ASTR Working Session Calls for Papers “Trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-species histories in performance”

Since their first American Society for The Theatre Research (ASTR) Working Group session at the 2010 conference in Seattle, the Performance and Ecology Working Group has spawned symposia, anthologies, and publications. Foremost among those is a new volume that grew out of the 2010 session: Readings in Performance and Ecology, eds., Wendy Arons and Theresa J. May (Palgrave 2012). The Working Group has continued valuable research on numerous fronts, including “Earth Matters on Stage” conference at Carnegie Mellon University (2012) and “Staging Sustainability” at York University (2011).

“The rising tide of this focused research indicate not only a growing concern and mounting artistic will in the realm of ecological sensibility, but also faith in the imagination as a critical aspect of our individual and collective ecological identities.”

 This year, as part of ASTR’s “Theatrical Histories” focus, they turn their attention to trans-cultural, trans-national, and trans-species performance in anticipation of a second volume of ecocritical writings on theatre and performance. The questions for the upcoming 2012 Working Group session, that will take place November 1st.- 4th 2012 include:

  •  How do transcultural and transnational performances re-map our understanding of what May has called “ecodramaturgy”?
  •  What constitutes “theatre of species” (Chaudhuri) and how might these trans-species performances rearrange or reinterpret understandings of representation?
  •  How do the material characteristics of artistic sites condition the aesthetics of the work produced?
  •  What kinds of geological and geographical histories emerge alongside socio-cultural storytelling?
  •  How do intersecting histories – indigenous, place-based, community-driven – play out on stage in performance?
  •  How do ecological transitions, transmigrations, transmutations, transformations and transference shape artistic practice and meaning-making in the theatre?
  •  Other questions, approaches and topics that clearly address trans-national, trans-cultural, trans-species topics in performance.

 Please send Abstracts as word attachments to both Working Group conveners below by May 31, 2012:

 Theresa May, University of Oregon (

 Nelson Gray, University of Victoria (

 More info:

By Luis Bravo

Luis Bravo is a Business Management student at Universidad Iberoamericana in Puebla, México. He was an exchange student at Leuphana Universität, doing a 3-months Internship at Cultura21 in the framework of the Leuphana Plus Program, and continues to collaborate with Cultura21.