21 September, 2023 | by Rushi P

Theatre Journal

Call for Papers

Special Issue for September 2020: Minor Asias

The 50th anniversary of Asian American Studies has coincided with a number of phenomena that challenge the ways in which we might think about the utility and limits of that rubric. Increased policing of particular minority communities within China, protests in Hong Kong, growing recognition of indigeneity in Taiwan, ongoing tensions between Okinawa and Japan, recognition of Koryo-Saram in Kazakhstan, regional and ethnic articulations in Thailand, the circulation of diasporas within and beyond the eastern hemisphere—all of these examples point to networks that complicate how Asia means. Moreover, the global financial power of Asian economies, especially within the cultural industries, has produced a number of new subjects such as the African trader in Guangzhou and the white K-Pop band. Theatre and performance studies has slowly been responding to these shifts but, for the most part, has not assumed a central role in the scholarship. Nevertheless, the emphases of our fields on body, space, audience, and technology promise major interventions even as the shifts in Asia itself might challenge assumptions about some of those analytic categories. This special issue, then, takes up Asia together with Asian American and diasporic circulation in the wake of ongoing historical imperialisms and the current era of globalization.

The turn to Minor Asias recognizes several factors. Theatre Journal has accorded relatively little importance to Asian performance (not withstanding a previous special issue on that topic) in spite of the magnitude and influence of Asian cultural flows now and in the past. Moreover, Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih’s edited volume Minor Transnationalism argues compellingly for the need to explore what they have called the “transversal” relationships that move above and below the scale of the national and what one might call the continental. Such a call exists in tandem with various regional assertions that have existed and continue to influence politics from the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere imposed by Japan to the Asian Values discourse deployed by Malaysia and Singapore. Lionnet and Shih’s general attention to the minor builds on Edouard Glissant’s ideas of rélation which argues for a decolonizing poetics and an expansive ethics of connection and recognition. In an intersecting analysis, Kuan-Hsing Chen in Asia as Method has tried to articulate how globalization manifests as societies within Asia use one another as a reference point. In this vein, globalization perhaps paradoxically produces regionalization.

Such theoretical conundrums might be productively explored through several material examples, and the editors invite essays from any geographic site or historical period that might articulate “Minor Asia.” As Anna Tsing has written, globalization is a history of social projects that might be traced through the “sticky materiality of practical encounters” that might “give grip to universal aspirations.” We seek to amplify Asia’s importance to theatre and performance studies and to insist on the relevance of theatre and performance to Asian and Asian diasporic studies.

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal coeditor Sean Metzger. We will consider both full length essays for the print edition (6,000-9,000 words) as well as proposals for short provocations, video and/or photo essays, and other creative, multimedia material for our online platform (500-2,000 words). For information about submission, visit:;data=02%7C01%7CGlenn.Odom%40ROEHAMPTON.AC.UK%7Caacf6b87d0be4bb9fd1808d7491f1216%7C5fe650635c3747fbb4cce42659e607ed%7C0%7C0%7C637058270113180061&amp;sdata=s%2FymmNvTVd%2BYAFX9Cj%2Bl%2B%2BXL8KMvjdch2fGhtqRy3DY%3D&amp;reserved=0 <;data=02%7C01%7CGlenn.Odom%40ROEHAMPTON.AC.UK%7Caacf6b87d0be4bb9fd1808d7491f1216%7C5fe650635c3747fbb4cce42659e607ed%7C0%7C0%7C637058270113180061&amp;sdata=s%2FymmNvTVd%2BYAFX9Cj%2Bl%2B%2BXL8KMvjdch2fGhtqRy3DY%3D&amp;reserved=0>
Submissions for the print journal and for the online platform should reach us no later than 1 January 2020.

Note: Watch out for our transition to submissions via ScholarOne:;data=02%7C01%7CGlenn.Odom%40ROEHAMPTON.AC.UK%7Caacf6b87d0be4bb9fd1808d7491f1216%7C5fe650635c3747fbb4cce42659e607ed%7C0%7C0%7C637058270113180061&amp;sdata=3axL67M8iT1oyZ3RX%2FXMSbyL7UfCw4xpivCjMraIuEM%3D&amp;reserved=0 <;data=02%7C01%7CGlenn.Odom%40ROEHAMPTON.AC.UK%7Caacf6b87d0be4bb9fd1808d7491f1216%7C5fe650635c3747fbb4cce42659e607ed%7C0%7C0%7C637058270113180061&amp;sdata=3axL67M8iT1oyZ3RX%2FXMSbyL7UfCw4xpivCjMraIuEM%3D&amp;reserved=0>
Until then, submissions should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ([email protected] <mailto:bobkowkabany>)

Feel free to contact the editors with questions or inquiries:

Sean Metzger, Coeditor at [email protected] <mailto:smetzger>
Margherita Laera, Online Editor at [email protected] <mailto:m.laera>

Theatre Journal

Call for Papers

Special Issue for December 2020: The Global South

The idea of ordering regions into “north” and “south” began during the Cold War, first as the Non-Aligned Movement and then as the Group of 77 member states of the United Nations. While these nations were initially designated “The Third World,” the dissolution of the Soviet Union made such a designation obsolete. However, the challenges faced by the formerly colonized world remained much the same, and neoliberal globalization exacerbated already pressing environmental and economic crises. That most of these states are situated south of the imperial powers prompted political analysts to begin using the term “global south” in the 1980s and 1990s. It has since become a common ground for scholars and activists attempting to address large-scale problems across regional and disciplinary boundaries.

In the journal The Global South, established just a decade ago, Levander and Mignolo hoped the new ordering would offer “productive pathways and contact points for new modes of scholarly exchange that can work against such long-standing imperatives” that “sustain and normalize the ways in which we parse power systems in an increasingly global age.”1 Working through the lens of the Global South has generated working groups at the Hemispheric Institute’s Encuentro and the American Society for Theatre Research. Within theatre and performance studies, pulling together research on performance practices and performance history of the Global South can enable us to explore the structure of postcolonial power, dynamics of imperialism, the effects of globalism, cultural hybridities, environmental impacts, and the kinds of cooperative connections being forged between regions within the Global South that can bring productive, effective social change.

For this special issue, essays might cover performance practice, history, and theory situated in the Global South: Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Essays may examine, collaborations, hybridities, and resistances, as well as preservation, traditions, and tools of state oppression. What are our responsibilities as scholars of the Global South? How can “(t)hose of us in postindustrial countries who research performance in these ‘other’ parts of the world should be particularly cognizant of the ethical responsibility” to disrupt familiar “tropes of passivity and helplessness” as Laura Edmonson has noted?2 What is gained by using the “Global South” as a conceptual frame? What is lost?

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal editor E.J. Westlake. We will consider both full length essays for the print edition (6,000-9,000 words) as well as short provocations, video and/or photo essays, and other creative, multimedia material for our on-line platform (500-2,000 words). For information about submission, visit our website: Link .

Print submissions and online submissions should submitted no later than 1 February 2020.

Note: Watch for our transition to submissions via ScholarOne:

Until then, submissions should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ([email protected] <mailto:bobkowkabany>)

Feel free to contact the editors with questions or inquiries:

E.J. Westlake, Editor at [email protected] <mailto:ej.westlake.theatrejournal>
Margherita Laera, Online Editor at [email protected] <mailto:m.laera>

[1] Caroline Levander and Walter Mignolo. “Introduction: The Global South and World Dis/Order.” The Global South 5, no. 1 (2011): 1-2.

[2] Laura Edmondson. “TDR Comment: Of Sugarcoating and Hope.” TDR: The Drama Review 51, no. 2 (2007): 7-10.

Dr Margherita Laera
Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre
School of Arts, University of Kent
Jarman Building, Room 2.12
Canterbury CT2 7UG