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In Excitable Speech, Judith Butler proposes a chiasmatic model for the understanding of conflict, as she analyzes the role of injurious speech in relating injury (socially contingent and avoidable) and subordination or subjection (the constitutive condition of the subject). Using a theoretical framework that combines elements of Lacanian, Althusserian, and Foucauldian critical discourse, Butler explores the possibilities of resistance available to the actors involved in a situation of conflict and concludes that none of the various regimes of normalization, subordination and subjection surrounding the individual at any given moment can ensure the individual’s complete, infallible subjection insofar as both the individual and these regimes of signs are, in some ways, “excitable,” unstable entities.
Considering the centrality of the notions of performativity and performance to Butler’s theorization of subjection, as well as Lacan’s definition of the “woman” position as a “not wholly there” in the domain of phallic control, this panel seeks critical and theoretical explorations of the ways in which various logics of conflict (family/ intergenerational, war-related, environmental, class/ gender/ race-based, etc.) are represented in twentieth-century/ contemporary women’s drama. An extended discussion of the themes, linguistic conventions, affective states, and body language that emerge consistently from these representations of conflict should allow for interesting conclusions concerning the ways in which various logics of conflict intersect in contemporary women’s drama and reflect on changing social realities. Many such works re-imagine, redefine, and confront conflict in ways that accentuate its chiasmatic composition to further destabilize its destructive potential. In a world of ever-morphing and often volatile socio-political realities, the import of approaches to conflict that can sidestep the constraints of more traditional models of conflict resolution extends beyond the physical limits of the stage, reaffirming the value of theatre as a transformative social experience.
Please send your proposals (300-500 words) to Cristina Ionica (Fanshawe College),

Conference Location: Toronto, Canada
Conference Starts: October 17, 2019
Conference Ends: October 20, 2019

CFP Submission Deadline: March 01, 2019

For more information, contact: Cristina Ionica