Call for articles: Stages of Embodiment in Postcolonial Theatre - Deadline for abstracts: March 30

full name / name of organization: 
AIA - Italian Association of English Studies (Textus)

TEXTUS n.2 2016

Stages of Embodiment in Postcolonial Theatre

Tiziana Morosetti (University of Oxford) and Serena Guarracino (University of Naples 'L'Orientale')

Copyeditor: Angela Zottola (University of Naples Federico II)

Theatre occupies a particular position in contemporary research on cultural formations and practices: its progressive emancipation from exclusively 'literary' (or textual) approaches has highlighted the need to elaborate a specific set of critical tools for the analysis of the theatrical 'event', one that must take into consideration as constitutive features of theatrical productions such factors as: a multiple and disseminated concept of authorship; the multimodality of meaning-making; and the collective experience of live audiences. Theatre has also proved a fertile ground for the exploration of gendered and racialized identities, as well as class conflict: with their emphasis on the performing body as cultural signifier, theatrical practices have both exploited and undermined received notions of identity and alterity, together with what has been in different times and places defined as 'exotic'.
In postcolonial contexts, both rewriting of canonical theatre and original productions have marked crucial moments of cultural and political action, often resulting in experimental stagings and a diversified elaboration of the theatrical space. The history of theatre – in English as well as in the local languages of previously colonial contexts – is rich in examples where it has played a central role in anti-colonial struggles. In the Indian subcontinent, for instance, the British legacy of Shakespeare has often proved a site of resistance and of cultural negotiation, while contemporary Indian theatre has remained at the margins of critical enquiry. African theatre, on the other hand, as Awam Amkpa states in his Theatre and Postcolonial Desires, is 'one of overlapping modernities', and has served both colonial forces and the anti-colonial struggle.
Whether this variety and heterogeneity allows for such an encompassing definition as 'postcolonial theatre' is one of the questions this issue of Textus wishes to interrogate, exploring theatrical practices as well as their intersections with the complex critical landscape today identified as 'the postcolonial'. Contributions that address the different stages of 'embodiment' of the postcolonial, from the early days of the anti-colonial struggle to contemporary productions, and work towards defining what 'postcolonial theatre' has been and come to mean in the early twenty-first century are particularly welcome.
We invite proposals on issues that may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• The 'canon' of postcolonial theatre
• Re-writings and adaptations of Western theatre
• Postcolonial Shakespeare in performance
• Postcolonial theatre and institutions
• The actor's body: gender, race, class and technology as cultural practices
• The challenge of multilingualism
• Area studies and transnational theatre
• Agency and authorship: writers, directors, performers...
• The economies of postcolonial theatre: centres and margins of production
• Audiences and the elaboration of cultural identities

Deadline for abstracts: March 30, 2016
Acceptance of abstracts will be notified by April 15, 2016.
Deadline for articles: September 30, 2016.

Please note that authors from Italy must be full-paid AIA members.

Please contact editors Tiziana Morosetti ( and Serena Guarracino ( for any query about your submission.

Amkpa Awam, Theatre and Postcolonial Desires, London: Routledge, 2004.
Balme Christopher B., Decolonizing the Stage: Theatrical Syncretism and Post-colonial Drama, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.
Cartelli, Thomas, Repositioning Shakespeare: National Formations, Postcolonial Appropriations, London: Routledge, 1999.
Crow Brian and Chris Banfield, An Introduction to Post-colonial Theatre, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996
Gilbert Helen, ed., (Post)colonial Stages: Critical and Creative Views on Drama, Theatre and Performance, Hebden Bridge: Dangaroo, c1999.
---, ed., Postcolonial Plays: An Anthology, London : Routledge, 2001.
Gilbert Helen, and Joanne Tompkins, eds, Post-colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics, London: Routledge, 1996.
King Bruce, ed., Post-colonial English Drama: Commonwealth Drama Since 1960, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992.
Loomba Ania and Martin Orkin, Post-Colonial Shakespeares, Routledge, 2013.