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Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference 2016

Chicago, Illinois  |  August 11 - 14, 2016

Palmer House Hilton


ATHE 2016 Conference ThemeBodies at Work: Performance, Labor, and ATHE @ 30

The Latina/o Focus Group (LFG) of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) invites panel proposals for the 2016 ATHE conference to be held in Chicago, Illinois. The theme, “Bodies at Work: Performance, Labor and ATHE @30 draws upon the city’s identity as a site of labor struggles in an effort to convene a conference that invites participants to examine performance as labor and labor as performance. Latina/o Theatre has often been grounded in helping performers and audiences understand the labor of working bodies inside and outside of the theatre. Additionally, The LFG has long been a voice that labors to recognize Latina/o voices that have oftentimes been erased from academic theatre curriculums. The theme of labor holds particular relevance in the neoliberal university of the 21st century as noted by ATHE President Patricia Ybarra in her presidential address, highlighting the precarity of tenure and the disproportionate number of adjunct and contingent faculty who populate our institutions of higher learning.

The subject of labor saturates U.S. Latina/o, Latin American, and indigenous performance and scholarly projects. The LFG invites theoretical, critical, pedagogical, or creative/praxis-based session proposals and will give special attention and consideration to submissions that:

  • Propose innovative investigations of the intersections (in terms of both form of session and content of session) between memory and performance that concern U.S. Latina/o, Latin American, and indigenous populations and their cultural productions.
  • Convene conversations/sessions that propose discussions that adamantly seek to cross-pollinate the conversation among U.S. Latina/o, Latin American, and indigenous performance topics, objects of study, and theoretical ideas.
  • Offer panels/sessions that are multidisciplinary in nature: that utilize session participants from diverse ATHE Focus Groups or offer panels comprised of participants from separate institutions.
  • Offer panels/sessions with no more than four participants (not including a session Chair, which would constitute the fifth person on the panel). Panel/session proposals with no more than four scheduled participants will be given leading priority for selection.
  • Offer practice-based/creative ideas that engage the topic of memory directly.
  • Incorporate vibrant and non-traditional methodological approaches to paper presentations and creative/practice-based approaches to conference presentations/discussions. 



As noted at the 2015 Membership Meeting, Jimmy Noriega and Noe Montez are taking on a greater curatorial role in procuring conference panels for the 2016 Conference. We hope to make the panels more inclusive and accessible to members of the Focus Group or to outsiders who are new to ATHE, and want to participate with us. Consequently, we ask that you submit conference panel proposals to us in advance, so that we can then create a list of potential LFG panels that will be placed on the ATHE webpage and the group’s Facebook page.

Proposals for Panels, September 30, 2015. Please submit your proposal for a 2016 panel to Jimmy Noriega ( and Noe Montez ( The list of potential ATHE panels will be immediately compiled and posted on all channels of communication (ATHE Webpage, Facebook) so that interested parties may submit papers for the session coordinator’s consideration. Please also let us and other FG conference planners know if you plan on submitting a multidisciplinary panel. Session coordinators who do not submit their panel proposals before this deadline risk not being ranked or being placed at the bottom of our hierarchy when Jimmy and Noe submit information to the conference committee. Proposing a panel does not guarantee that the panel will be accepted to the conference, as the conference committee makes the ultimate determination of how many panels the LFG will receive.

Submit Papers for Panels: October 15, 2015 Please submit your paper proposals to panels that seem to be viable fits for your work. Do not submit papers to more than two panels, as ATHE requires that someone not participate in more than two panels within the conference. Panel proposers will then decide which paper proposals best serve the goals of their sessions.

Complete Sessions/Panels: November 1, 2015. Submit your session proposal directly to ATHE online at — more information about procedures on LFG ATHE blog site:

++ Please submit a separate copy of your completed proposal to Conference Planner Noe Montez at when you submit your ATHE online proposal. This allows the LFG to help curate your session through the submission process.

Participation by presenters in the LFG has grown tremendously. Therefore, selecting from our many submissions becomes a challenging process for conference planners as the process becomes more competitive. As our membership grows we cannot guarantee that panels (and single paper submissions) will be accepted, particularly if they include formatting errors including a lack of paper titles or clear thematic cohesion. With limited spacing available, we offer the following advice to help you plan your submissions:

  • Make sure your session is in compliance with submission instructions (see LFG ATHE website for further information). Do not leave details out of your proposal since this may affect your submission’s ranking. Also, be specific in your paper abstracts and panel descriptions. 
  • Offer full, cohesive panel sessions of paper presentations (as opposed to individuals offering single paper submissions for consideration). Single paper submissions will not necessarily be able to find a secure position in this year’s LFG conference selections.
  • We strongly encourage potential participants to have conversations for forming panels and finding possible panel participants with both Jimmy Noriega, LFG Representative, ( and Noe Montez, LFG Conference Planner, ( early in the process.
  • We also encourage potential participants to participate in the dialogue and seek collaboration using the LFG ATHE blog site: 


Please note, there will be an LFG pre-conference for ATHE 2015. We strongly encourage LFG members to attend pre-conference events this upcoming year. Courtney Elkin Mohler and Coya Paz will be co-planning a series of events that acknowledge the vast diversity and centrality of Latina/o theatre in Chicago


>>> ATHE has retired ALL ATHE Focus Group email listservs. <<<

ATHE has a new website that hosts focus group “pages” or “forums” where focus groups post all information and communications. Joining the LFG forum page is easy. Registered, dues paying ATHE members will obtain full functionality of the new website. Non-members can also access particular elements of the site (see below).  

How to affiliate with the LATINA/O FOCUS GROUP on the ATHE website for all communication for registered ATHE members, i.e., you have paid your ATHE membership fee for 2014:

  1. Go to the ATHE homepage (
  2. Sign into your ATHE account. (If you don’t remember your username or password, use the “Contact Us” function at the very top of the page.) Once you are logged in, continue to Step 3
  3. Hover over the “Groups” tab.
  4. Hover over “Focus Groups L-S.”
  5. Select “Latina/o Focus Group.”
  6. In the top left corner of the Latina/o Focus Group page, you should see two menu items: “Directory & Features” and “Join Group.” Select “Join Group.”
  7. You are now affiliated with the Latina/o Focus Group and will receive communications! You can now participate in our forum discussions, post blogs, and take advantage of the other site functions we will be launching in the coming weeks and months. Please note that we will continue to work on updating and streamlining the site information and coordinating it with the wonderful LFG resource/website created by Kimberly Ramirez. We will now be sending important conference & non-conference announcements via this medium.

What if you are not a registered (dues paying) member of ATHE but want to participate in LFG discussions on this new site? ATHE has introduced a new Participation-Only Website Registration, which is absolutely free of charge. You can sign up for this at

If you have any questions about this new “forum” communication (member or non-member alike), we encourage you to contact ATHE’s Communications Manager, Shaun Franklin-Sewell, at

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