Call for Participation: AAP Sponsored Sessions at ATHE 2017

AAP invites full paper panel and multidisciplinary session proposals that explore the 2017 ATHE theme and its manifestations in Asian performance, including but not limited to performance traditions of Asian regions and the theory, practice, and/or pedagogy of Asian performance from transnational and multidisciplinary perspectives.  We encourage and welcome creative engagements with the 2017 ATHE theme.  To learn more about the AAP and membership benefits please visit the AAP website:

Conference Dates and Location
August 3 to 6, 2017
Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Submission Deadline
November 1, 2016 (complete session proposals and technology requests; direct submission to ATHE)
Guidelines for submission (with link to online form) is at

Conference Theme:
Spectacle: balancing education, theory, and praxis #ATHE2017OfBreadAndCircuses
(See complete statement of conference theme at

In Poetics, Aristotle ranks spectacle last among his six constituent elements of drama, privileging the poetic over the visual, claiming that spectacle “stirs the emotions” yet “is less a matter of art than the others.” (GRUBE) In the millennia since, countless artists and scholars have championed the aesthetics of theatre and stood in defense of spectacle. Nevertheless, a bias persists.

The 2017 ATHE Conference Committee invites you to join us in Las Vegas, Nevada for an examination of the role of spectacle in theatre practice, scholarship, and pedagogy. What opportunities do an emphasis on spectacle present to us as artists, scholars, theorists, and educators? Does a spectacle-driven theatre lead us away from Aristotle’s aims, or do we find that enhanced spectacle serves to support and strengthen plot, character, thought, diction, and music? How have certain bodies been made spectacular? How does the use of spectacle highlight or obscure the politics of performance, representation, and staging? What ethical and political responsibilities must artists, scholars, and activists negotiate when employing spectacle in performance, design, scholarship, and/or dramaturgy?

For Pre-Submission Consideration

  1. “Single Focus Group Sessions” on the online application form refers to paper panels and roundtable discussions with AAP as the only sponsor. Proposals (with all members assembled) should be submitted directly to ATHE by November 1, 2016. But please make sure to submit a copy of your complete proposal to Xing Fan [] prior to November 1 to secure sponsorship.  This is for planning purposes.  Please know that technology requests after November 1 will not be considered; please follow instructions on application form to make appropriate requests.
  1. “Multidisciplinary Sessions” must be sponsored by at least two Focus Groups.  Proposals (with all members assembled) should be submitted directly to ATHE by November 1, 2016. Each group must be contacted and approve the submission with their names attached. Please make sure to submit a copy of your complete proposal to Xing Fan [] prior to November 1 to secure AAP’s sponsorship.  Please know that technology requests after November 1 will not be considered; please follow instructions on application form to make appropriate requests.
  1. Please note that the deadline to apply for grants is also November 1, 2016.
  1. For 2017 ATHE, participants will only be able to present in total of two ATHE concurrent sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions
(Collectively composed by Emily Wilcox [AAP’s President], Tarryn Li-Min Chun [AAP’s VP for AAP conference planning], and Xing Fan [AAP’s VP for ATHE planning]).

Q: What are “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE”?  And how are they related to the “AAP conference”?
A: Association for Asian Performance (AAP) is a focus group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).  “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE” take place during the ATHE conference, as concurrent sessions with other sessions sponsored by the other, more than twenty focus groups.  In 2017, the ATHE conference will take place August 3-6.  “AAP conference” is the annual conference of AAP.  It takes place in the pre-conference slots of ATHE and in the same venue; in 2017, it will be on August 2-3.

ATHE and AAP require separate registrations; we invite and encourage colleagues to attend both.  For inquiries about “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE,” please contact Dr. Xing Fan []; Xing is AAP’s VP for ATHE planning.  For inquiries about the “AAP conference,” please contact Dr. Tarryn Li-Min Chun []; Tarryn is AAP’s VP for AAP conference planning.

Q: What is the timeline and procedure of selecting proposals for “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE”?
A: The proposal deadline for “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE” is November 1, 2016.  (After our 2016 membership meeting in Chicago, we raised the issue of long decision cycle to ATHE conference planners; we were informed that November 1 is necessary in order to allow all planning procedures to be followed.)  The ATHE planning team will pre-screen proposals and compile a list of pre-approved sessions for focus groups’ further consideration.  The AAP board will rank sessions collectively.  Based on the ranking results, the ATHE planning team will make final decisions and final announcements.  According to the experience of 2014-2016, final announcements are communicated as early as in late February and as late as in early April.  The 2017 ATHE planning team set February 1, 2017 as the deadline for final announcements.

The CFP for the “AAP conference” is announced in the spring of 2017.  Please be assured that our two VPs are working closely together to ensure that the proposals not included in ATHE will get a chance to be submitted to AAP.

Q: May I submit proposals for both “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE” and the “AAP conference”?
A: Yes! There are two ways to do this.  1. You may submit two separate proposals for different papers (or sessions), one in the fall for “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE” and a second in the spring for the “AAP conference.”  If both proposals are accepted, you may participate in both conferences.  2. You may submit a proposal for an “AAP-sponsored session at ATHE” in the fall and wait to see if it is accepted. If it is not accepted, you may resubmit the proposal to the “AAP conference” in the spring.

Q: What is new for “AAP-sponsored sessions at ATHE” in 2017?
A: For this year, we strongly encourage colleagues to submit proposals for single focus group sessions (which may include paper panels and roundtable discussions) and/or multi-disciplinary sessions; these proposals should be submitted directly through ATHE’s online system.

Previously, we used to accept individual paper proposals.  AAP’s VP for ATHE planning then compiled them into panels and proposed on behalf of the panels.  We notice that these panels generally suffer less cohesiveness which is often reflected in lower board rankings, lower rates of acceptance, and lower rates of attendance.

For colleagues who are interested in presenting individual papers at 2017 ATHE: Please consider the following steps to anchor your paper in a good place.  1. Circulate an abstract or an idea through the AAP listserv,; colleagues with similar research interests may organize a cohesive panel.  Please know that you do not need to be an AAP member in order to send a message to the group.  2. Brainstorm your ideas through the AAP Facebook page by posting an idea or abstract on the discussion board.  3. Send an abstract or an idea to Dr. Xing Fan []; she will be more than happy to announce it for you.