Special Dossier TRI 49.3 call for abstracts

25 March, 2024 by Rashna Nicholson | 0 comments

Special Dossier TRI 49.3 call for abstracts

This dossier speaks to the question of the role of scholars of theatre and performance in grappling with and responding to the ongoing wars and violent conflicts of our times.

Special Dossier TRI 49.3 call for abstracts


Publication date November 2024 


Dossier co-editors

Sruti Bala (s.bala@uva.nl), 

Maria Estrada Fuentes (maria.estradafuentes@rhul.ac.uk), 

Rashna D. Nicholson (rashna.nicholson@warwick.ac.uk)



Reflections on theatre scholarship in times of war 


This dossier speaks to the question of the role of scholars of theatre and performance in grappling with and responding to the ongoing wars and violent conflicts of our times. It seeks to pause the business-as-usual analyses of performances and case studies and regional performance histories that fill our academic journals for a moment, to invite scholars to reflect on their professional responsibilities and on the scope of the discipline to offer avenues of transformation in the wake of the unfathomable destruction of life and livelihoods. The limitations are well-acknowledged and do not need to be overstated: theatre and performance research have not brought about ceasefires or directly facilitated the end of wars, famine or climate catastrophe. Yet perhaps the scope and possibilities of the discipline in terms of its necessity in the present moment need a renewed evaluation. 


In the face of genocides being livestreamed around the world, how might concepts like spectatorship, theatricality or witnessing be re-defined? What does it imply for the way in which we speak of tragedy? Given how spectacular violence goes hand in hand with a systematic invisibilising of suffering, how might theatre and performance scholarship challenge narratives of denial and revisionism, and bring forth complex and compelling accounts of the relation between event and structure? Against the backdrop of the targeted erasure of cultural heritage and the destruction of universities, schools and libraries, how might theatre research serve as a tool of cultural resistance? In the context of an ever-expanding military industrial complex and global arms race, how might theatre scholars revive the possibilities for the basic theatrical unit of dialogue? 


The editors of the special dossier invite shorter contributions of 2000 words each, reflecting on the role of theatre and theatre scholarship in times of war

Rather than detailed analyses of specific examples, we envisage the dossier as offering a critical self-reflection on the subject, as well as presenting an internationalist perspective, covering different regions and historical periods.



Abstracts (300 words) to be submitted by 20 April 2024 to





Notification of selection by 25 April 2024

2000-word reflection papers to be submitted by 25 May 2024

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