Theatre History Studies Volume 43 Call for Papers

deadline for submissions: 
January 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Jocelyn L. Buckner/Theatre History Studies
contact email: 

Dear colleagues,  Please consider submitting your work to Theatre History Studies. Volume 43 will feature a special section, "Manifestos for Black Theatre, Then and Now" co-edited by Isaiah M. Wooden, PhD and Eric M. Glover, PhD.  Please see below for information on submitting to the special section (deadline: January 1, 2023) and the general section (rolling submissions). Sincerely,Jocelyn L. BucknerEditor, Theatre History Studies ------

Manifestos for Black Theatre, Then and Now

A Special Section of Theatre History Studies

Volume 43 (2024)

Co-Editors: Isaiah M. Wooden, PhD and Eric M. Glover, PhD


In her formative essay “An Equation for Black People Onstage” (1994), playwright Suzan-Lori Parks repeats and revises several questions that have reverberated throughout the history of Black theatre and performance: “As a Black person writing for theatre, what is theatre good for? What can theatre do for us?” Noted dramatist, activist, and English professor Thomas Montgomery Gregory wrestled with similar queries in his essay “Race in Art,” published in The Citizen in 1915. “If art is self-expression, it is necessarily race expression,” Gregory asserted, advancing his view that art and creative expression were essential to the project of racial uplift. Several of Gregory’s contemporaries—Anna Julia Cooper, W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Georgia Douglas Johnson, among them—would also outline their ideas and aims for changing the history and trajectory of Black theatre and performance in print. Their forceful calls for upending the dramaturgical status quo and ushering in new modes of theatrical storytelling and production would inspire countless others who came after them to document and disseminate their own beliefs about the meanings and uses of theatre and performance in Black life.


From Amiri Baraka, Lorraine Hansberry, Larry Neal, and Barbara Ann Teer to Twi McCallum, Dominique Morisseau, Suzan-Lori Parks, and August Wilson, the manifesto is a genre that Black theatre artists have displayed a keen interest in exploring and innovating. Manifestos for Black theatre have taken many shapes over the years, evidencing heterogeneity in both content and form. What they tend to share is a commitment to indexing major ruptures in time, history, artistic investments, and aesthetic movements. They also often reflect the desires of their authors to imagine and bring about significant change.


This special section of Theatre History Studies invites submissions that explore the manifestos of Black theatre artists—designers, directors, performers, and writers—from the past and present. The co-editors are especially interested in submissions that articulate in what ways manifestos for Black theatre have served as field guides for expanding possibilities for Blackness on stage and beyond. At a time when the teaching of Black culture and intellectual history remains under assault, submissions that examine the importance of returning to earlier manifestos for Black theatre amid the demands for change prompted by the pandemic and such movements as #BlackLivesMatter and We See You W.A.T. are also encouraged.

The co-editors welcome articles of 5000-7000 words, as well as pieces in alternate formats/lengths that engage with the themes of this special section.

Please send all manuscripts and inquiries to Isaiah M. Wooden, PhD and Eric M. Glover, PhD at Submissions are due by January 1, 2023.

Theatre History Studies is the official journal of the Mid-America Theatre Conference and is published by the University of Alabama Press. Since 1981, Theatre History Studies has provided critical, analytical, and descriptive articles on all aspects of theatre history. The journal is devoted to disseminating the highest quality scholarly endeavors in order to promote understanding and discovery of world theatre history. Please send manuscripts prepared in conformity with the guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style and the University of Alabama Press style sheet located on the MATC website (here). Illustrations are encouraged. Essays should be between 6,000-8,000 words and use endnotes rather than footnotes.

Theatre History Studies accepts submissions for its general issue on the full range of topics in theatre history on a rolling deadline. Please send manuscripts for the general section to: Jocelyn L. Buckner, Editor, at