Call for Articles, Migrations in American Drama and Theater

deadline for submissions: 
January 10, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
John S. Bak

Call for Articles


Title: Migrations in American Drama and Theater

Edited by: Ramón Espejo, Josefa Fernandez Martin, Alfonso Ceballos, John S. Bak

Publisher: Brill/Rodopi                                                                                   


Due date for submitted articles: 10 January 2019
Date for acceptance notifications: 15 May 2019

Due date for final (revised and formatted) articles: 1 August 2019



The impulse to cross geographical barriers and transgress boundaries, of whatever kind, traverses the history of mankind. Such processes often turn out traumatic and painful, however ultimately beneficial or rewarding. Motivations may be economic, political, or just sentimental. But fleeing the (literal or figurative) homeland (or, in today’s parlance, one’s comfort zone) in search of safety, a livelihood, happiness, novelty, change, self-realization or prosperity is bound, in most cases, to exert psychological pressure and involve a price. For the scholar, such processes whereby human communities or individuals are confronted by the new and the alien, often by the other in oneself, are fascinating to study and probe. Cross-hybridization between cultures and values has often resulted in new ways of looking at and making sense of reality. The friction and strife such processes bring with them are similarly pertinent areas of scholarly interest and inquiry.


Few countries have been more dependent upon migrations, understood in a broad sense, than the us. Not only is a great part of its population descended from migrants (all of it if we understand migrations in a wider sense, as native peoples have had to migrate not only geographically but culturally from ancient practices to largely alien notions of progress and modernity), but the country has been predicated upon geographical and social mobility, in itself a kind of migration. Debates on the advantages, if any, of migrations, as well as the alleged danger of disenfranchisement for the receiving population, the advisability of “contamination” by foreign values, or competition from abroad, are common. Obviously, there has never been a time in the history of the country where some kind of wall has not been deemed advisable, and not only the kind endorsed by the protagonists of The Fantasticks, a musical which became an icon of American theatrical culture precisely on account of its adamant refusal to the oft-suggested migration to Broadway.


Migration here is understood as a trope that implies change, translation, re-situation or re-location, adaptation, transferral, as well as the embracement of the new. When playwrights explore new themes, new theatrical styles or new dramatic voices, they become migrants, often encountering resistance and feeling unwelcome, which they brave in search of artistic fulfilment, new audiences, or merely profit. Without stylistic migrations, there would have been no evolution in the dramatic art: no Eugene O’Neill, no Susan Glaspell, no Thornton Wilder, no Living Theater, no Sam Shepard, no Broadway musicals. Even migrations across media (from film to stage or stage to film, from novel to play or play to musical) or from one country to another (European influences on American playwrights, the impact of us drama and theater abroad) are areas of research especially encouraged.


Possible areas for research and reflection include (but are not limited to):

  • Theatrical migrations understood both literally and figuratively. Real migrations and migrations as a trope.
  • Stylistic migrations and cross-hybridization between formats.
  • Transnational studies of American drama.
  • Foreign playwrights in America and hyphenated American playwrights. Multiculturalism as migration.
  • us drama abroad and foreign drama in the us. The migration of cultures on stage.
  • World realities on the US stage. America on the world’s stage.
  • Mainstream playwrights migrating to the fringe. Fringe playwrights reaching the mainstream. Crossings between theatrical milieus.
  • Broadway migrating from Broadway. The emergence of Off and Off-Off Broadway and the regional theater movement.
  • Bodies, trauma, gender, and identity. Migrations from one’s sense of self and the corporeality of migrations.
  • Intertextuality, transmedia, and intercultural exchanges. Migrating texts.


Submission Procedure:

The submission process will be done in two stages:

     1. Stage one: peer review of all articles submitted for consideration and preparation of the book proposal

For this first stage, each of the articles submitted by 10 January 2019 will be peer-reviewed prior to acceptance. While such decision will be heavily dependent on the input of our blind reviewers, the editors will have the last say. The selection process will be based on the originality of argument, the thoroughness of research, and the quality of analysis and language. Importantly, the final submission must be an article in its own right, and not merely a conference paper slightly fleshed out. Once the selection process has been completed, acceptance notifications will be sent out by 15 May 2019

     2. Stage two: revision process and copy-editing of all accepted articles

Once the book proposal is accepted by Brill Rodopi (or another publisher), the editors will begin working with individual authors in preparing their final article. Articles at this stage will be revised and then copy-edited as necessary to bring them into conformity with the proposed book’s central thesis and style sheet (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.: note that 17th ed. now requires a bibliography for each chapter, and notes should be shortened in terms of the citation information included there).  


To submit an article to this volume, please send all of the following in one, double-spaced Word document to Ramón Espejo ( by 10 January 2019: your title, name and affiliation; a 250-word abstract of your article, including six keywords; your completed article (9,000 word maximum), including footnotes and a bibliography; and a 200-word narrative CV of your professional achievements.