CfP: ‘TechNO-fixes? : Performances within Ecological Emergencies - IJPADM/Intermediality Working Group Affiliated Journal Special Edition

27 January, 2021 by Liam Jarvis | 0 comments

Call for Papers & Documents: ‘TechNO-fixes? : Performances within Ecological Emergencies’ - Intermediality WG Affiliated edition with the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media

International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media - Affiliated Issue 18.1 with the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) Intermediality Working Group


Call for Papers & Documents: ‘TechNO-fixes? : Performances within Ecological Emergencies’  


Guest Editors: Liam Jarvis (University of Essex, UK) and Karen Savage (University of Lincoln, UK) 


In Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us Or the Environment (2011), Michael and Joyce Huesemann offered a provocation that technology is not the answer to the most pressing global challenges, such as ‘social, environmental, and economic ills’. They proposed that modern technologies, in the presence of continued economic growth, ‘does not promote sustainability but instead hastens collapse’. Instead, the most pressing problems confronting humanity have ‘inherently simple, low-tech solutions’. This techno-scepticism coalesces with a postdigital attitude that has been typified by disenchantment with the digital, which Florian Cramer has argued has ‘quickly grown from a niche ‘hipster’ phenomenon to a mainstream position’ (Cramer 2015: 13).


But a decade after the Huesemanns’ provocation, dependency on technologies have become a prevalent feature in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; communication technologies have afforded opportunities to make vital connections for people that are shielding for health reasons, quarantined or isolated in national/local governmentally imposed lockdowns globally. Furthermore, online modes of distribution and blended approaches to socially distanced/asynchronous and synchronous digitally distributed performances have been framed as an essential aspect of future-proofing and sustainability of performance practices that have been plunged into crisis, with physical theatre buildings in lockdown.


So where are we now? How do digital/postdigital ecologies sway Huesemann and Huesemann’s provocation in one direction or another? How might advancing technologies and their interrelations with performance enable a timely rethink of their anti-technological polemic? What contradictions or opportunities does ‘techno-fix thinking’ contribute to advancing crisis, from environmental catastrophes to social upheavals prompting counter-movements, such as Black Lives Matter. And how might ‘postdigitial thinking’ through performance enable us to respond or think differently about issues of ecological sustainability? 


Proposed topics are not limited to: 


  • Performance as a techno-fix to social, environmental and economic emergencies
  • Online & blended performance: a sustainable ‘new normal’ or hastening ecological collapse?
  • Theatre as critique of unthinking technological utopias
  • Environmental emergencies: Performance, technology, consumption and waste
  • Performances embedding critical technologies or performances as critical of technologies
  • Techno-fix thinking and postdigital thinking – contradictions, deliberations, synergies and paradoxical outcomes.


This call for papers invites scholars from a variety of disciplines to address epistemological, existential and metaphorical relationships, concepts, concerns, practices and approaches to the postdigital in relation to performance and sustainability.


Drawing on themes from the IFTR 2020/21 conference - Theatre Ecologies: Environments, Sustainability, and Politics, scholars and practitioner-researchers can explore the interconnections, interventions and interrelations between human and digital agencies and dynamics. Practice-as-research documents are also encouraged – the method of presentation for this work should be clearly articulated in the abstract.


In the first instance abstracts of no more than 750 words should be submitted to the co-editors, Karen Savage and Liam Jarvis by March 1st 2021.


We’re inviting three types of contributions: 

  • Research Articles of 6,000-8,000 words
  • Documents, which can be shorter in length and can take different formats such as interviews, multimedia /video essays, reflective accounts, practice-research reports etc.
  • Reviews of books, exhibitions or events. (following the abstract submission - Reviews should be sent to via email to Jo Scott @


Everything else should be submitted online via the Editorial Manager on the website: International Journal of Performance and Digital Media:


Proposed timeline:

  • Abstracts of 750 words submitted for selection by March 1st 2021
  • Editors respond to proposals by March 29th 2021
  • The next steps are submitted online, either to the Editorial Manager or to Jo Scott, as detailed above
  • Selected authors to complete first draft by July 19th 2021
  • Submission to IJPADM February 2022 with final manuscript completed for May 2022
  • The edition will be published in IJPADM as 18.2 in 2022


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