MRDS Newsletter: CFP - Bridging Communities in Medieval Theatre - Oct. 15, 2004
CFP - Bridging Communities in Medieval Theatre - Oct. 15, 2004
The Association for Theatre in Higher Education
July 28-31, 2005
San Francisco, CA
Bridging Communities in Medieval Theatre
The Middle Ages is often seen as a collection of seemingly disparate communities: lay/monastic, secular/sacred, male/female, public/private, home/church, word/image, Christian/non-Christian, collective/individual, orthodox/mystical, body/spirit, visible/invisible, and, of course, the even present Medieval/Renaissance. Scholarship has created a more complex image of medieval culture, one in which these communities often interacted and combined to blur the boundaries between them. Medieval drama and performance imagined, enacted, and embodied the ways that medieval culture bridged communities. Drama not only visually and actively created communities onstage, but they enacted dialogue between communities. Sometimes this was a constructive and inclusive process, while at other times it was destructive.
The 2005 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference theme is "Bridging Communities, Engaging Creativity." This panel is interested in papers that consider how medieval drama was involved in bridging communities. In what ways did medieval theatre events bring communities together? How did performances allow individuals to become members of communities? How did medieval theatre (re)define communities? How did medieval drama create individualization within institutions? Why did theatre imagine these bridges? What kinds of bridge images did spectators see in performance? What characteristics of medieval drama made it especially amenable to imagining such bridges? Are there instances in which drama broke bridges? Interdisciplinary research is particularly welcome.
Additionally, how can these examples help us to bridge the gap between the medieval and 21st century communities, especially in respect to students of theatre? Many professors of theatre, and even some medievalists, complain that students find medieval theatre boring. But our historical moment is full of many of the same binaries that we attribute to the Middle Ages (secular/sacred, public/private, authority/individual, orthodox/radical, body/spirit, male/female, Christian/non-Christian) and the lines between them are no less blurry than they were in the Middle Ages. How can the ways that medieval drama bridged these communities help us to understand the problems and possibilities we face in bridging them in the 21st century? How can this engage the creativity of our students in thinking about medieval theatre? How can it engage how they creatively think about the role of theatre in their world? How can our approaches to medieval theatre help us find the power of theatre in our own time? How can considering the use of theatre to bridge communities make medieval theatre more relevant to our students?
Please send your one-page abstract to Jill Stevenson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, affiliation, the title of your paper, and email address with your submission. The deadline for abstracts is October 15th. You can find out more about ATHE at www.athe.org.
Graduate Student Representative
Religion and Theatre Focus Group