Call for Papers: Performance and Pedagogy

03 October, 2013

Call for Papers

for a volume of critical essays and scrapbook entries

Working Title:

Performance and Pedagogy: A Scrapbook for Imaginative Teaching and Learning

Editors: Dr. Monica Stufft (University of San Diego) and Dr. Sruti Bala (University of Amsterdam) –PSi working group Performance and Pedagogy

Date of Publication: end 2014

The proposed volume seeks to collate and critically assess a range of approaches related to teaching and learning in the arts, humanities, and sciences, particularly in terms of the contribution that the emergent area of Performance Studies is making in the meta-disciplinary use of performance in educational practice. One of the greatest challenges in Performance Studies has been to not simply extend the horizon of subjects worthy of research and study, but to expand the ways of thinking about or discovering these subjects. This has called for great experimentation and efforts in pedagogical practices, as educators push for new ways of teaching and research, while simultaneously establishing new subjects as worthy of being taught. The larger, profound transformations that education is undergoing in the current era of globalization, ranging from the increasing vocationalization and privatization of university education, to a modification of the discourses in a particular discipline, to a call for alternatives to hierarchical training, further highlight the urgency to rethink and interrogate pedagogical insights from the field of performance.

The intertwining of performance and pedagogy thus carries profound philosophical and theoretical implications on the one side, while raising very practical questions related to the enterprise of teaching on the other. The proposed volume seeks to address these questions of pedagogical practice in and through performance, and bring together knowledge that has been largely ignored or perceived as secondary to the quality of teaching, or to the subject taught. These practices encompass general issues of curricular construction, sites of instruction, classroom dynamics, assessment, teacher-learner relationships, collective self-education, as well as specific issues related to methods and tools for dealing with a particular topic.

This collection of essays will document, explore, and interrogate intersections between performance and pedagogy, envisioning our classrooms as performative, or sites where knowledge is formed, meanings are made, and behaviors are constituted. Discussions in the Performance and Pedagogy Working Group at PSi (Performance Studies international) conferences since 2007 have focused around the necessity for a scrapbook of practical experiences relating to the limits and potential of performance in teaching, as well as a discussion of lessons learnt from the field.

We seek two different kinds of submissions, critical essays and shorter scrapbook entries:

Essays: Performance Studies meets Pedagogical Theory

We are seeking eight essays (approximately4000 words each) designed to provide an introductory framework for reflection on the epistemological shift that emerges when Performance Studies intersects Pedagogical Theory. Critical essays are invited from scholars, practitioners, artists and cultural activists invested in one or more of the following fields:

 The relationship of performance to conceptions and visions of education:

How close has the educational sector come towards fulfilling Ivan Illich’s radical call to deschool society (Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, 1971), or usefully practicing Paulo Freire’s critique of the banking method of education (Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970)? What are the contributions of Performance Studies to this goal, be it conceptually (e.g. how notions such as performativity or representation inform the way we understand the learning process), epistemologically (e.g. how new research paradigms such as practice-based research reshape teaching paradigms), or in the aesthetic realm (e.g. how the recognition of non-text based knowledge serves to question the authority of text based learning)? How does scholarship in the field of theatre/performance, for e.g. the changing relationship between actors and spectators provide scope for a changed relationship between teachers and learners (Jacques Ranciere, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation, 2004)?

The relationship of performance to educational institutions and their practices:

In what way does the field of performance challenge the verticality and increasingly market-driven institutional constraints of the university, by providing alternative and creative models and experiments in training, knowledge production and collective teaching/learning? How does performance question or re-imagine the custodianship of knowledge, by proposing new ways of sharing, deep learning and new ways of understanding expertise and erudition, aided by but not restricted to technological knowledge management (Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Introduction,” from An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization, 2012)?

The relationship of performance to theory, history, methodology, praxis:

How does the broadening horizon of subjects of study in performance enrich or broaden the horizon of ways of teaching and learning what is conventionally taught through frontal means?

Essays that address educational theories and insights relating to various teaching practices are encouraged. We seek contributions that not only critically examine performance pedagogy but also that address applied teaching methods.

Scrapbook Entries: Examples from the Performance Studies Classroom

We seek 20 scrapbook entries (approximately2000-2500 words) that will provide classroom teaching examples, drawing from localized interventions with particular institutions, people and sites.

We particularly welcome reflections or ethnographies of practice about specific classroom activities or the range of practices associated with linking performance and pedagogy. Additionally, we encourage authors to consider how institutional practices and requirements impact our classrooms (such as assessment or grading).

 Each scrapbook entry will follow a fixed format:

Title for exercise/method/game:

Aims and/or Learning Outcomes:

Number of participants:


Teaching Framework: (undergrad, postgrad, seminar, workshop…)

Material and technical Requirements:

Description of facilitation process:


Abstracts (500 words) for essays or scrapbook entries are sought by December 1, 2013. All selected contributors will be asked to submit completed manuscripts by April 30, 2014.


Please include a 150-word bio. Abstracts and manuscripts should be sent as MS Word attachments via email to Sruti Bala - and Monica Stufft -


Works Cited:

Illich, Ivan. 1971. Deschooling Society. Cuernavaca: CIDOC.

Freire, Paulo. 1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Ranciere, Jacques. 1994. The Ignorant Schoolmaster. Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 2012. "Introduction" from An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 1-34.

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