Collaborative Research in Theatre and Performance Studies

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Global Performance Studies and the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
contact email: 

Collaborative Research in Theatre and Performance Studies

Joint Issue of Global Performance Studies and the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 

To be published Fall 2021 (GPS issue 4.2 & JDTC issue 36.1)


Issue Editors

Kevin Brown, University of Missouri

Felipe Cervera, LASALLE College of the Arts

Kyoko Iwaki, Waseda University and University of Antwerp

Eero Laine, University of Buffalo, State University of New York

Kristof van Baarle, University of Antwerp

Rather, we conceive of our relation to already-authored research as one of adjacency: we work alongside—but also deliberately differently to—existing institutions, epistemologies and investments. We also work adjacently to one another, invoking the practice of ensemble theatre-making as a means of supporting one another’s critical enquiry. (After Performance, 2016:36)

The collaborative turn in labour has, in recent years, reconfigured the workplace and workforce to maximise resources: time, space, and infrastructure are shared in a bid to “humanise profit.” Open offices, cloud documents, multi-tasking, and distributed management: all trademark characteristics of shared labour in the early 21st century. As theatre and performance scholars, we are often incredulous of this turn. Not least because sharing time and space in the act of labouring is, perhaps, an obvious point in any material analysis of performance, but also because our performative analytic tools provide us with the insights necessary to appreciate that collectivity does not necessarily mean solidarity. Artist collectives and collaborative labour frequently function at various points along the spectrum between shared autonomy and unwilling acquiescence. And yet, in the arts there is a persistent tendency to think in terms of genius and singular artistic voice. And, so we should ask again, even when our object of study isand has historically beencollaborative in nature: why do we remain professionally obsessed with becoming singular voices? 

Considering the high level of collaboration necessary to produce theatre and performance, why is so much of the scholarship on the subject written by single authors? To what extent might theatre and performance studies, as a practice, be benefited by some of the same conventions that inform the fundamental collaborative know-how of theatre and performance-making? How might collective forms of criticism, scholarship, and theory move us away from images of the individual genius, and develop deeper conceptions of performance and theatre practices as collaborative? That is, by developing collaborative scholarly practices, we might enable a different discourse on performance and theatretransforming the way we work, create, and critiquewhile expanding our understanding of the broad network that we call 'performance.' In a context where individual erudition and fierce competition for an ever-shrinking labour market are constitutive of the practice of studying performance, are collaborative methodologies an alternative and strategy for collective care and empowerment?  

JDTC and GPS invite contributions that are authored by three or more collaborators on any topic related to the purviews of the journals. This call for papers encourages authors to find coauthors and to write together, to think together, to develop theories together, to struggle together. It is an attempt to explicitly open space for collaborative scholarship and to encourage the joint production of academic work. While we may accept articles that consider academic and writerly processes, we are particularly interested in work that advances conversations in performance studies and dramatic theory and criticism while realizing the potential of shared authorship as a methodological approach. The strongest contributions will integrate the various authorial voices rather than using a ranked author format or offering separately authored sections or sub-articles. Co-authors may or may not be at the same institution and may or may not all be theatre and performance scholars. 

In addition to scholarly articles, we are interested in works that will make use of the different platforms of the journals in print (JDTC) and online (GPS). We encourage supplementary materials such as video, audio, images, and other scholarly and creative content.

To be considered for this special section, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words that describes your contribution along with a brief bio or CV for all authors by August 15th, 2020. Final contributions will be due in early 2021. Send expressions of interest to both the JDTC managing editor ( and GPS Editorial Team (


August 15, 2020: Proposals due 

Early 2021: Final papers due for peer review

Fall 2021: Publication

The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism was founded in 1986 at the University of Kansas by John Gronbeck-Tedesco and Paul Newell Campbell. The journal publishes peer reviewed articles that contribute to the varied conversations in dramatic theory and criticism, explore the relationship between theory and theatre practice, and/or examine recent scholarship by a single author. Recent issues of the journal can be accessed through Project Muse:

Global Performance Studies (https://gps.psi-web.orgis a peer reviewed online academic journal sponsored by Performance Studies international (PSi). Our goal is to provide a resource to scholars and artists who are seeking to publish both traditional articles as well as cross-platform, multimedia content that pushes the boundaries of what we think an academic journal can be. We are also interested in finding ways the journal can serve a truly global audience of performance studies scholars and artists.