A journal of turn-of-the-century theatre

Issue 5 - Winter 2012-13

Essays Current Research ReviewsContributorsAnnouncements


ASTR/TLA Conference 2013: The Post-Thematic Conference
November 7-10, 2013
The Fairmont Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas

Conference Program Co-Chairs
Jonathan Chambers, Bowling Green State University
Scott Magelssen, Bowling Green State University

Call for Proposals
The prefix “post-”, when attached to a discursive mode of inquiry, can imply “after” or “subsequent,” but can also be traced to the Greek apo, “away from.” In all cases, “post” involves questioning the categories that organize and structure that which is possible to think and practice. Themes help organize and structure our scholarly community’s thinking to profitable ends by providing focus on a distinctive quality, characteristic or concern. Themes also limit and exclude subjects and topics of discourse. While myriad profitable conversations have emerged from thinking through our discipline by way of theme, the 2013 ASTR program committee asks what would happen if we moved “away from” theme. What conversations might emerge if the thematic connection were left undetermined? What would the discourse be if the subject were not at first framed by the program committee? What if the various members of ASTR told the organization what they wanted to think about together?

In the spirit of the current slogan used by our host city’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, “Dallas: Live Large. Think Big,” ASTR invites program proposals for the 2013 Annual Meeting in Dallas that do not conform to a predetermined theme. In other words, as a post-thematic call, this invitation welcomes proposals based on any subject or aspect of theatre, broadly conceived. This is not to say that the material presented at the conference will not have discursive connections; but this year we aim for those connections to emerge from the projects the program committee selects, rather than hew to a pre-ordained formula. Successful proposals, then, will be those demonstrating innovation and originality, excellence and rigor, and contribution to the field. In short, successful proposals will be those that encourage the ASTR community to “Live Large. Think Big.”

Plenary Presentations: We invite proposals for individual plenary papers and/or presentations. These presentations are “plenary” in the sense that they address the entire conference and nothing runs concurrently with them. Proposals should take the form of an abstract (max. 250 words) that includes name, affiliation, mailing and email addresses. Full-length papers will not be accepted. Individual presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Those whose proposals are not selected for plenary presentations will have the opportunity to apply to a second call for participants in accepted working sessions.

Working Sessions: We invite proposals for working sessions. This category includes roundtables, seminars, research groups, reading groups, forums, and workshops. “Working sessions” is a general category that allows the session leader(s) to convene small groups around a proposed area of inquiry or practice, and to structure a method and format that best suits the goals of the group. Proposals should include a rationale for the subject of the session and for its format, and must be accompanied by the “ASTR/TLA Working Sessions Proposal Form.” Once the program committee has made its selection of working sessions, each session convener will be invited to issue a specialized call for participants for that session; this second round of calls for participants in working sessions will be posted on the ASTR and TLA websites, with a late May deadline for submission.

Other Ways of Organizing Knowledge: We invite proposals that move away from the traditional plenary and working group formats in ways yet to be imagined. Think Big.

All submissions must be received by February 1, 2013 and should be sent as email attachments, in MS Word, to

Inquiries are welcome. Please contact Jonathan Chambers and Scott Magelssen at the address above with program questions, or Nancy Erickson