatomy Within the Medical Institution

Maria Litvan, The Graduate Center, CUNY
The Metamorphosis: Android Version and Oriza Hirata’s Robot Theatre

Mary Lyon, Independent Scholar
The penultimate ghost: Alzheimer’s inhabited on stage and the devastating recollection of lost memories

Alina Mervis, University of Minnesota
Empathy Paradox: Activating the Public through Virtual Reality

Christian Nagler, University of California, Berkeley
Self-experimentation and Speculation in the Quantified Self

Evleen Nasir, Independent Scholar
One Diagnosis Fits All: The Role of the Standardized Patient in Medical Education

Bella Poynton, The University at Buffalo, SUNY
The Robothespian: Techno-Bodies of the Everyday in Pipeline Theatre's Spillikin

Sarah Hui Ying Tan, Arizona State University
Merging Space, Time, and Ideas: A Digital Devising Study on Creative Collaborations with Young People through Digital Applications

Gavin Whitehead, Yale University
Supernatural Theater as Science Education: The Case of “Pepper's Ghost”

Phillip Zapkin, Pennsylvania State University
The Winter Garden: Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room and the Dialectic Deconstruction of Separate Spheres

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