07 June, 2022

Palgrave Book Series:

Performance and Migration (Editors Yana Meerzon and Steve Wilmer)

Call for Manuscripts

With the arrival of over a million refugees into Europe in 2015 and millions of displaced Ukrainians in 2022, the topic of migration has become a major source of public concern and discussion. Wars and civil wars, failed states, authoritarian governments, abuse of human rights, marauding drug cartels, climate change, and poverty have recently caused citizens in many parts of the world to flee their countries. The number of displaced persons has now reached a record one hundred million and is still growing. However, rather than being welcomed abroad, refugees frequently encounter closed borders, nationalist restrictions, detention camps or deportation. Nations are finding new ways to avoid processing asylum claims, while the human rights of the non-citizen are ignored and thousands die on route, trying to cross the Mediterranean, the English Channel, or other dangerous territories. Because the need for asylum has been increasing and the problem is not being solved by political means, artists have been using theatrical performance to intervene in the political arena to offer insight and new perspectives.

Migration is not a new issue. From earliest recorded time, individuals and populations all over the world have migrated to achieve a better life or escape subjection and the threat of violence. The theatre has continually addressed this theme both in its dramaturgy and in its performance practices. Theatre artists have always striven to find new audiences, and the stories they have told have regularly dealt with the theme of migration. Through the centuries peripatetic artists have taken their work on the road in a variety of forms and manifestations such as pageant wagons, commedia dell’arte, touring shows, puppetry, opera, circus, dance, legitimate theatre, and mixed media. Playwrights worldwide have explored the pathos of the homeless, the excluded and the forcibly displaced to question the meaning of life.

This series brings together a range of scholarship (including monographs and edited collections) focusing on many eras of performance, as well as numerous geographical and social conditions, to offer an understanding of the complexities of theatre and migration. The co-editors understand the term ‘performance’ both as indicative of theater performances (including dramaturgy), performance arts (various aspects of this form, including dance), and cultural performances. The authors of the prospective books will be asked to define this term in relation to their individual projects; if parts of those projects will be focused on digital performance, media, games or television, we will be willing to still read the manuscript and evaluate its suitability for the series based on its academic merit, in-depth analysis of the case studies, and research.  The same type of inclusive definition and our positioning apply to the term ‘migration’, which can be inclusive of asylum seeking, exile (internal and external), cosmopolitan travel, refugees, issues of return and so on.

The list of possible subtopics below is differentiated according to themes and performance practices.

The List A includes subtopics related to performance and migration based on themes, such as the following:

  • Human Rights
  • Diaspora
  • Race
  • Nationalism 
  • Memory Studies
  • Historical Case Studies 
  • Transculturalism and Globalization 
  • War or Civil War
  • Labour
  • Trauma
  • Issues of (No)Return
  • Citizenship
  • Language
  • Space, including border crossing, displacement, and nomadism
  • Health
  • Gender    
  • Climate Change
  • Social Control
  • Global South
  • Australasia
  • Middle East

The List B includes subtopics related to performance and migration based on performance practices, such as the following:

  • Economics of Theatre Making
  • Innovations in Theatre Practice(s)
  • Innovations in Dramaturgy
  • Innovations in Practice as Research
  • Innovations in Audience Studies
  • Activism
  • Theatre Training
  • Digital Humanities
  • Ethnography

The co-editors are ready to begin a dialogue with prospective authors. We welcome personal inquiries at ymeerzon@uottawa.ca and/or swilmer@tcd.ie

To submit a formal book proposal, please consult the standard guidelines as outlined by Palgrave: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book-authors/publishing-guidelines/submit-a-proposalas well as contact the editors to receive a proposal form specifically designed for this series.

Yana Meerzon is attending the IFTR 2022 in Iceland and Steve Wilmer is attending the ANTS 2022 conference in Tartu. If you are interested in discussing your ideas with Yana or Steve in person, do not hesitate to contact them directly at ymeerzon@uottawa.caandswilmer@tcd.ie

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