Rethinking Motherhood in Twenty-First Century Theatre

“Rethinking Motherhood in Twenty-First Century Theatre”
Organizers:  Sheila Rabillard and Karen Bamford
Contact: Karen Bamford ( and Sheila Rabillard (

Call for proposals
Deadline: 4 January, 2019

This CATR 2019 call seeks proposals for scholarly papers that address the rethinking of motherhood in 21st-century theatre. Papers are invited to comprise a curated panel focused on theatre in Canada, the US, and the UK that contributes to ongoing cultural conversations concerning changing concepts, imaginings, valuations, and potentials of maternity. Papers may address one or several plays or performances; they may emphasize mothering as individual and/or as collective endeavor. We welcome a range of approaches from established and emerging scholars.

Potential topics or perspectives include (but are not limited to):

  • embodiments of mothering
  • Hill Collins’s “mother work,” the legacy of residential schools, the current historical moment
  • motherhood in the theatre in relation to motherhood in other genres or media
  • theatrical explorations of maternal affective labour
  • rethinking contemporary motherhood and the legacies of theatre history
  • Badinter’s analysis of multiple, co-existing concepts of motherhood: theatrical obstacle or opportunity?
  • motherhood as opening to other realms
  • mothering in the Anthropocene
  • omissions from the conversation: who is not included in theatrical rethinking of motherhood?

Structure of the panel and process:

There will be 4 panelists, including established and emerging scholars. The panel will consist of four scholarly papers, each fifteen minutes long in presentation, followed by a period of questions and discussion. Three weeks prior to the CATR conference panelists will exchange draft versions of their papers.  Two weeks prior to the conference, each participant will submit questions and comments on the other panelists’ papers to aid revision and promote discussion.

The curators of the panel hope to foster further development of these papers after the conference with the goal of eventual publication.

To be considered, please submit a 250-word proposal including the presenter’s name and the paper’s title, plus a 50-word bio statement. Submissions or queries should be sent to both of the co-curators:

Sheila Rabillard, Associate professor, University of Victoria (
Karen Bamford, Professor, Mount Allison University (

Send all proposals by 4 January 2019.

Accepted panelists are expected to attend the CATR conference, Vancouver, 3 – 6 June 2019.

All accepted presenters and participants are required to join CATR.

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