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The Eleventh International Conference on Eugene O’Neill

"O'Neill Beyond the Horizon(s)"

Suffolk University, Boston, MA USA

17-20 June 2020

The Eugene O’Neill Society will be coming home to the very place the Society was founded and housed for many years, Suffolk University, for its next International Conference, now scheduled for June 17-20, 2020. Suffolk University is located in the heart of Boston’s downtown and close to several attractions, historical landmarks, and outstanding restaurants. Conference co-chairs are Steven Bloom and Beth Wynstra, both Boston-area residents, will be planning all year for this event, held traditionally every three years at a site that held meaning to O’Neill in some capacity.

At the 100-year anniversary of Eugene O’Neill’s first full-length play—Beyond the Horizon (1920), which garnered his first Pulitzer Prize--and of the first play to break the color line on Broadway—The Emperor Jones (1920)—it seems fitting to look beyond the many horizons that have shaped O’Neill’s legacy for modern theatre.

Boston’s geography is central to the conference, just as it was foundational to O’Neill’s development as a playwright. O’Neill was tethered not only to Boston/Cambridge (his brief early stint at Harvard; his later stint at the Shelton Hotel, now part of Boston University; and his eternal stint at Forest Hills Cemetery), but also to spaces beyond Boston/Cambridge. Facing out to the Atlantic horizon from the Boston harbor, Cape Cod and Provincetown beckon from the right and Marblehead from the left. Indeed, New England remained an inspiration for the setting of many of O’Neill’s plays, including and beyond Beyond the Horizon. Together, these spaces constitute important grids of O’Neill’s performative cartography, offering fresh perspectives of the horizons beyond.

This conference takes up the themes of beyondness, performative afterlives, and breaking with conventions: beyond canonical readings of O’Neill’s plays and stagings to consider the legacy of O’Neill’s dramaturgical innovations. We seek participants who wish to explore O’Neill’s own experimentation in his lifetime as well as experimental approaches to O’Neill in our own time. We invite scholars, historians, directors, playwrights, actors, and teachers to examine new ways of engaging O’Neill, thereby expanding our own scholarly and pedagogical horizons.

We invite proposals on all aspects of O’Neill’s work, whether specifically relating to the conference theme or not. Presenters whose papers are accepted will be encouraged to submit edited versions of their papers to the Eugene O'Neill Review, the scholarly journal of the Eugene O'Neill Society. Here is the conference Call for Papers and the deadline for proposals is now September 15, 2019 (note: this is an extension of two weeks):

2020 Conference Call for Papers


View and Download a copy of the CFP here

Return to this page for future announcements with information to help you join us for this exciting event in the life of the Society!

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