Pre-organized Panels

43rd Annual Comparative Drama Conference

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Pre-organized Panels – Call for Papers

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 by 3 November 2018. 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 by 3 November 2018.

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 immediately.


Calls for Pre-Organized Panel Participants

A Round Table on Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls 

The annual Thursday night play outing for this year’s conference will be Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls.  We will be attending a performance at Mad Cow Theatre.  (If you attended last year’s conference, Mad Cow put on Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge).

The conference would like to put together a round table discussion of Top Girls, which would feature academic scholars and members of the Mad Cow production team to discuss Churchill’s play, the performance by Mad Cow, and the legacy of its subject matter.

If you are interested in participating on the panel, please contact William Boles by October 31, 2018 .


The Plays of Caryl Churchill 

Since we will be seeing Top Girls, it only makes sense that we should also offer a panel that addresses Caryl Churchill and her plays.  Any topic of interest that applies to her work is welcome.

If you are interested in being on a panel that addresses the plays of Caryl Churchill, please contact William Boles by October 31, 2018 with a 250 word abstract.


George Bernard Shaw

Sponsored by the International Shaw Society

Papers addressing any aspect of George Bernard Shaw’s plays are welcome.  Please submit your 250 word abstract to Dr. Tony Stafford ( by October 31, 2018.


David Henry Hwang

Sponsored Panel by the David Henry Hwang Society

While any paper on David Henry Hwang’s plays are welcome, we are interested in exploring the generation of Asian-American playwrights who have followed Hwang and their (dis)connection with Hwang’s legacy.

The David Henry Hwang Society was founded in 2016 at the Comparative Drama Conference with the goal of promoting scholarly examination of Hwang’s theatrical works. Since his first breakout play, FOB, in 1980, David Henry Hwang has proven the most significant and prolific Asian American playwright to date.  From the global phenomenon of M. Butterfly and more recent successes with Yellow Face and Chinglish, Hwang has staged stories of the Asian American experience and explored questions of race, culture, and identity.

Send your 250 words abstract to by October 31, 2018.


Teaching Christian Drama to Biblically Illiterate (and Semi-Literate) Audiences

Western civilization is deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition and ideology, which goes a long way in explaining why the Bible is a shadow text on nearly every college literature syllabus. The heritage of the so-called “the book of books” spans the full historical spectrum of English writing, from its earliest specimens up to its most recent. For centuries, the bible offered up a common vocabulary and shared lens through which American college professors and their students could think and talk about literary history and culture.

That is, until now. While there are still more self-identifying Christians living in the United States than in any other country, a 2015 Pew Report showed that people are leaving the flock in droves. This, coupled with the rise of secularism, increased religious diversity and growing cultural ambivalence toward organized religion, puts instructors of English and American dramatic literature in the challenging but simultaneously invigorating position of being at the forefront of pedagogical innovation and disciplinary evolution and change. What does it mean when longstanding members of the English-language literary canon are deemed inaccessible by modern readers due to their unfamiliar religious content? How do we teach Christian-themed drama (spanning from medieval mystery plays and Doctor Faustus to Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral and Jesus Christ Superstar) in an era where biblical literacy can no longer be an assumed prerequisite?

This panel seeks abstracts for 15-minute papers/presentations that offer up engaging and portable strategies for teaching Christian drama to students whose knowledge of biblical plotlines, characters, themes and issues is either limited or non-existent.

Submit your 250-word abstract to by October 15.


Session on Medieval and Early Modern Drama

This session of the Comparative Drama Conference explores the ways in which this year’s conference locale—Orlando, Florida—crosses paths with the culture of medieval and early modern drama. Included among Central Florida’s most notable and popular theatrical productions are theme park stage adaptations of animated films and cinematic blockbusters (think Finding Nemo-The Musical etc.). How do medieval and early modern dramatic works similarly appropriate, convert and dramatize other types of scripted or choreographed performances (oral legends; religious rituals and practices; courtroom dramas; political spectacles etc.) —and to what practical and ideological ends?

Please submit 250-word abstracts and CV to by October 15.

“After Beckett”


Three decades after his death in 1989, Samuel Beckett remains one of the most influential figures in modern and contemporary drama. This panel seeks to examine plays written “after Beckett”: that is, plays written since 1989 which stage an intertextual conversation with one or more of Beckett’s plays. I will be presenting a paper on Antoinette Nwandu’s 2017 play Pass Over. I am looking for two additional papers to complete the panel.

Interested participants in the “After Beckett” panel should send abstracts of no more than 250 words [including name, paper title, institutional affiliation and rank (if applicable), and contact information] by October 31, 2018 to Graley Herren at


 Moves Towards Modernism: The British Theatre Before WWI

Organizer contact information: Lydia Craig (

Deadline: Please submit 250-word abstracts (paper title, author’s name, institutional affiliation, status, postal address and email address at top left) and CV to by 31 October, 2018.

Panel description: This panel considers transitions between late Victorian and Edwardian theatre, specifically developments in plays by Elizabeth Baker, Harley Granville Barker, John Galsworthy, Cicely Hammill, Henry Arthur Jones, Arthur Wing Pinero, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and others that pushed against outdated Victorian stylistic or moral conventions, were influenced by European works by Gerhart Hauptmann, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, etc., and pushed the boundaries of stagecraft even prior to the catastrophic ideological impact of World War I.


Papers considering late nineteenth and early twentieth century theatrical moments of tension, collision, placation, etc. that gave rise to what is now termed Modernist theatre, are welcomed.