Disability in Theatre and Performance ATHE Conference 2023 (ATHE Conference 2023: "Building from the Rubble")
Austin, TX (and potentially virtual)
Organization: Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
Event: ATHE Conference 2023: "Building from the Rubble"
Instead of a standard call for papers, this year ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) has instead issued a call to action, specifically a call to resist a return to “normal,” pre-pandemic models of working, teaching, and learning; to build more equitable, empathetic theatre practices; and to center the voices of historically marginalized groups. This call, titled “Building From the Rubble,” provides an opportunity for ATHE members to begin working towards a better, more inclusive future for academic theatre. However, change is not necessarily improvement; before we leap into action, perhaps we might take a moment, a breath, to consider, as DTaP co-founder and current Chair Dr. Katya Vrtis asked, “If everything is rubble, how do the crips get in?”
Even as the pandemic forced millions of people into “Crip Time,” the world was nevertheless bombarded with an ableist and eugenic rhetoric that painted disabled and immunocompromised individuals as disposable, a group worth sacrificing in the name of returning to work and social gatherings. This rhetoric reflects longstanding cultural narratives that paint disabled individuals as unworthy, unproductive, and valueless members of society. Despite the strides in DEI work in the performing arts and higher education, these ideologies too often persist in academic and theatrical spaces.
The Disability in Theatre and Performance focus group (DTaP) is seeking panels, papers, personal essays, manifestos, workshops, autoethnographies, performances, interviews, and projects that explore the notion of disability within art, that reframe the disabled experience not as rubble to be discarded, but as foundational to human experience and artistic practice. We invite big questions, thoughts-in-process, imperfectly cripped modes of presentation and creation, and more.