Calls for Papers, Panels, & Publications

The August Wilson Society 2020 Biennial Colloquium: August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented; August Wilson African American Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222; March 12 – 15, 2020.

Since its founding in Spring 2006, the August Wilson Society (AWS) has steadily pushed to increase awareness of August Wilson and to expand the conversation surrounding his important contributions to both the African-American literary tradition and cultural discourse at large.  Arguably, Wilson lived his own life on the margins and formulated an aesthetic of resistance that pushes back against stereotypes and that valorizes once victimized depictions of African Americans. 

… And yet, despite impressive advances in August Wilson Studies, so much of Wilson’s life, work, and legacy remain on the margins—understudied and underrepresented.  Organizers of the August Wilson Society’s 2020 Colloquium, August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented, seek to remedy this and, in the processpush August Wilson Studies into unchartered areas that, thus far, have been either treated tangentially or completely neglected. AWS invites proposals for panels, roundtables, individual papers, workshops, and other presentations that focus upon topics currently considered to be “on the margins.”

August Wilson on the Margins—Understudied and Underrepresented will build upon previous AWS national gatherings and explore an even wider range of voices and topics from artists, grade school educators, high school students, community leaders, activists, and academics. Directors, actors, dramaturgs, historians, educators, scholars, politicians, and poets are especially welcomed!

Interested participants might consider the following suggested list of topics—or some modification thereof: Wilson  as (Political) Activist; Wilson on Religion; Wilson and the Blues; Dramaturgs, Dramaturgy, and Dramaturging Wilson’s Drama; Designing and Tech(ing) Wilson: Lighting, Scenic, Costume, Projections, Etc. ; Wilson around the World: Diaspora, Transnationalism, and Globalization; Wilson and Feminism/Womanism; Queer, Quare, and Querying Wilson’s Oeuvre; Integrating Wilson into High School Curricula; Wilson and/as Critical Black Pedagogy; Wilson’s Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Relationships; Wilson and (African-American) Foodways; Young Actors and Wilson; Wilson’s Relationship to Visual/Fine Arts; Wilson and His Insights into Cultures across Geographic Spaces; Wilson as Literary Forebear; How I Learned What I Learned: August Wilson and the Power of Art. Explorations outside of these topics are also welcomed.

Potential participants must submit a 250- to 500-word proposal detailing how the planned project engages with the colloquium theme, as well as a brief biographical statement (no more than three sentences in length) for each participant. 

Proposals should be sent to under the heading “colloquium submission” 

Inquiries should be address to Khalid Y. Long, AWS Vice President and Colloquium Chair. 

Deadline for Proposals:September 16, 2019 

Notifications for Accepted Proposals:No later than October 29, 2019

August Wilson Society 2020 Biennial Colloquium


Theatre History Symposium—Call for Papers

The editors of Continuum seek critical and theoretical essays that explore new developments in twenty-first century black theatre.

Continuum also seeks book reviews about any aspect of Black theater, theory, historiography, and practice. Reviews will be between 1000-1500 words. Continuum rarely seeks reviews of published plays or anthologies. Book Review inquiries can be directed to Sharrell Luckett, book review editor at

Performance reviews: Continuum is seeking writers to review professional theatre productions for the 2019-2020 season. Reviews should be between 1000-1500 words. Interested writers should contact Melda Beaty, performance review editor (

CONTINUUM: The journal of AFRICAN diaspora drama, Theatre, and performance


“CHARACTER” Theatre History Symposium—Call for Papers

 From archetypes and stock characters to musings from theorists such as Zeami and Aristotle, character is inextricably linked to the art of theatre. Additionally, character refers to nature or qualities: it may rationalize misfortune (“hard work builds character”), refer to perceived difference (“he’s a character”), or signal integrity (“she’s got character”). A character is also a graphic figure (“Limit your tweets to 280 characters”). In today’s world, we are constantly re-evaluating “character” and resultant ethical quandaries: How do we judge one’s character? When is something out of character? What does it mean to play a character?

As historians, we face questions regarding the character of past practices and the ways we characterize the past. Scholarly choices such as format, structure, and medium shape the character of historical narratives that impact how others understand the past. In terms of this year’s host city, the character of Chicago has shaped a vibrant performance landscape, and theatrical representations of the metropolis have shaped perceptions of the city’s identity.

This year’s Theatre History Symposium invites participants to consider ways in which character allows us to re-think, re-imagine, and re-create the pages and stages on which we work and the world in which those pages and stages are created. Questions that papers may address include, but are not limited to: How do historical narratives characterize not only the past, but the present and future? What characters from the past persist and how do practitioners address these characters? How do historiographic approaches characterize our work? In what ways has “the past”/“history” played characters in dramatic works? How are characters redefined/recomposed across temporal, spatial, national, and linguistic boundaries? What roles do characters play in the creation of moral, political, nationalistic, ethical, religious messages and/or propaganda? How has emphasis on character marginalized non-Western or avant-garde performance? How do non-Western modes of theatre articulate/differentiate/engage with the notion of a performing body?

We are excited to announce that Dr. Stuart Hecht will serve as this year’s Theatre History Symposium Respondent.

Please submit proposals via the online form at the bottom of this page:

  • Please be prepared to include a brief biography, title and abstract for your paper (250 words), and audiovisual requests for your presentation on your submission form. (Please note, we cannot guarantee AV support but will consider requests when scheduling.)

  • We also welcome proposals for full panels. Contact the co-chairs for more information.

  • No individual may submit to more than two symposia. This limit is put in place to avoid scheduling conflicts and to provide more individuals the opportunity to present.

Theatre History Symposium Co-Chairs: Heidi L. Nees, PhD, Bowling Green State University and Matthieu Chapman, PhD, University of Houston

Please email the Symposium Co-Chairs at with any questions

 All proposals must be received by October 15, 2019

Robert A. Schanke Award

The Robert A. Schanke Research Award is given annually to an untenured faculty presenter of the Theatre History Symposium and carries a cash award of $500 and consideration for publication in Theatre History Studies, the Mid-America Theatre Conference journal. For consideration, submit your full, conference-length version of your paper to the co-chairs at the email address above by February 7, 2020.

mid-america theatre conference: symposium

For BTN Members:

If you have a call for papers, panels, or publications that you'd like to have shared with the broader BTN audience, please email your call to Only current members' requests will be considered.