CFP: Acts of Liberation

11 September, 2020 by Rand Hazou | 0 comments

CFP: Acts of Liberation

Abstract [300 words] due by 31 October 2020 Submission Deadline: 31 March 2021 Guest Editor: Dr. Rand T. Hazou Senior Lecturer in Theatre, Massey University



On the 15th of June in Albuquerque, New Mexico, protestors attempted to pull down a statue of the Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate. Oñate is a controversial figure who is celebrated as the founding father of the Spanish colony in New Mexico despite being convicted by the Spanish crown for crimes against the Native American inhabitants of the Acoma Pueblo. During the demonstration to tear down the statue, an activist shouted ‘This is an act of decolonization! This is an act of liberation!’ (Mars and Alcorn, 2020). Similar ‘acts of liberation’ have been staged around the globe in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter protests, with demonstrators tearing down monuments, contesting narratives of shared history, and challenging perceived white and Eurocentric commemorative practices. Taking inspiration from the urgent cry of a black lives matter activist, this is a call for papers that engages with recent ideas, theory, and practices of liberation.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been accompanied by a renewed interest in Black feminist thinkers such as Angela Davis (2003) and bell hooks (1981), black scholars such as W.E.B. Du Bois, writers such as James Baldwin (1963), and the philosophy of self-determination as expressed in Stokely and Hamilton’s Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America (1967).

This Special Issue seeks to advance the practice and theory of liberation that builds on a diverse and interdisciplinary body of literature, ranging from the psychology of liberation as expressed in the writings of Erich Fromm (1942) to the pedagogy of liberation as articulated by Paulo Freire (1972). Contributions in the field also include the liberation psychology of Frantz Fanon (1967), who articulated the liberation of the colonial mind as a key site for the struggle for freedom, as well as the liberation philosophy of Enrique Dussel (1985), which provides a critique of modernity and oppressive rationalization.

The current political upheavals draw attention to the need to explore with renewed critical vigor decolonial approaches to practice, theory, and teaching. Decoloniality proposes that the "coloniality of power" (Quijano, 2000) did not end with colonialism and that the modern capitalist world-system imposes a racial/ethnic classification of people as a basis for global exploitative and extractive power-structures. According to Walter Mignolo, decoloniality involves “delinking” from Eurocentric categories of thought to “change the terms and not just the content of the conversation” (2007, 459). For Nelson Maldonado-Torres, decoloniality involves the production of “counter-discourses, counter-knowledges, counter-creative acts” aimed at breaking down “hierarchies of difference that dehumanize subjects and communities and that destroy nature” (2016,10).

 This Special Issue of the Humanities journal will consider the emancipatory role of culture and the role of the arts in humanizing subjects and communities impacted by colonial hierarchies of difference. This call for papers invites submissions from decolonial and indigenous scholars, practitioners, and activists involved in the production of counter-knowledges and counter-creative acts that challenge the privileging of Western- and European-centric ways of being and knowing.

We hope that authors will engage with conceptions of liberation as explored through the arts and cultural production in general and in the fields of theatre and performance specifically. Contributions are invited that consider the embodied and performative aspects of liberation and how liberation acts, is acted on, or is acted out.



Davis, Angela. 2003. Are Prisons Obsolete? New York: Seven Stories Press.

Dussel, Enrique, 1985. Philosophy of Liberation. Trans. Aquila Martinez and Christine Morkovsky, Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

Freire, Paulo. 1972. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Trans. by Myra Bergman Ramos, Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Fromm, Erich. 1942. The Fear of Freedom. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Fanon, Frantz. 1967. The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. by Constance Farrington, Harmondsworth: Penguin.

hooks, bell. 1981. Ain't I a woman: Black women and feminism. Boston: South End Press.

Maldonado-Torre, Nelson. 2016. ‘Outline of Ten Theses on Coloniality and Decoloniality’, Frantz Fanon Foundation and website of the Caribbean Studies Association, October 26. 10. Available online:

Mars, Roman and Alcorn, Stan. 2020. ‘Return of Oñate’s Foot’, 99% Invisible, Episode 404, 30 June. Available online:

Mignolo, Walter. 2017. ‘Delinking: The Rhetoric of Modernity, the Logic of Coloniality and the Grammar of De-Coloniality’, Cultural Studies 21.2–3: 459–514. 

Quijano, Anibal. 2000. "Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America." Nepentla: Views from the South. 1.3: 533–580.



Please send an abstract of 300 words and short bio by 31 October 2020 to: Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 30 November 2020. Full manuscripts are due 31 March 2021.


§ theatre and liberation;
§ decolonial theatre and performing arts;
§ arts and humanization.

About the Journal

Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI. Humanities is an international, peer-reviewed, and open access scholarly journal (free for readers). The central concern of this journal pertains to the core values of the Humanities, i.e., focusing on the ideals of human existence, seen through many different lenses. Humanities is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and, accordingly, submissions are peer reviewed rigorously to ensure that they conform to the highest standards in their field. Key benefits from publishing with the journal include:

§  Open Access: This journal is free for readers, with article processing charges (APC) paid by authors or their institutions. This ensures the dissemination of new knowledge to various communities of concern. An article processing charge (APC) of 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs), approximately $169 NZD or $110 USD applies to papers accepted after peer review.

§  Rapid Publication: Manuscripts are peer-reviewed and a first decision provided to authors approximately 21 days after submission; acceptance to publication is undertaken in around 6 days. This quick turnaround means that current research can be published that speaks directly and urgently to pressing issues.

§  High Visibility: Indexed in ERIH Plus.


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