40th Comparative Drama Conference

Text & Presentation

Call for Papers

2016 Keynote Event

A Conversation with Tony Kushner
Interviewer Jim Fisher (University of North Carolina Greensboro)

Examining topics such as AIDs, racism, capitalism, and international relations both critically and compassionately, Tony Kushner’s plays brilliantly illuminate our most deeply divisive political issues, incorporating a seemingly infinite array of theatrical practices. Lyrical and polemical, theoretical and camp, Brechtian and surreal, Kushner’s style is an eclectic and exciting study in contrasts that has radically impacted twenty-first century American Theatre.

Join the Comparative Drama Conference on Friday, April 1, 2016, for our Keynote Event and Reception welcoming Tony Kushner, recipient of the 2013 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. Kushner is best known for his two-part epic Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, which received both the Pulitzer Prize and two Tony Awards. His other plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Slavs!; Homebody/Kabul; The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures; and the book for Caroline, or Change, for which he earned the London Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the Laurence Olivier Award. Kushner’s translations and adaptations include Ansky's The Dybbuk, and Brecht’s The Good Person of Setzuan and Mother Courage and Her Children. Kushner wrote the screenplays for Nichols’s film of Angels in America and Spielberg’s Lincoln; the latter was nominated for an Academy Award and won the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, and the Chicago Film Critics Award.

Abstract Submission Deadline: 3 December 2015

Papers reporting on original investigations and critical analysis of research and developments in the field of drama and theatre are invited for the 40th Comparative Drama Conference, hosted by Stevenson University in Baltimore, MD, March 31 — April 2, 2016. Papers may be comparative across nationalities, periods and disciplines; and may deal with any issue in dramatic literature, criticism, theory, and performance, or any method of historiography, translation, or production. Papers should be 15 minutes in length, written for oral presentation, and accessible to a multi-disciplinary audience. Scholars and artists in all languages and literatures are invited to email a 250 word abstract in English to Dr. Laura Snyder at cdc@stevenson.edu by 3 December 2015. Please include paper title, author’s name, status (faculty, graduate student, other/scholar-at-large), institutional affiliation, and postal address at top left. Abstracts must present a clear argument and have an appropriate scope (usually two or fewer works). (PLEASE be sure to add cdc@stevenson.edu to your accepted email list so that conference emails will not be rejected by your server. Ask your IT administrator how to do so.) If you do not receive e-mail confirmation that we received your abstract/submission within 14 days, we did not receive your submission. Please contact us immediately at lsnyder4990@stevenson.edu. Those whose abstracts are accepted for presentation are expected to attend the conference. Due to the number of submissions, the adjudicators are unable to offer specific feedback on panels, abstracts, or scripts. Abstracts will be printed in the conference program. Accepted presentations will be scheduled in a room with a pc laptop, projector, screen, and speakers. If you wish to use your own laptop, please bring your own dongle. We do not provide remote control devices.

The Conference

The Comparative Drama Conference is an international, interdisciplinary conference founded by Dr. Karelisa Hartigan at the University of Florida in 1977. Every year, approximately 175 scholars are invited to present and discuss their work in the field of drama and 2-4 new plays receive a staged reading. The conference draws participants from both the Humanities and the Arts. The papers delivered range over the entire field of theatre research and production. Over the past 39 years, participants have come from 32 nations and all 50 states. Each year a distinguished theatre scholar or artist is invited to address the participants in the Keynote Event.

The Publication: Text and Presentation

Since 1980, The Comparative Drama Conference Series has been publishing the best papers presented at its annual meetings, keeping readers current in scholarship and performance aesthetics in drama internationally. Text & Presentation’s articles have framed dramatic discourse, identified emerging trends, and challenged established views. Each volume consists of about a dozen articles which have passed the mandated anonymous peer review. For back issues, visit www.McFarlandpub.com.

Participants in the conference are invited to submit their papers for publication consideration to the editor of Text & Presentation. The editor of this year's publication, Dr. Graley Herren, can be reached at herren@xavier.edu. Manuscripts should be formatted according to the T & P style. Authors are expected to expand their manuscripts beyond presentation-length conference papers into full-length scholarly essays, with a maximum length of 25 double-spaced pages (including notes, works cited, and photos). Each volume also features several book reviews by noted scholars.

Pre-organized Panels

Pre-organized Panels and Roundtables will also be considered. A pre-organized panel should include three papers. Each paper should be 15 minutes in length. Panel proposals should include (1) a copy of each panelist’s 250 word abstract with paper title, author’s name, institutional affiliation, status, postal address and email address at top left, and (2) a succinct, 50-word rationale for the grouping of the papers. The panel organizer should email the abstracts and rationale to cdc@stevenson.edu by 3 December 2015. A pre-organized roundtable should include at least four participants. Roundtable proposals should include (1) a succinct, 50 word explanation of and rationale for the roundtable topic, (2) a timeline of the program, including time for audience interaction and Q & A, and (3) clear evidence of each participant's expertise in the topic area. Do not send entire vitae. Include only evidence applicable to the roundtable topic. The panel or roundtable organizer should email the abstracts and rationale to cdc@stevenson.edu by 3 December 2015.

If you would like to advertise a pre-organized panel on the CDC website, please send the panel title, organizer contact information, deadline, and description to cdc@stevenson.edu immediately.

To see the call for pre-organized panels, visit our Pre-organized Panels page.

Staged Readings

The conference board invites proposals for staged readings of new plays. 2-4 new plays will have staged readings during the course of the conference. Each staged reading will also feature a talkback with the audience led by a dramaturg. Proposed readings should be no longer than 45 minutes. Directors and readers may either be listed as part of the proposal or will be assigned by the Conference Director. Reading organizers should submit title, character list, a 200 word summary of the play, a 100 word rationale for reading the play at the conference, and an exemplary scene or act in Word document form to cdc@stevenson.edu by 3 December 2015.

Session Chairs

Submitters and non-submitters of abstracts who are interested in chairing a session at the conference are invited to send a two-paragraph resume highlighting their areas of expertise to cdc@stevenson.edu by 3 December 2015.

The Philadelphia Constantinidis Essay in Critical Theory Award

The $1000 Philadelphia Constantinidis Essay in Critical Theory Award will be given to the best comparative essay on any aspect and period of Greek drama or theatre that was published in English in any journal or anthology in any country between January 1 and December 31 in the prior year. The award was established in 2006 in memory of Philadelphia Constantinidis to encourage research and writing on Greek drama and theatre. This is an open rank competition for academics, independent scholars, and doctoral students. The award is administered by the Board of the Comparative Drama Conference. The Board solicits nominations and self-nominations for this award. The winner will be notified by the Director of the Comparative Drama Conference, and will be offered complimentary hotel accommodations and a registration fee waiver to attend the Comparative Drama Conference.

The winner will also receive a check of one thousand dollars ($1,000) during the awards ceremony. The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2015. Nominating letters and electronic copies of the essays (converted to Adobe PDF) should be emailed to The Constantinidis Award Committee, Chair Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., at Kevin.Wetmore@lmu.edu‎. Postal mail and faxes are not acceptable. The letter of nomination should include the name of the author of the published essay, the title of the essay, the year of publication, the name of the journal, the email address and postal address of the author, and a brief statement explaining why this essay was chosen for nomination. Recipients of the award are not eligible for nomination for a three year period.

Anthony Ellis Prize for Best Paper by a Graduate Student

In honor of the late Tony Ellis, a board member, valued friend, and committed mentor to graduate students, the Comparative Drama Conference is pleased to announce the Anthony Ellis Prize for Best Paper by a Graduate Student. Any graduate student who presented a paper at the conference is eligible for consideration. Interested applicants should submit a full-length version (15-25 pages) of his/her research paper to the Editor of Text & Presentation by 31 May following the conference. The winning paper will be published with special recognition in Text & Presentation. The winner will also be honored at the next year's conference, where he/she will have the conference registration fee waived and will receive one night’s free hotel room. Please email submissions as Word attachments to the editor, Graley Herren (herren@xavier.edu), by 31 May following the conference.


Submitters of abstracts will be notified by email on or before 30 January 2016 as to the board’s decision regarding their abstracts. Those submitters whose proposed papers are accepted for presentation will be asked to prepare full papers, suitable for 15-minute readings, for delivery at the conference. Those whose papers are accepted are expected to attend the conference. Presenters are required to pre-register.

The 2016 pre-registration fees are as follows:

1. Presenter, Reader or Presenter Session Chair: $99 for faculty members,
   $89 for graduate students
2. Non-presenter Session Chair: $79
3. Guest: $69
4. Student Guest: $39
5. One day guest passes: $30 ($20 for students)

The pre-registration fee for categories 1–4 covers all conference events and services including a copy of the conference Programs and Abstracts book, a copy of the current edition of Text and Presentation, admission to all conference events, and admission to the conference reception. For those who wish to register at the conference, the fees increase to $109 / $99, $89, $79, and $49, respectively. Submitters of abstracts are also advised to apply for travel funds from their home institutions as early as possible.

Please circulate this announcement to other interested parties.

Contact us at cdc@stevenson.edu for more information.