Friday, March 05, 2010

WTP Conference, Biennial of the Americas, Chicano Music Pioneer


Dangerous Liaisons: Feminist Engagements with Race, Sexuality, Class, and Gender in Theatre and Media- 35th Annual Women and Theatre Program (WTP) Conference Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) August 2, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA University of California, Los Angeles

What would it mean to create a “dangerous liaison” between the feminist and the queer? What are some of the experiments and pursuits made towards interrogating how the theatre and media influences the production and reception of race, sex, class, and gender in feminist and queer performances? This call for papers asks for explicative representations of how feminist and queer performance intersects with race, sexuality, class, and gender to perform/critique the “dangerous liaisons.”

ATHE’s conference theme this year is Theatre Live: Theater, Media, and Survival, and though theater and media are at the centre of the WTP’s conference theme as well, we deploy the concept of “dangerous liaisons” as we interrogate the influences of theatre and media on feminist and queer communities, performance, collaborations, and other related issues. The WTP wishes to use the 2010 conference as a moment to explore ways to include those who have been excluded from political processes, to examine the impacts of theatre and media on feminist and queer communities, to build and explore collaborations among marginalized groups. Some topics suggested by our membership include:

Media and Performing the Body
Construction of Sex, Sexuality, and Gender in Popular Culture
Cultural Icons of Feminism and Queer (Mothers, Divas, Monsters, Superheroes, etc…)
The Body and Representations of Femininity
Female Sexuality in the Theatre and Media Representations of Ethnic Sexualities and ‘Otherness’ (dis/ability, ethnicity, queer, etc..)
Eroticism as Power Race and Gender in Media
Class Differences in Feminist and Queer Communities
Feminist Beliefs of Religion, Spiritual, Secular, and Sexuality
Feminist Activism and Pedagogy on Immigration and Marriage Equality

The Conference Committee encourages proposals that incorporate innovative formats, numerous voices, partnerships and active dialogue. You are urged to go beyond the traditional 3-speaker presentation for seminars, roundtables, performances, workshops, and poster sessions.

SUBMISSION PROCESS: Submissions for the WTP conference should be emailed to Cecilia (Cici) Aragon at by March 31, 2010. In addition, feel free to contact Cici with any questions or concerns about the submission process. Further information on WTP, its membership and events (as well as how to join the WTP listserv) can be accessed at

For academic panels, seminars, and roundtables:
The WTP does not accept proposals indicating that presenters are still to be determined. All persons whose names appear on submissions must have agreed to attend the WTP conference. Priority will be given to proposals that include representatives from various institutions (rather than the same university). Potential presenters should not apply to be on more than one panel. Please submit proposals of no more than 250 words. Also, please indicate your university or theatre affiliation and your email address in your proposal.

While individual submissions will be considered, preference is given to proposals with a range of participants. You are encouraged to assemble these by networking on the ATHE and WTP listserves. (See “Resources” on the ATHE webpage for information on subscribing to the ATHECALL listserv.) If you are having difficulty assembling proposals, please contact Cecilia Aragon at before March 31st, 2010.

For workshops, performances, and other creative ventures: Please submit a 500 word proposal of your workshop, performance, or other creative project. Include a description of the project, any technical needs (lights, sound, etc.), length of time needed, and the number of people involved in the project. The WTP is only able to provide limited technical support, so projects with few technical needs will be privileged in the selection process.

. The Women and Theatre Program is a self-incorporated division of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). Founded in 1974, our mission is to bring theater professionals together with academics and activists. In the years since our inception, WTP has sponsored panels and activities at ATHE’s annual conference. In 1980, WTP began holding its own annual pre-ATHE conference. The continuing goal of WTP is to enable feminist inquiry and to provide opportunities for discussion between those who teach, perform, and theorize about feminism, theatre, and performance. Correspondingly, our conference performing artists and keynote speaker bridges our philosophy of social and cultural advocacy with a community theatre company that represents progressive political work.


Although not immune from controversy, the Biennial of the Americas event scheduled for this summer in Denver has potential for excitement and creativity. Here's the verbiage from Denver's Office of Cultural Affairs:

WHAT IS THE BIENNIAL OF THE AMERICAS? The Biennial of the Americas is a month-long cultural celebration of innovation, imagination and the artistic achievement of the Western Hemisphere, hosted by the City of Denver. Comprised of 35 countries, the Americas are a biologically, geographically and culturally rich component of the interconnected global community. Beginning in July of 2010, and every even-numbered year to follow, the City of Denver will host this inspiring event, highlighting and promoting the ingenuity, imagination, cohesion and collaboration of the Western Hemisphere. Rooted in four interconnected themes - innovation, sustainability, the arts, and community - The Biennial of the Americas will affirm the potential of a united Western Hemisphere, better equipping this international community to address future challenges and opportunities.

Ever a frontier for bold ideas, Denver’s rich history of forward movement and unconventional thinking forms an ideal foundation for this progressive event. In hosting the Biennial of the Americas, Denver will facilitate the convergence of innovation, sustainable thinking, the arts, and the shared community aspirations of the Americas, promoting a more unified and enlightened Western Hemisphere. Throughout the 2010 Biennial of the Americas, ideas to encourage collaboration, artful thinking, and promote change will be launched from three distinct platforms:

A CENTRAL EXPERIENCE - THE MCNICHOLS MAIN STAGE The recently renovated historic McNichols building will showcase talent, highlight creativity and present viable solutions for tomorrow. A piece of art in and of itself, McNichols will serve as the Biennial's main stage, hosting leading edge exhibitions of art, design, architecture, and music. As the Biennial of the Americas community hub, the building will provide an inspirational and energetic space for social engagement and the exchange of ideas and points of view. Located in the heart of Denver's Civic Center Park, this unique space will also host innovation-centric collaborations and provide a platform for a variety of town hall meetings focusing on hemispheric development and advancement.

CITYWIDE EXHIBITIONS The Biennial of the Americas will engage the public at Metropolitan Denver's existing cultural and artistic institutions, showcasing Biennial content through their unique curatorial lenses. The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Museo de las Americas, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, among other institutions, will all play host to the Biennial. Each institution will house exhibits and offer insightful experiences enlivening and enriching the cultures of the Americas. In addition, unexpected outdoor exhibitions will surprise, delight, and live on as inspirational beacons of Biennials to come.

There's more at this city website.


A final note - Bobby Espinosa of legendary Chicano music group El Chicano, died last week at the age of 60. The keyboardist mixed his ingrained jazz sentiments with raza rock to create memorable grooves like Viva Tirado, Tell Her She's Lovely, and Cantaloupe Island. Tributes are appearing in a variety of media -- Felix Contreras of NPR does a nice job remembering the man, his music, and Espinosa's heavy jazz influence in his piece Requiem for a Latin Pioneer, which you can read here. QEPD.

Not much about books from me this week. But don't hold that against me, and make sure you check out La Bloga every day of this week, and the next, and the next, and the ...



Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know about El Chicano - is this the "day the music died" for Latinos?

msedano said...

QEPD. Bobby Espinosa? ¡Presente!

Zulmara said...

May El Chicano RIP and always be remembered for all he has done for the Chicano community.