Call for Papers
Studies in Theatre and performance Special Issue (Spring 2021):
‘Performance and the Right: Strategies and Subterfuges’
Edited by Pedro de Senna (Middlesex University) and James Hudson (University of Lincoln)
Deadline for abstracts: Monday, April 22, 2019
Deadline for contributions: Monday, October 14, 2019
With liberal democracies worldwide now succumbing to the appeal of populist, reactionary and nationalist parties, this Special Issue seeks to provide a platform for reflections on an underexplored area of scholarship by examining the relationship between theatre, performance, and right-wing politics. What are the strategies and subterfuges that performance adopts in relation to right-wing politics, and by which subterfuges and strategies does the right appropriate performative modes? ‘Performance and the Right’ seeks to situate an appreciation of the current global interplay of political forces within an analytical framework that broaches new understandings of the modes of expression, performative dimensions and affective capacities of right-wing politics as manifested in contemporary theatrical, performance and performative cultures.
Contributions may seek to address/examine the following areas (the list is not exhaustive):
- Critical appreciations of the performative appeal of the right.
- Ideological assumptions underpinning approaches to right-wing politics in theatre and performance.
- Material conditions that enable right-wing performance to emerge.
- The co-optation of artists into capitalist modes of production, exhibition and consumption.
- Appropriation (and platforming) of right-wing discourse in parody and pastiche.
- Parallels between the current international reactionary wave and past theatrical/performative instances of association with the right.
- Comedy and political correctness.
- Elitism and white supremacy in theatre and performance.
- Taxonomies of rightist dramaturgy (bourgeois, conservative, reactionary, liberal?)
- Conservative attitudes in theatre and performance spectating and making (including rightist critiques of leftist praxis).
- Performance and nationalism.
- Noticeable instances of right-wing performance in the public, civic and political arena, such as:
- the Twitter effusions of Donald Trump
- ‘Free speech’ protests
- Jordan Peterson’s lecture tours
- the finger-gun-toting Gestus of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro
The editors therefore encourage a variety of British and international voices, and welcome contributions in a range of formats, discussing /demonstrating / illustrating how performance might engage with, encounter, counter, undermine, support, and indeed be censored, protested or appropriated by the right. Contributions are welcome in the form of articles of around 8,000 words; short scripts; edited interviews or correspondences; practice-as-research portfolios; or shorter provocations and reflections (1,000-2,000 words) from scholars/academics and practitioners.
Please send your abstract (300 words) to the editors on p.desenna and/or jahudson by midnight on Monday, April 22nd, 2019. Authors of successful abstracts will be notified by May 13th, 2019.
Informal enquiries can also be directed to the editors via email.
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