The University of Cape Town seeks Lecturers in Dance Studies

The University of Cape Town’s Drama Department and School of Dance are merging to become a dynamic centre for contemporary performance practice in Africa.

Built on a proud tradition of excellence, the new centre will be committed to nurturing creative and academic achievement within the context of a vibrant local and international performing arts community. We are seeking dynamic individuals to continue this tradition of excellence and who will also contribute to the ongoing project of transformation of the curriculum to reflect the challenges of contemporary realities globally and specifically of South Africa. This would include embracing principles of diversity and inclusion in performance practices, pedagogies and research.

We seek to fill the following positions:

1 Full-time Senior Lecturer

2 Full-time Lecturers

1 Part-time Lecturer (Teaching only)

Requirements include:

• An appropriate postgraduate qualification

• A commitment to and experience of research (inclusive of creative works) and postgraduate

• Demonstrated ability to teach both academic and practical aspects of performance at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

• Experience in teaching at least 2 of the following: Acting; Voice; Movement for actors; Performance-supervision in contemporary performance practice. Making (Choreography and Theatre-making) Dance Teaching Methodologies; Musicology; Dance History and/or Dance Techniques (African Dance, Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance).

Responsibilities include:

• Planning, implementing, coordinating and teaching both theory and practice across all 4 undergraduate

• Coordinating, planning and teaching on academic development programmes.

• Supervising postgraduate studies.

• Presenting sustained research and creative works.

The respective annual remuneration packages, including benefits, for 2015 are as follows:

Lecturer: R 528 275 (Full-time)

Lecturer: R 330 172 (Part-time 25hours a week)

Senior Lecturer: R 649 534 (Full-time)

To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Mr. Craig Alexander at

– UCT Application Form (download at

– Cover letter, and

– Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Please indicate the post and level at which you are applying.

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.

An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Telephone: 021 406 1508 Website:

Reference number: E15226 Closing date: 15 January 2016

UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. Our

Employment Equity Policy is available at

UCT reserves the right not to appoint.

Temple University: Scholar-in-Residence Spring 2016

Temple University




Scholar-in-Residence Spring 2016

The Dance Department at Temple University invites applications for a week-long scholar-in-residence program. Due to the generous support of Dr. Robert Stroker, Dean and Vice Provost for the Arts, we welcome a visiting dance scholar as part of our mission to generate new research in dance, and provide mentoring opportunities for faculty and graduate students.

Dates of the Residency:        March 28-April 1, 2016

Terms of the Residency:

The Department will provide:

  • 5 nights’ accommodation at the Doubletree Hotel in Philadelphia
  • 5 days of per diems at $65 per day
  • Travel expenses of up to $1500
  • Honorarium of $1500

The Scholar-in-residence will:

  • Deliver two guest classes
  • Read and provide feedback on a draft chapter by a PhD dance student
  • Read and provide feedback on some draft writing by a dance faculty member
  • Provide a draft chapter of your own work (3 weeks in advance of visit) in preparation for two mentoring sessions with two dance faculty

Application Process:

Please submit:

  • Recent CV
  • 2-page statement outlining your current research activity and how it would benefit from engagement with specific Temple Dance faculty

Deadline for Applications:   December 22nd, 2015

Submit Applications to:        Dr. Sherril Dodds (

Results Notifications:            January 25th, 2016

Assistant Professor – Dance School of Film, Dance and Theatre Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University

Assistant Professor – Dance School of Film, Dance and Theatre Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University

The School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University seeks an assistant professor of Dance to teach undergraduate and graduate classes in contemporary modern dance, contemporary ballet and/or urban movement practices and creative practices.

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 80,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation’s fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the nation, is a vibrant example of the of the New American University philosophy. With 4,700 students, more than 400 faculty and faculty associates, 135 degrees and a tradition of top-ranked programs, the Herberger Institute is built on a combination of disciplines unlike any other program in the nation. The institute includes the School of Art, The School of Arts, Media + Engineering, The Design School, The School of Film, Dance and Theatre, The School of Music, and the ASU Art Museum.

Through recognizing that design and the arts are critical resources for transforming society and solving complex problems, the Herberger Institute is committed to positioning artists, scholars, designers, and educators at the center of public life.

The School of Film, Dance and Theatre is a collaborative community of artists, scholars, students, faculty and staff. Through inventive curricula and innovative programming, we are paving the way to the future of film, dance, and theatre. At the center of our philosophy are the four “Cs”: creativity, community, collaboration and collegiality. We build on these core values in our classrooms and studios, research endeavors, public programming and community engagement. Each year we present a season of productions that push the boundaries of contemporary theatre and dance and an annual student film festival that highlights the best emerging talent in digital film and media production.

Facilities include two film and media production teaching studios, high definition and digital video equipment, three editing labs, a sound editing lab, the 482-seat Galvin Playhouse with adjacent scene, costume, and lighting shops, the 250-seat Margaret

Gisolo Dance Studio, the 162-seat Lyceum Theatre, the flexible Prism Theatre, and six classroom/rehearsal studios with marley floors.

With over 400 undergraduate film majors, over 250 undergraduate theatre majors, 100 undergraduate dance majors and over 50 graduate theatre students, the School of Film, Dance and Theatre is a dynamic teaching, learning, and discovery environment in which production and curriculum are mutually supportive.

As an Assistant Professor of Dance, the successful candidate will have a distinguished record of creative activity (performance, choreography, new media, or related fields) and/or scholarship. The duties will include teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in contemporary modern dance, contemporary ballet, and/or urban movement practices and creative practices. The faculty member will be expected to provide individual mentorship to students, serve on MFA committees, and develop a significant research agenda that includes the presentation of creative work and/or scholarly publications. Participation in curriculum development and faculty governance at the school, institute and university levels are required.

Required Qualifications:

National/international record of creative activity and/or scholarship in performance, choreography, new media, dance pedagogy, movement studies, or related fields; Terminal degree in dance or related field; Teaching experience in higher education and at least one other context (e.g. K-12, community classes).

Desired Qualifications:

An interest in innovative and interdisciplinary practices that broaden current notions of dance and education; An interest in interdisciplinary collaborations across multiple artistic disciplines and/or across school boundaries; Ability to teach performance research, theory and methodology in current dance and art making practices; Certification in K-12 education, a somatic discipline, and/or movement analysis; Expertise in additional movement practices (e.g. urban movement practices, contact improvisation, dances of Africa); Strong interpersonal and communication skills; Computer and media/technology skills.

Instructions to Apply:

Please submit a letter of interest, curriculum vita and contact information of three (3) references.

Applications by email are preferred. Submit all materials to:

Applications sent via mail must be addressed to: School of Film, Dance and Theatre Chair, Dance Search Committee c/o Elizabeth Olson PO Box 872002 Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287-2002

Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you would like your materials returned.

Application Deadline: The application deadline is 11:59pm (MST), November 22, 2015; if not filled, reviews will occur every two weeks thereafter until search is closed.

ASU conducts pre-employment screening for all positions, which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses and certifications.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. See ASU’s complete non-discrimination statement at See ASU’s Title IX policy at

Call for Papers: Theatre Journal

Two Linked Special Issues for 2016:

Theatre and the Technological Turn(s)

These special issues investigate the ways in which technology continues to transform theatre and performance. Theatre has historically taken advantage of (and indeed initiated) ground-breaking historical experimentations with emerging technology from the Futurists’ Synthetic Theatre to the pioneering mise-en-scène of Josef Svoboda to the Fluxus experimentation; through these advances, media and performance scholars have continued to explore a rapidly developing technological age. Such transformations are, in turn, having a significant effect on practice and research in the discipline. Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ( no later than 31 January 2016.

Special Issue 1

Digital “Issues”: Rethinking Media in/and/as Performance

In Theatre Journal’s 1999 special issue on “New Technologies,” Susan Bennett wrote that “some theatre scholarship has started to explore and exploit the multidimensional capacities that new technologies permit.” Building from this point, scholars and artists have continued to track and develop an emerging sub-field of media and performance. Called Digital, Multimedia, Mixed-Media, Internet, Cyborg, Virtual, or Intermedial theatre, to mention a few terms, this form has interrogated the growing use, and effects, of new technologies in a globalizing world. Revisiting the topic in the 2009 “Digital Media and Performance,” David Saltz finds a maturing form raising “social, aesthetic, and ontological theoretical issues.”

Bonnie Marranca’s concept of “Mediaturgy” develops out of her 1977 “Theatre of Images,” and is described in PAJ 96 (2010) as “a particular focus in methods of composition in media works that I hope will suggest new critical modes of comprehending and writing.” Now, in 2015, mediatization has been absorbed so thoroughly into everyday life that it is increasingly invisible. In a neoliberal political economy in which a cultural “mediaturgy” contains Donald Trump’s presidential bid, political refugees washing up on shores and screens, and gun violence and racial tensions played out across a myriad of ever-present media devices, mediatization has arguably become the fractured lens through which we understand the world.

If it has become so commonplace to see screens, projections, animations, and electronic objects on stage that we could consider reverting “multimedia theatre” back to just “theatre,” how might theatre now take up the effects of mediatization and find new ways to respond to a neoliberal, increasingly technologized, anthropocentric world? This special issue asks: what are the current challenges and concerns posed by media in/and/as performance? At a time when social and political action is framed by documentation and media capture, how can theatre respond to the mediatization of life? What are the methods in media works that demand new critical modes of thinking about performance? How can media in theatre and performance be used to explore new terrains, or to speak to the over- as well as the under-saturated sites across the globe?

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal co-editor Jennifer Parker-Starbuck. Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ( no later than 31 January 2016. Note: the deadline for both special issues is the same.

Special Issue 2

Theatre, the Digital, and the Analysis and Documentation of Performance

Throughout its history, theatre has capitalised on advances in technology, from shifts in lighting to the development of machinery for creating special effects to the advent of multimedia in contemporary performance, and beyond. Considerations of multimedia are now integral to contemporary performance but also increasingly to the way in which research takes place in our field as the role that digital humanities can play becomes increasingly prominent. This special issue seeks contributions that engage with forms of technology that extend theatrical analysis and/or provide new ways of interrogating performance. Specifically, the issue looks to attract papers in theatre analysis that rely on quantitative methods, interrogations of large data sets and/or databases, or visualisation of theatre and performance and/or simulated environments.

Writing in these pages in May 2015, Debra Caplan quoted Sarah Bay-Cheng’s comment that “as the digital humanities become more performative [. . .] our discipline’s methodologies have never been more apt, or more useful, to the larger field.” This special issue asks: what do these technologies say about theatre and performance today? What can they elicit that ‘conventional’ research may overlook? How do they facilitate additional forms of investigation and understanding of our discipline(s)? How do we integrate them into other forms of analysis? How, for instance, do the enormous data files for a documentation form such as motion capture ‘translate’ to significant research outcomes? What are the effects of what Franco Moretti calls ‘distant reading’ to our fields? What obstacles might they set in place for understanding the nature of performance?

As is appropriate to such a topic, we hope to be able to load any necessary supporting data (data sets, visualisations, colour images) on the Johns Hopkins University Press site for essays in these issues. Please indicate any specific technological requirements for additional or different forms of critical support in your cover letter.

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal editor Joanne Tompkins. Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ( no later than 31 January 2016. Note: the deadline for both special issues is the same.

Job Posting: University of Toronto Jackman Humanities Institute-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships

Mellon Postdoc 2016-2018

Application Start Date: Sep 14th, 2015, 12:00 am
Application End Date: Nov 16th, 2015, 11:59 pm

Call for Applications
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities, 2016-2018

Applications will be accepted starting on Monday 14 September 2015 at 9:00 a.m. (EDT).

The Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) at the University of Toronto is pleased to announce Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships designed to provide financial and intellectual support for outstanding scholars at the beginning of their professional careers. Four Fellows in the Humanities will be selected for a two-year fellowship in the JHI. Fellows will be selected on the basis of accomplishment appropriate to their stage in their career, the promise of excellence and the relevance of their research to the annual theme.
The JHI interprets “Humanities” as a broad category, including political theory, interpretative social science, music, and the arts.

The theme for 2016–2017 is TIME, RHYTHM, AND PACE

The modern experience of time is often characterized by its “increasing speed,” its linearity, and its emphasis on “now.” But time does not have to be regarded as the flight of an arrow, a race track, or a forking path. If we consider the body, the planet, or the longue durée of history, it becomes clear that rhythm, cycle, pace, and temporality pervade the human condition, now as they have always done.  Occurring at multiple scales (neuronal firing, diurnal habits, menses, calendars, life cycles, the rise and fall of civilizations), rhythm is concrete, existential, and profound. How do rhythm and cycle, rather than velocity, characterize human life? What are the politics of chronology? How can a deeper understanding of time, rhythm, and pace—from literary theorists, historians, phenomenologists, political scientists, and diverse other sectors of the academy—provide us with guidance in an increasingly frantic and fast-paced world?

The Fellows will pursue their individual research in the context of the JHI. They will have offices at the JHI and will participate in weekly seminars and other activities in the circle of fellows. In addition, each postdoctoral fellow will be affiliated with a Department and will teach one course in each Fall and Winter term of their two-year Fellowship. We are especially interested in candidates who have an interest in and capacity for interdisciplinary work of a high quality. The Fellowship provides an annual $50,000 Canadian stipend.

Eligibility: PhD Completed 1 July 2013 — 1 May 2016

Applicants must have completed their degree within three years of the beginning of the fellowship (1 July 2016).  Applicants who will defend their thesis before 1 May 2016 are eligible, but a letter from their supervisor or Chair may be requested. Any award will be conditional on a successful defense.
Applicants who received their Ph.D. prior to 1 July 2013 are ineligible.
Degree candidates and recipients of the Ph.D. from the University of Toronto are ineligible.
Fellowships are open to citizens of all states. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may further expand the range of ideas and perspectives.

You must have a registered userID on the JHI website to apply.  Click on Funding to see the description of the fellowship and application procedures.  Scroll to the bottom of the description, and then click Apply Now to apply (this will not be visible until 14 September 2015).

You will be asked to upload the following documents in your application:

1.    Letter of Application (outline your research at doctoral level and plans for the fellowship, emphasizing relevance to the Annual Theme.)
2.    Curriculum vitae
3.    Statement of Teaching and Research Interests (outline what you would like to teach; show how your research can play out in the classroom.)
4.    Writing Sample (normally a completed thesis chapter or published article of about 30 pages)

All documents must be in Word or .pdf format. The size limit for a complete application including all four documents is 4 mb. If your application is too large, you will see an error message; please adjust the size of your files and try again.
You will also be asked to provide the names and email addresses of three referees, and/or the name and email address of your dossier service.  You may include both a dossier service and referee names if necessary.  Please alert your referees to your intention to apply before you submit your application in order to allow them sufficient time to respond.
When you complete the application, click Submit.  When you click on Submit, your application will be filed, and the referees that you have named will be contacted automatically to request letters of reference. Do not click Submit until you are ready for reference requests to go out.
You may check on the status of your application by going into your userID profile on the JHI website and clicking on Applications (left column). If your application says “complete”, your dossier/references have been received. If your application says “pending”, we are waiting for a dossier or reference letters.  Your dossier and/or letters of reference should be received by 1 December 2015.  You may edit your application before the deadline. In edit mode, you may not be able to see previously submitted materials, but they are still there. If you save new versions of any file, the new version will overwrite and replace the old one.

All applications must be made online at by 16 November 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).  Faxed, emailed, and paper applications will not be considered.

Contact: Robert Gibbs, Director of the Jackman Humanities Institute (416)-978-7415.

Job Posting – Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

Job Posting – Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

The Department of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis invites applications for a tenure-track faculty appointment in Modern Dance at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin in the fall semester of 2016. A Ph.D. in dance, performance studies, or a closely related field and at least three years of experience as a dancer/choreographer required at the time of appointment. Applicants should have an active focus on research and publication. A global perspective on dance, interests in interdisciplinary approaches to dance study (dance sociology, performance studies, gender, etc.) and in Contemporary Dance are also welcome. Duties will include teaching assigned courses in dance theory, history and technique; conducting research; writing for publication; engaging in creative activities; advising students; participating in department governance; and university service.

Application materials should include a CV, transcript, writing sample, statement of ongoing and future research and teaching goals, 3 letters of reference.  A performance video is optional.  Applications by email are preferable:  Mailed applications may be sent to Cindy Kahn, Assistant to the Chair, Performing Arts Department, Campus Box 1108, Washington University, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.

Full consideration and priority will be given to application materials received by November 15, 2015, but materials will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and especially encourages applications from women and members of underrepresented minority groups.



MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Cosgrove at (847) 491-5753 or

FOR RELEASE: September 10, 2015


Grant renewal to foster emerging leaders in dance studies

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University will continue to team up with two other premier schools in fostering emerging leaders in dance studies thanks to a $600,000 renewal of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The multi-year project, “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities,” began in 2012 with the appointment of postdoctoral fellows at Northwestern, Brown University and Stanford University. The renewal will fund additional advanced teaching and research in dance studies at all three institutions through the 2017-18 academic year.

“The Mellon Fellows have enriched academic discourse by contributing diverse perspectives to the liberal arts and our community,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “We thank the Mellon Foundation for their continued support of this wonderful program.”

“Before the Mellon initiative, developing dance studies as an inter-discipline of the humanities felt like my own personal obsession,” said Susan Manning, professor of English, theatre and performance studies at Northwestern. “With postdoctoral fellows now on campus, we’ve truly built a community of interest among undergraduates, graduate students and faculty from several departments.” A number of interdisciplinary initiatives are planned, including an ongoing Working Group in Dance Studies hosted by Northwestern’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

Amanda Graham, the current Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern, is planning a symposium for spring 2016 in conjunction with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art’s exhibit “A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s” (Jan. 15 to July 17, 2016). The symposium, titled “Performed in the Present Tense,” will bring together artists, scholars, and performance curators to reflect on dance in the museum. Participants will include Noemie Solomon, the current Mellon Fellow in Dance Studies at Brown, and Brendan Fernandes, a visiting artist at the Kaplan Institute who works across choreography and visual art.

The program has already proven successful in cultivating dance studies leaders. Jose L. Reynoso, the inaugural Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern, is now an assistant professor of critical dance studies at the University of California, Riverside. Brandon Shaw, the inaugural fellow at Brown, is now permanent faculty in dance studies at the University of Malta, while Joanna Dee Das, last year’s fellow at Stanford, just started a tenure-track position at Williams College. The current Stanford fellow, Rachel Carrico, will also be invited to Evanston within the next year, Manning said.

Applications are currently being accepted for Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in Dance Studies at all three campuses for the 2016-17 academic year. They must be completed by Jan. 1, 2016. For information on how to apply, see the project website at


CFP: Michael Jackson: Artist, Advocate, Provocateur

We are seeking proposals for a multi-disciplinary collection of essays on Michael Jackson as a creative and political force.

Serious analysis of the cultural and political meanings of Jackson’s art has lagged behind an inordinate focus on his private life and personality.  We seek thoughtful writing that moves beyond familiar narratives-informed arguments, never before published, that focus on Jackson’s artistry and strategies for social change. Our goals are 1) to move the conversation into new places, taking up new questions for new audiences, and 2) to produce a volume in which scholars, cultural critics, and other thinkers from inside and outside academia speak together, charting directions for Jackson studies in the future.  We welcome a variety of points of view and standards of value.

Send one-page abstracts and one-paragraph professional biographies to Toni  Bowers and Willa Stillwater at by October 15, 2015.  We’ll select proposed essays and assemble a Table of Contents by the end of the calendar year.  Early in 2016, we’ll send a details proposal, including abstracts, to a university press or rigorous academic trade publisher.  Final essays of approximately 9000 words (20 pages) will be due in early June 2016.

Toni Bowers, PhD, is Professor of British Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.  She has published four books and dozens of articles on literary and cultural subjects, including “Dancing with Michael Jackson” (Los Angeles Review of Books, May 14, 2015).

Willa Stillwater, PhD, is the author of “Monsters, Witches, and Michael Jackson’s Ghosts” (Popular Musicology Online, January 8, 2015) and M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance (Kindle 2011).

Search: Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in Dance Studies

Call for Applications

A consortium of three research universities–Brown, Northwestern, and Stanford–seeks to appoint Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in Dance Studies for the academic year 2016-17. Fellows will be associated with departments of dance/theatre/performance studies and with humanities centers on each campus and will teach two undergraduate courses. International applicants are welcome, as are applicants from Ph.D.s in all fields in the humanities and humanistic social sciences that border dance studies.

The initial appointment is for one year, renewable for a second year. Applicants must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. no later than 15 July 2016 and no earlier than 15 July 2013. Campus placement will be determined by the Search Committee.

Please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample, a sample syllabus for an introductory course in dance studies, and three letters of recommendation to Dance Studies Search Committee, Northwestern University, University Hall 215, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston IL 60208-2240. Electronic applications (in Word or pdf) may be emailed to project assistant Jennifer Britton ( with the subject line “HDance Studies Search.” AA/EOE. Northwestern is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Deadline for applications is 1 January 2016.

CFP for Performing the Progressive Era, A Collection of Essays

Performing the Progressive Era: 

Immigration, Urbanism, and Nationalism on Stage, 1890-1920

             In The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909), reformer and settlement house director Jane Addams laments the temptations and travails of modern urban life, especially the lack of access for working class and immigrant families to institutions that promote the “conception of life higher than that which the actual world offers them.” Integral to Addams’s argument is the institution of theater, which she describes in terms of character-building and national-development by quoting from an anonymous English playwright: “The theater is literally making the minds of our urban populations today. It is a huge factory of sentiment, of character, of points of honor, of conceptions of conduct, of everything that finally determines the destiny of a nation. The theater is not only a place of amusement, it is a place of culture, a place where people learn how to think, act, and feel.” Accepting this premise uncritically, Addams nevertheless warns against those entertainments that constituted a “debased form of dramatic art,” which could only corrupt the innocence and morality of the youth by promoting unethical assumptions and behaviors, a common complaint among theater and social critics of the Progressive Era. Addams yearned for an appropriate theater that could show “life lived in efflorescence;” a theatre that would ennoble the youth of working-class and immigrant families, and therein, the country.  In effect, Addams sought the high/low binary that David Savran has shown developed during the 1920s, with high-culture theater of Eugene O’Neill and the subsequent Little Theatre Movement, sermons, and settlement-house plays correcting the troubling influence of melodramas, musical halls, and burlesque.

Addams’s conception evinces a disorganized and overlapping theatrical landscape that was specific to the Progressive Era. A commingling of genre, aesthetic, and ideological trappings that produced a theatre that defined (and was defined by) the nation’s emergent urban life. This is perhaps best encapsulated by Frederic Jameson’s definition of modernism as “the co-existence of realities from radically different moments in history.” The Progressive Era was, for the most part, a confluence of new and old, high and low. At the same time, perhaps fortunately for Addams, the Progressive Era represented what Dorothy Chansky has called a “sea change in social behavior enabled not only by the innovations of self-proclaimed rebels, but by widespread, systematic shifts allowing a broad based accommodation of the new rhetoric by many Americans.” This anthology examines the theatre’s role in promulgating and legitimizing these changes. In what ways did theatre—high and low— instigate changes in local and national identities as they relate to questions of class, ethnicity, sexuality, temperance, etc.? In what ways did theater—high and low—work in conjunction to influence how theatergoers thought, acted, and felt?  By taking up Addams’s claim about the competition and comingling of Broadway, working-class, immigrant, settlement house, and variety theatres, this anthology examines the ways that thinkers, artists, reformers, and entrepreneurs willed a new chapter of modernity into existence out of the raw material of this decidedly chaotic period of U.S. history.

We welcome submissions that examine the theatre’s role as a “factory” of modernity, both locally and nationally. This might include consideration of social concerns such as the Settlement House Movement, the Social Purity Movement, Temperance Societies, Immigration, Nativism, etc. This might also include exploration of the many theatrical genres discussed here as they relate to the larger project of modernism.

Editors – J. Chris Westgate, CSU Fullerton & Max Shulman, Tufts University


  • Final essays will be between 8,000-10,000 words.
  • Please send abstracts of 250 words to J. Chris Westgate at
  • Please include a short bio with abstracts.
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: December 1st, 2015