Emergent and Convergent Scholar-Practitioner Worlds: Improvisation and Social (In)Justice

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Critical Studies in Improvisation/ Études critiques en improvisation
contact email: 

“As a mode of being in the world, improvisation shows us that there are other ways of doing things, that social change is possible, that another world is possible.”

—Fischlin, Heble, & Lipsitz (The Fierce Urgency of Now 243)

Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation seeks submissions that represent a wide range of evolving research, practice, and scholarship in improvisation studies for a new special issue: Emergent and Convergent Scholar-Practitioner Worlds: Improvisation and Social (In)Justice.

The issue will highlight emergent and convergent scholar-practitioners who use anti-oppressive methodologies and anti-hierarchical approaches to challenge colonial structures within institutions and community practices, through various forms of improvisation—while also interrogating the extent to which the institutionalization of improvisation is itself subject to colonial imperatives.

Emergent and Convergent Scholar-Practitioner Worlds is interested in submissions from those who have been, and continue to be, impacted by colonization, and who are exploring improvisation through anarchist, anti-colonialist, anti-racist, disability justice, and decolonial practices. The special issue will focus on emergent/evolving multi-modal scholarship and is interested in creative/social/political practices that extend beyond musical improvisation.

The impetus for this special issue is the steadily increasing enrollment in the Critical Studies in Improvisation graduate program at the University of Guelph, where students are poised at the precipice of emergent and convergent worlds of practice, research, and scholarship in creative, political, environmental, and social improvisations. The emergence of this graduate program and of the field of Critical Studies in Improvisation has raised many questions about the origins of improvisation and the future-forming, worldmaking, tektological possibilities of interdisciplinary collaborations where improvisation is a focus.

This special issue is intended to reconsider the histories of, and possibilities for, improvisational research, seeking new directions for the field. Submissions may draw upon, among others, the following research streams:

  • Media and Stories of Change (developing and negotiating community at the intersections of enactive narrative and improvisation; improving/addressing ecologies of knowledge, using improvisational methodologies to test the building of interdisciplinarity as a communication strategy for addressing social issues)
  • Public Spaces and the Practice of Everyday Life (in the practice of everyday life—from the basics of provisioning for ourselves and our communities, to learning how to dwell together in our increasingly dense and heterogenous cities and shrinking public common spaces—what we do, and how we do it, is necessarily improvised)
  • Decolonization and Making Peace (evaluating improvisatory models in decolonization and reconciliation/transitional justice efforts; supporting and mobilizing the growing body of research around Indigenous ways of knowing and improvising; analyzing and learning from the lived experience of global communities and scholars dwelling and working where significant social, political, and cultural issues arising from long-standing civil conflicts remain unresolved)
  • Wellbeing and the Social Determinants of Health (evaluating the impact of improvisational practices on community health and the affective realities of social relations)
  • Transcultural Improvisation (from forms of cultural appropriation to new models for intercultural encounter where improvisatory practices address transcultural differences and embodiments)

Submissions for this special issue may include, but are not limited to, reflective articles, scholarly essays, ethnographies, podcasts, photography, and multi- and intermedial pieces.

Early career researchers/emergent scholars across all disciplines are warmly encouraged to submit proposals.

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2023. Submissions can be submitted through the journal’s online portal by following the submission guidelines available through this link.

For inquiries about this issue, please contact Sam Boer, the Managing Editor of CSI/ÉCI, at