Theatre Library Association — 2016 Symposium Call for Papers
October 13, 2016 — Judson Memorial Church, New York City
fringe (n): 1) An ornamental bordering, consisting of a narrow band to which are attached threads of silk, cotton…either loose or formed into tassels, twists… 2) Anything resembling this; a border or edging, esp. one that is broken or serrated. 3) Existing on the edge or margin of an area or region.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines fringe as something decorative, something that verges on the irrelevant. As American fringe festivals enter their third decade, they show every sign of being highly relevant and so much more than decorative. Concurrent with the 20th anniversary of the New York International Fringe Festival, the 2016 Theatre Library Association Symposium explores the local, national, and global impacts of fringe festivals on their respective communities and on the landscape of American theater. Upstart theater companies, non-normative performers, and experimental stagings have dominated fringe festivals since their inceptions, from San Francisco to New York, from Minnesota to Edinburgh. Yet even as they have changed the landscape of contemporary theatre, rarely have these festivals received dedicated attention from scholars and archivists. Fringe performances are often the most ephemeral examples of the most ephemeral art form; we invite proposals that consider why the Fringe should be brought center stage. Why do we keep the Fringe? How do we archive the Fringe? For whom is the Fringe?
The Theatre Library Association encourages innovative scholarly explorations into the nature, relevance, and influence of fringe festivals. The Theatre Library Association seeks 3-4 symposium proposals for presentations (not to exceed 20 minutes) that investigate these concerns. Panelists are invited to consider the following:
A 250-word abstract, including name, affiliation, and e-mail address, should be e-mailed to the Theatre Library Association Symposium Planning Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org). All submissions must be received by (March 1, 2016), in the e-mail body or as a PDF or MS Word attachment. A small honorarium may be offered to invited panelists to help defray costs of attending the symposium.