Performance History

Performance History Working Group
: Stephen Johnson, Marlis Schweitzer, Sasha Kovacs, Heather Davis-Fisch, Roberta Barker
Contact: Sasha Kovacs (

Call for participants
18 January, 2019

Proposals are invited for membership in the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Performance History Working Group. The working group’s inaugural session took place in 2018 in Kingston, Ontario and explored significant challenges that participants experienced navigating the relationship between performance and documentary evidence in their own research work.

Our 2019 gathering builds upon the ethical and procedural concerns identified in last year’s meeting. This session will offer an opportunity to explore and re-define the verb ‘to decolonize’, examining the many ways in which we might attempt to diversify and extend the content and form of our research and teaching beyond its roots in the Western European traditions that were foundational to the study of theatre history in this land now known as Canada.

To continue your collaboration with this working group, or to join as a new member of the working group, please submit the following information to Sasha Kovacs,

  • brief statement of your research interests and current research project(s) as they relate to theatre and performance history
  • A no more than 500-word response to the question: what does it mean to decolonize your practices in making, teaching, researching, or writing Canadian theatre and performance history?
  • Your intentions with respect to attendance at the 2019 conference meeting in Vancouver, BC, and your affiliation with the working group, to date.

We encourage the participation of graduate students, scholars early in their careers, and seasoned veterans. The area of research is not restricted to a particular time, place, or topic. We welcome questions in advance of submitting a proposal.

The meeting of this Working Group at CATR/ACRT 2019 in Vancouver, BC (Unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory) is part of a larger pattern of activity, which includes: communication through an online blog; active mentorship of emerging scholars; and participation in meetings outside the conference time and place. Our goal is to bring historians together to build a compilation of resources for researching/writing/teaching theatre history.

Once membership in the group is confirmed, participants will be asked to contribute to an online conversation in advance of the conference for viewing by participants and registrants. In addition, participants will be asked to engage with a various readings, selected by the co-organizers, that can deepen our in-person discussion.

Please note that all participants in the group must be members of CATR and submissions from participants that are committed to attending the in-person meeting at the conference will be prioritized. You can join CATR at the following link:

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