Performance, Religion, & Spirituality: Performance Research and Ancient Texts
For an upcoming special section, the editors of PRS are seeking research that uses performance as an analytical method to understand the structure, function, use, meaning, or affects of classical religious, philosophical or religious texts. The problem of how to ‘activate’ classical texts for contemporary readers is difficult, and in recent decades, some scholars, artists and religious professionals have turned to making their own live performances responding to classical texts—in a wide variety of forms and settings—as a means of doing so. In this work, they often are forced to make complex decisions that highlight the assumptions, meanings, and consequences embedded in these texts that may not be as visible to the non-performative reader. This can shed new light on these texts as practical artefacts and not just literary works.
For this call, we are interested in classical texts from across the globe, from Japan to India to Africa to Mesoamerica to the Mediterranean to Scandinavia and beyond. While our ‘home field’ is theatre and performance studies, we are interested in scholarly work from a variety of fields—including anthropology, classics, religious studies, archaeology, cultural history, literature, and others—that uses performance in some way. While of course we enjoy contemporary performances of classical Greek drama specifically, this material is covered enough elsewhere and we do not expect it to feature heavily in this section.
If you might be interested in submission or you have further questions, please write to the current editor, Joshua Edelman, at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your project.
About the journal
PRS (online at prs-journal.org) is an international, bi-annual, peer-reviewed and open-access journal devoted to expanding and deepening discussion about the performed and performative dimensions of religion and spirituality, as well as the religious and spiritual dimensions of performance. The journal promotes rigorous scholarship about the social, cultural, philosophical, and theoretical implications of religion and spirituality (which can include secularity and atheism) as aspects of theatre, the arts, everyday life, politics, language, history, and the sciences.
In addition to this specific call, we always seek scholarly articles and reviews of performances and books, as well as contributions to our “Forum” section, which highlights practical work and profiles artists.
Topics must treat some aspect of religion and/or spirituality as, in, or through performance. PRS especially welcomes interdisciplinary papers that address a range of methodological perspectives, including but not limited to: religious studies, theatre and performance studies, cultural studies, media studies, sociology, political science, international relations, theology, applied performance or practice as research, and pedagogy.
Scholarly articles should be 20 to 30 pages in length, with endnotes placed under the title "Notes." Articles must be set in 12-point Times New Roman font, have one inch margins, and be double-spaced throughout (including endnotes). All submissions should be prepared according to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (author-date format), and they should be made in the form of a Word document or a rich text format document. A quick guide to the Chicago Manual of Style is available online: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html All submissions of scholarly articles must include a 200-word abstract.
PRS is affiliated with the Performance, Religion and Spirituality Working Group of the International Federation of Theatre Researchers (IFTR) and the Religion and Theatre Focus Group with the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).