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CALL FOR PAPERS: THEATRE HISTORIOGRAPHY WORKING GROUP (IFTR Barcelona, July 22-26 2013)
Participants are invited to orient their papers in 2013 towards the theme of myth and mobility. This theme configures with the main conference theme 'Re-routing performance': see the conference website for a full elaboration of the topic http://www.firt2013barcelona.org/ The main conference theme invites consideration of the geographical journeys theatre has taken, and a search for 'roots'. Our theme is concerned with the migrations that performances have undertaken, complicating our studies of cosmopolitan or national theatre history. It may invite consideration of 'authentic' origins, but could also prompt papers that investigate how narratives generated by historians in turn acquire the function of myth in validating contemporary practices and beliefs. Is the historian primarily a social scientist or a storyteller? And in the latter case, primarily court poet or wandering minstrel? You are cordially invited to submit proposals for papers, which touch on these concerns.
The group works by circulating papers to members in advance of the conference. Those who have circulated papers are invited to speak for not more than ten minutes about the context in which they have written their pieces, and about points where they would particularly welcome a response. (Participants take care to read all the papers carefully, so an oral summary of the paper is discouraged.) Submissions are normally linked to a research project that the author currently has in progress. The group spends about 20 minutes discussing each paper, and the emphasis of the discussion is upon historiographic method rather than the detail of the content. The aim of the discussion is always to be constructive. It is a way of working that has been found helpful by young scholars inexperienced in presentation, and by scholars whose first language is not English, but it has evolved because it suits the needs of those who are working on a larger project, which is often seen to be growing from year to year. We shall particularly welcome proposals from new scholars and from scholars outside Europe. Information about the group can be found on http://theaterhistoriography.wordpress.com/
Participants who wish to read a paper at the WG meeting are invited to submit their abstracts (< 250 words) by email to the three conveners by 31 December 2012. We have set this early deadline in order that we may be able to respond to you before you have to make a formal submission of your abstract through the conference website on 31 January. Subject to spaces being available on our programme, which operates within tight time constraints, we will be happy to consider further papers submitted on 31 Jan through the Barcelona website. Working Group sessions will not as in previous years be scheduled at the beginning of the conference, but may be placed at any point in the five days.
The Working Group conveners reserve the right to select proposals that best fit the theme of our meeting and may ask for revisions. We will respond to proposals received by 15 January. The full text of the selected papers (no more than 5000 words) must be emailed to the conveners by 1 July 2013, for uploading onto the group's website. For further information please do not hesitate to contact one of the conveners. You are reminded that in order to present your paper it will in due course be necessary to register for the conference and to become a member of IFTR. You are also reminded that papers can be given to the working group or within the main conference, but you may not do both.
Please copy this call for papers to any colleagues or research students whom you think may be interested.
The current conveners of the Historiography Working Group are:
Since its establishment in 1993, the Historiography Working Group has aimed to encourage critical debate on methodological and epistemological problems related to the history of theatre and performance. Historiographical questions discussed by participants may be illustrated through specific case examples, and there are no restrictions on the historical time or place a proposal might involve or on the kind of historiographical approach explored. Completed papers are circulated among participants and read in advance of the meeting, where they are discussed rather than presented. Any FIRT/IFTR member is welcome to attend, observe, and submit a proposal.
The call for papers usually proposes a historiographical theme to encourage members to consider methodological issues in their ongoing projects. We welcome papers in all stages of development: from nascent 'thought' pieces to completed book chapters, although members may find it more useful in this forum to discuss earlier rather than later drafts. Writing on the year's theme is not required, but it is helpful for readers to know the goals and context of the work and what type of feedback the author desires.
The Historiography Working Group considers itself as an open forum for debate and reflection that values exchange on methodological issues and the discussion of research. A common publication is not seen as the group's priority objective, although publications may arise from the group's meetings. Examples include:
Thomas Postlewait and Barbara Sušec Michieli. "A Transnational Community of Scholars: The Theatre Historiography Working Group in IFTR/FIRT". In: Theater Research International 35:3 (2010). 232-249.
Barbara Sušec Michieli (ed.). Mechanisms of Control and Power. Special issue of AMFITEATER: Journal of Performing Arts Theory 1: 2 (2008).
Stephen Wilmer (ed.). Writing and Rewriting National Theatre Histories. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2004.
Next meeting: TBA.
Please see: http://theaterhistoriography.wordpress.com.
Last Meeting: The group last met in Munich, 26–31 July 2010, to focus on the theme of "Prejudices of Modernity."
Last meeting: _WG_2009_report.doc