18 September, 2023 | by Rushi P


*TDR Consortium Special Issue*

*Stanford University*

*Branislav Jakovlevi, Consortium Editor; Diana Looser, Coeditor*


In classical dramatic theory, peripeteia designates a turning point from
prosperity to downfall. This reversal of fortunes often marks a
transformation of the entire outlook of the protagonist: from ignorance to
knowledge, and from resignation to action. Peripeteia is the moment when
opposing forces powerfully drag the world in opposite directions. This
rending of the world as we know it may open new paths or close them
forever. We are now at such a decisive point. The intensity of this current
moment is clearly expressed in the rising temperature of the protagonist,
the planet. The choice the world is facing is not only between dirty and
clean technologies, but also between accumulation and sharing, exploitation
and social justice, unabashed capitalism and radical democracy, Western
exceptionalism and global awareness. And concerning this last point, this
may be the last moment in which the categories of classical dramatic theory
are still operative: we are experiencing a turning point in the very idea
of crisis and its representation in live performance.

The current moment presents humanity with a unique and multiscalar set of
challenges that will require an essential reorganization of society,
economics, and politics to address.

As the 12-year timeline for action in the US Green New Deal makes clear,
theres a specific urgency, a deadline, that in the West, at least
arguably differentiates this moment from other historical periods that have
been identified as crisis-ridden. This moment is characterized by a
particular mode of uncertainty regarding the future, exacerbated by the
fact that many contributing factors to this crisis are pervasive yet
intangible, omnipresent yet strangely distant, and ostensibly divorced from
individual action and solutions, even if discussions of the crisis tend to
revert to individual, moral stances. At the same time, we are mindful that
different communities approach this situation from varying historical and
epistemological standpoints. A strain of Indigenous climate-change studies,
for instance, understands the Anthropocene not as a hitherto unanticipated
occurrence but as an extension of a violent and unresolved historical past
that renders the present moment already post-apocalyptic.

This ephemerality, spectrality, and magnitude pose special challenges to
*representation* in its many senses: aesthetic, social, and political. The
planet is under siege, and performance is not there to witness, issue
warnings, calls for action, or drop dead like that proverbial canary. Like
all other spheres of human activity, art forms, and academic fields it has
to transform itself in order to stage a redress in this social drama of
planetary proportions. We invite scholars, artists, and activists to submit
papers that address issues that include, but are not limited to:

– Performance and the new planetary paradigm

– Social drama and slow violence

– Scale of crisis and representation

– Accumulation vs. expenditure

– First and second New Deal and performance

– Different global versions of the Green New Deal in performance

– Responses from Indigenous perspectives and/or from the vantage of
the Global South

– Futurity and its representation

– The role of the collective

– Performance principle and the new economy

– Catastrophe without recognition

6,000-word submissions are due *June 1, 2020*. Please submit essays and
direct any relevant queries to Rishika Mehrishi at [email protected]

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