Call for Chapter Proposals: Dramaturgy and History Edited Volume

Erin Stoneking's picture
Call for Papers
September 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Fine Arts, Literature, Public History, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

Call for Proposals:  Dramaturgy and History: Staging the Archive (Edited Volume)
Eds. Caitlin Kane (Kent State University) and Erin Stoneking (The University of Alabama)

We invite proposals for short (2500-word) chapters for an edited collection focused on the dramaturgical methods and techniques used to stage historical narratives. Each chapter should feature a case study that illuminates and contextualizes a clearly articulated approach that can be taken up by readers in their own work. The project has received an expression of strong interest from the editor of the Focus on Dramaturgy book series at Routledge, and accepted abstracts will be included in a formal book proposal submitted to the press.

To say that dramaturgs regularly undertake historical research and grapple with questions about how to present or contextualize histories for contemporary artists and audiences might seem to be stating the obvious. Many dramaturgy manuals and treatises list broad familiarity with theatre history and the ability to research and write historical contexts and production histories as necessary skills for the effective dramaturg. Many university dramaturgs are theatre history scholars and/or teach courses on theatre history. Resident dramaturgs and literary managers often act as the de facto institutional historians for their companies. Yet little ink has been spilled on the breadth of methods and approaches that dramaturgs employ in supporting productions of history-based or historical dramatic works, in developing new history-based work, or in making historical context legible and accessible to wide audiences.

This project seeks to produce a volume concentrated on dramaturgical approaches to staging history generated by dramaturgs in the thick of the questions at hand— a handbook for professional and student playwrights, dramaturgs, and theatre artists that provides an array of practical case studies related to history and theatrical production and dramatic writing. While chapters will be grounded in illustrative case studies, these examples will be used primarily to foreground specific methods and techniques that can be implemented in the development and production of historical and historically-grounded work.

We welcome proposed contributions on related topics, including:

  • Approaches to performing historical research in support of developing dramatic work
  • Approaches to dramatizing history and historiographical processes
  • Approaches to dramaturgy on history-based works for contemporary audiences
  • Approaches to dramaturgy on historical dramatic works for contemporary audiences
  • Strategies for extra-theatrically engaging audiences in relevant histories
  • The potentials and pitfalls of theatre as a medium for amplifying historically marginalized voices and/or addressing absences in the archive/historical record
  • The ethical and political stakes of staging history
  • Dramaturgy and public history: applying dramaturgical practices in settings not typically construed as theatrical (historical site interpretation, museums, etc.)
  • Approaches to navigating the sometimes conflicting considerations of historical accuracy and creative freedom

Send proposals, including a 300-500 word abstract and a short bio in .DOC or PDF, to Caitlin Kane ( and Erin Stoneking ( with the subject "Dramaturgy and History" by September 1, 2022. Acceptance notifications will be sent by October 15, 2022, with first drafts of chapters due by April 15, 2023.

Contact Info: 

Erin Stoneking (The University of Alabama)

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