A Cowboy in Repose: Memorializing Sam Shepard

Shannon Skelton's picture
Call for Papers
October 26, 2018 to October 31, 2018
Kansas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Theatre & Performance History / Studies, American History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies


ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Conference

August 7-11, 2019

Orlando, Florida USA

Abstracts Due: October 31st at 11pm (Central Standard)

With Sam Shepard’s death in 2017, American Theatre lost a pivotal figure who mixed the traditions of O’Neill, the spirit of Off-Off Broadway, the transformationalism of Chaikin and the imagism of Beckett with heavy doses of rock music, pop culture and cowboy mythology. This panel (consisting of papers and presentations) will consider Shepard’s current position in the canon, his influence on contemporary writers and how the writer has been memorialized. From his early days in New York as a naif dramatist to the creation of the family cycle and his emergence as a film actor, Shepard’s life and work serves as a unique locus of concerns and tensions in art and culture from the last half of the twentieth century. Reflecting the conference theme of ‘Scene Changes’, the panel will also consider how ‘shifts’ - if any - have occurred in appraising Shepard’s work after his death.


Potential paper topics include: recent productions of Shepard’s work; university curriculum and Shepard; gender and violence; Shepard’s work in the age of Trump; the late prose work of Shepard; obituaries and memorials of Shepard; Shepard’s archive; Shepard as political writer; Shepard and Mexico; Shepard and rock music; collaborations with actors (such as Stephen Rea); celebrity and Shepard.


Abstracts (100 words or less) can be submitted to Shannon Blake Skelton at sbskelton@ksu.edu. Please submit by October 31st at 11pm (Central).

Contact Info: 

Shannon Blake Skelton

Kansas State University


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