Call for Papers: Theatre Journal

Two Linked Special Issues for 2016:

Theatre and the Technological Turn(s)

These special issues investigate the ways in which technology continues to transform theatre and performance. Theatre has historically taken advantage of (and indeed initiated) ground-breaking historical experimentations with emerging technology from the Futurists’ Synthetic Theatre to the pioneering mise-en-scène of Josef Svoboda to the Fluxus experimentation; through these advances, media and performance scholars have continued to explore a rapidly developing technological age. Such transformations are, in turn, having a significant effect on practice and research in the discipline. Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ( no later than 31 January 2016.

Special Issue 1

Digital “Issues”: Rethinking Media in/and/as Performance

In Theatre Journal’s 1999 special issue on “New Technologies,” Susan Bennett wrote that “some theatre scholarship has started to explore and exploit the multidimensional capacities that new technologies permit.” Building from this point, scholars and artists have continued to track and develop an emerging sub-field of media and performance. Called Digital, Multimedia, Mixed-Media, Internet, Cyborg, Virtual, or Intermedial theatre, to mention a few terms, this form has interrogated the growing use, and effects, of new technologies in a globalizing world. Revisiting the topic in the 2009 “Digital Media and Performance,” David Saltz finds a maturing form raising “social, aesthetic, and ontological theoretical issues.”

Bonnie Marranca’s concept of “Mediaturgy” develops out of her 1977 “Theatre of Images,” and is described in PAJ 96 (2010) as “a particular focus in methods of composition in media works that I hope will suggest new critical modes of comprehending and writing.” Now, in 2015, mediatization has been absorbed so thoroughly into everyday life that it is increasingly invisible. In a neoliberal political economy in which a cultural “mediaturgy” contains Donald Trump’s presidential bid, political refugees washing up on shores and screens, and gun violence and racial tensions played out across a myriad of ever-present media devices, mediatization has arguably become the fractured lens through which we understand the world.

If it has become so commonplace to see screens, projections, animations, and electronic objects on stage that we could consider reverting “multimedia theatre” back to just “theatre,” how might theatre now take up the effects of mediatization and find new ways to respond to a neoliberal, increasingly technologized, anthropocentric world? This special issue asks: what are the current challenges and concerns posed by media in/and/as performance? At a time when social and political action is framed by documentation and media capture, how can theatre respond to the mediatization of life? What are the methods in media works that demand new critical modes of thinking about performance? How can media in theatre and performance be used to explore new terrains, or to speak to the over- as well as the under-saturated sites across the globe?

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal co-editor Jennifer Parker-Starbuck. Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ( no later than 31 January 2016. Note: the deadline for both special issues is the same.

Special Issue 2

Theatre, the Digital, and the Analysis and Documentation of Performance

Throughout its history, theatre has capitalised on advances in technology, from shifts in lighting to the development of machinery for creating special effects to the advent of multimedia in contemporary performance, and beyond. Considerations of multimedia are now integral to contemporary performance but also increasingly to the way in which research takes place in our field as the role that digital humanities can play becomes increasingly prominent. This special issue seeks contributions that engage with forms of technology that extend theatrical analysis and/or provide new ways of interrogating performance. Specifically, the issue looks to attract papers in theatre analysis that rely on quantitative methods, interrogations of large data sets and/or databases, or visualisation of theatre and performance and/or simulated environments.

Writing in these pages in May 2015, Debra Caplan quoted Sarah Bay-Cheng’s comment that “as the digital humanities become more performative [. . .] our discipline’s methodologies have never been more apt, or more useful, to the larger field.” This special issue asks: what do these technologies say about theatre and performance today? What can they elicit that ‘conventional’ research may overlook? How do they facilitate additional forms of investigation and understanding of our discipline(s)? How do we integrate them into other forms of analysis? How, for instance, do the enormous data files for a documentation form such as motion capture ‘translate’ to significant research outcomes? What are the effects of what Franco Moretti calls ‘distant reading’ to our fields? What obstacles might they set in place for understanding the nature of performance?

As is appropriate to such a topic, we hope to be able to load any necessary supporting data (data sets, visualisations, colour images) on the Johns Hopkins University Press site for essays in these issues. Please indicate any specific technological requirements for additional or different forms of critical support in your cover letter.

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal editor Joanne Tompkins. Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ( no later than 31 January 2016. Note: the deadline for both special issues is the same.

Job Posting: University of Toronto Jackman Humanities Institute-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships

Mellon Postdoc 2016-2018

Application Start Date: Sep 14th, 2015, 12:00 am
Application End Date: Nov 16th, 2015, 11:59 pm

Call for Applications
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities, 2016-2018

Applications will be accepted starting on Monday 14 September 2015 at 9:00 a.m. (EDT).

The Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) at the University of Toronto is pleased to announce Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships designed to provide financial and intellectual support for outstanding scholars at the beginning of their professional careers. Four Fellows in the Humanities will be selected for a two-year fellowship in the JHI. Fellows will be selected on the basis of accomplishment appropriate to their stage in their career, the promise of excellence and the relevance of their research to the annual theme.
The JHI interprets “Humanities” as a broad category, including political theory, interpretative social science, music, and the arts.

The theme for 2016–2017 is TIME, RHYTHM, AND PACE

The modern experience of time is often characterized by its “increasing speed,” its linearity, and its emphasis on “now.” But time does not have to be regarded as the flight of an arrow, a race track, or a forking path. If we consider the body, the planet, or the longue durée of history, it becomes clear that rhythm, cycle, pace, and temporality pervade the human condition, now as they have always done.  Occurring at multiple scales (neuronal firing, diurnal habits, menses, calendars, life cycles, the rise and fall of civilizations), rhythm is concrete, existential, and profound. How do rhythm and cycle, rather than velocity, characterize human life? What are the politics of chronology? How can a deeper understanding of time, rhythm, and pace—from literary theorists, historians, phenomenologists, political scientists, and diverse other sectors of the academy—provide us with guidance in an increasingly frantic and fast-paced world?

The Fellows will pursue their individual research in the context of the JHI. They will have offices at the JHI and will participate in weekly seminars and other activities in the circle of fellows. In addition, each postdoctoral fellow will be affiliated with a Department and will teach one course in each Fall and Winter term of their two-year Fellowship. We are especially interested in candidates who have an interest in and capacity for interdisciplinary work of a high quality. The Fellowship provides an annual $50,000 Canadian stipend.

Eligibility: PhD Completed 1 July 2013 — 1 May 2016

Applicants must have completed their degree within three years of the beginning of the fellowship (1 July 2016).  Applicants who will defend their thesis before 1 May 2016 are eligible, but a letter from their supervisor or Chair may be requested. Any award will be conditional on a successful defense.
Applicants who received their Ph.D. prior to 1 July 2013 are ineligible.
Degree candidates and recipients of the Ph.D. from the University of Toronto are ineligible.
Fellowships are open to citizens of all states. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may further expand the range of ideas and perspectives.

You must have a registered userID on the JHI website to apply.  Click on Funding to see the description of the fellowship and application procedures.  Scroll to the bottom of the description, and then click Apply Now to apply (this will not be visible until 14 September 2015).

You will be asked to upload the following documents in your application:

1.    Letter of Application (outline your research at doctoral level and plans for the fellowship, emphasizing relevance to the Annual Theme.)
2.    Curriculum vitae
3.    Statement of Teaching and Research Interests (outline what you would like to teach; show how your research can play out in the classroom.)
4.    Writing Sample (normally a completed thesis chapter or published article of about 30 pages)

All documents must be in Word or .pdf format. The size limit for a complete application including all four documents is 4 mb. If your application is too large, you will see an error message; please adjust the size of your files and try again.
You will also be asked to provide the names and email addresses of three referees, and/or the name and email address of your dossier service.  You may include both a dossier service and referee names if necessary.  Please alert your referees to your intention to apply before you submit your application in order to allow them sufficient time to respond.
When you complete the application, click Submit.  When you click on Submit, your application will be filed, and the referees that you have named will be contacted automatically to request letters of reference. Do not click Submit until you are ready for reference requests to go out.
You may check on the status of your application by going into your userID profile on the JHI website and clicking on Applications (left column). If your application says “complete”, your dossier/references have been received. If your application says “pending”, we are waiting for a dossier or reference letters.  Your dossier and/or letters of reference should be received by 1 December 2015.  You may edit your application before the deadline. In edit mode, you may not be able to see previously submitted materials, but they are still there. If you save new versions of any file, the new version will overwrite and replace the old one.

All applications must be made online at by 16 November 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).  Faxed, emailed, and paper applications will not be considered.

Contact: Robert Gibbs, Director of the Jackman Humanities Institute (416)-978-7415.

Job Posting – Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

Job Posting – Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis

The Department of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis invites applications for a tenure-track faculty appointment in Modern Dance at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin in the fall semester of 2016. A Ph.D. in dance, performance studies, or a closely related field and at least three years of experience as a dancer/choreographer required at the time of appointment. Applicants should have an active focus on research and publication. A global perspective on dance, interests in interdisciplinary approaches to dance study (dance sociology, performance studies, gender, etc.) and in Contemporary Dance are also welcome. Duties will include teaching assigned courses in dance theory, history and technique; conducting research; writing for publication; engaging in creative activities; advising students; participating in department governance; and university service.

Application materials should include a CV, transcript, writing sample, statement of ongoing and future research and teaching goals, 3 letters of reference.  A performance video is optional.  Applications by email are preferable:  Mailed applications may be sent to Cindy Kahn, Assistant to the Chair, Performing Arts Department, Campus Box 1108, Washington University, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.

Full consideration and priority will be given to application materials received by November 15, 2015, but materials will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and especially encourages applications from women and members of underrepresented minority groups.



MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Cosgrove at (847) 491-5753 or

FOR RELEASE: September 10, 2015


Grant renewal to foster emerging leaders in dance studies

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University will continue to team up with two other premier schools in fostering emerging leaders in dance studies thanks to a $600,000 renewal of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The multi-year project, “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities,” began in 2012 with the appointment of postdoctoral fellows at Northwestern, Brown University and Stanford University. The renewal will fund additional advanced teaching and research in dance studies at all three institutions through the 2017-18 academic year.

“The Mellon Fellows have enriched academic discourse by contributing diverse perspectives to the liberal arts and our community,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “We thank the Mellon Foundation for their continued support of this wonderful program.”

“Before the Mellon initiative, developing dance studies as an inter-discipline of the humanities felt like my own personal obsession,” said Susan Manning, professor of English, theatre and performance studies at Northwestern. “With postdoctoral fellows now on campus, we’ve truly built a community of interest among undergraduates, graduate students and faculty from several departments.” A number of interdisciplinary initiatives are planned, including an ongoing Working Group in Dance Studies hosted by Northwestern’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

Amanda Graham, the current Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern, is planning a symposium for spring 2016 in conjunction with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art’s exhibit “A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s” (Jan. 15 to July 17, 2016). The symposium, titled “Performed in the Present Tense,” will bring together artists, scholars, and performance curators to reflect on dance in the museum. Participants will include Noemie Solomon, the current Mellon Fellow in Dance Studies at Brown, and Brendan Fernandes, a visiting artist at the Kaplan Institute who works across choreography and visual art.

The program has already proven successful in cultivating dance studies leaders. Jose L. Reynoso, the inaugural Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern, is now an assistant professor of critical dance studies at the University of California, Riverside. Brandon Shaw, the inaugural fellow at Brown, is now permanent faculty in dance studies at the University of Malta, while Joanna Dee Das, last year’s fellow at Stanford, just started a tenure-track position at Williams College. The current Stanford fellow, Rachel Carrico, will also be invited to Evanston within the next year, Manning said.

Applications are currently being accepted for Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in Dance Studies at all three campuses for the 2016-17 academic year. They must be completed by Jan. 1, 2016. For information on how to apply, see the project website at


CFP: Michael Jackson: Artist, Advocate, Provocateur

We are seeking proposals for a multi-disciplinary collection of essays on Michael Jackson as a creative and political force.

Serious analysis of the cultural and political meanings of Jackson’s art has lagged behind an inordinate focus on his private life and personality.  We seek thoughtful writing that moves beyond familiar narratives-informed arguments, never before published, that focus on Jackson’s artistry and strategies for social change. Our goals are 1) to move the conversation into new places, taking up new questions for new audiences, and 2) to produce a volume in which scholars, cultural critics, and other thinkers from inside and outside academia speak together, charting directions for Jackson studies in the future.  We welcome a variety of points of view and standards of value.

Send one-page abstracts and one-paragraph professional biographies to Toni  Bowers and Willa Stillwater at by October 15, 2015.  We’ll select proposed essays and assemble a Table of Contents by the end of the calendar year.  Early in 2016, we’ll send a details proposal, including abstracts, to a university press or rigorous academic trade publisher.  Final essays of approximately 9000 words (20 pages) will be due in early June 2016.

Toni Bowers, PhD, is Professor of British Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.  She has published four books and dozens of articles on literary and cultural subjects, including “Dancing with Michael Jackson” (Los Angeles Review of Books, May 14, 2015).

Willa Stillwater, PhD, is the author of “Monsters, Witches, and Michael Jackson’s Ghosts” (Popular Musicology Online, January 8, 2015) and M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance (Kindle 2011).

Search: Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in Dance Studies

Call for Applications

A consortium of three research universities–Brown, Northwestern, and Stanford–seeks to appoint Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in Dance Studies for the academic year 2016-17. Fellows will be associated with departments of dance/theatre/performance studies and with humanities centers on each campus and will teach two undergraduate courses. International applicants are welcome, as are applicants from Ph.D.s in all fields in the humanities and humanistic social sciences that border dance studies.

The initial appointment is for one year, renewable for a second year. Applicants must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. no later than 15 July 2016 and no earlier than 15 July 2013. Campus placement will be determined by the Search Committee.

Please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample, a sample syllabus for an introductory course in dance studies, and three letters of recommendation to Dance Studies Search Committee, Northwestern University, University Hall 215, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston IL 60208-2240. Electronic applications (in Word or pdf) may be emailed to project assistant Jennifer Britton ( with the subject line “HDance Studies Search.” AA/EOE. Northwestern is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Deadline for applications is 1 January 2016.

CFP for Performing the Progressive Era, A Collection of Essays

Performing the Progressive Era: 

Immigration, Urbanism, and Nationalism on Stage, 1890-1920

             In The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909), reformer and settlement house director Jane Addams laments the temptations and travails of modern urban life, especially the lack of access for working class and immigrant families to institutions that promote the “conception of life higher than that which the actual world offers them.” Integral to Addams’s argument is the institution of theater, which she describes in terms of character-building and national-development by quoting from an anonymous English playwright: “The theater is literally making the minds of our urban populations today. It is a huge factory of sentiment, of character, of points of honor, of conceptions of conduct, of everything that finally determines the destiny of a nation. The theater is not only a place of amusement, it is a place of culture, a place where people learn how to think, act, and feel.” Accepting this premise uncritically, Addams nevertheless warns against those entertainments that constituted a “debased form of dramatic art,” which could only corrupt the innocence and morality of the youth by promoting unethical assumptions and behaviors, a common complaint among theater and social critics of the Progressive Era. Addams yearned for an appropriate theater that could show “life lived in efflorescence;” a theatre that would ennoble the youth of working-class and immigrant families, and therein, the country.  In effect, Addams sought the high/low binary that David Savran has shown developed during the 1920s, with high-culture theater of Eugene O’Neill and the subsequent Little Theatre Movement, sermons, and settlement-house plays correcting the troubling influence of melodramas, musical halls, and burlesque.

Addams’s conception evinces a disorganized and overlapping theatrical landscape that was specific to the Progressive Era. A commingling of genre, aesthetic, and ideological trappings that produced a theatre that defined (and was defined by) the nation’s emergent urban life. This is perhaps best encapsulated by Frederic Jameson’s definition of modernism as “the co-existence of realities from radically different moments in history.” The Progressive Era was, for the most part, a confluence of new and old, high and low. At the same time, perhaps fortunately for Addams, the Progressive Era represented what Dorothy Chansky has called a “sea change in social behavior enabled not only by the innovations of self-proclaimed rebels, but by widespread, systematic shifts allowing a broad based accommodation of the new rhetoric by many Americans.” This anthology examines the theatre’s role in promulgating and legitimizing these changes. In what ways did theatre—high and low— instigate changes in local and national identities as they relate to questions of class, ethnicity, sexuality, temperance, etc.? In what ways did theater—high and low—work in conjunction to influence how theatergoers thought, acted, and felt?  By taking up Addams’s claim about the competition and comingling of Broadway, working-class, immigrant, settlement house, and variety theatres, this anthology examines the ways that thinkers, artists, reformers, and entrepreneurs willed a new chapter of modernity into existence out of the raw material of this decidedly chaotic period of U.S. history.

We welcome submissions that examine the theatre’s role as a “factory” of modernity, both locally and nationally. This might include consideration of social concerns such as the Settlement House Movement, the Social Purity Movement, Temperance Societies, Immigration, Nativism, etc. This might also include exploration of the many theatrical genres discussed here as they relate to the larger project of modernism.

Editors – J. Chris Westgate, CSU Fullerton & Max Shulman, Tufts University


  • Final essays will be between 8,000-10,000 words.
  • Please send abstracts of 250 words to J. Chris Westgate at
  • Please include a short bio with abstracts.
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: December 1st, 2015

Dance Studies in/and the Humanities seeks Postdoc for 2015-2016

The Mellon-funded initiative Dance Studies in/and the Humanities invites applications for a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University starting 1 September 2015. As a member of the Department of Theater and Performance Studies, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies will teach two courses, one an introductory course in dance studies and the other an upper-division special-topics course. In addition, the postdoctoral fellow will organize programs open to the community and designed to advocate for dance studies within the arts and humanities.

To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample, sample syllabus, and two letters of recommendation to Jennifer Britton, administrator for Dance Studies in/and the Humanities at Electronic applications should be in Word or PDF with the subjectline “HDance Studies Search.” Postal applications should be directed to:

Dance Studies Search Committee
Northwestern University
University Hall 215
1897 Sheridan Road
Evanston IL 60208-2240

Applicants must  have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. no later than July 15, 2015 and no earlier than July 15, 2012. AA/EOE. Women andminorities are encouraged to apply.

Deadline for applications is 15 May 2015. Applicants should be available to attend the Mellon Summer Seminar in Dance Studies June 21-27, 2015 at Northwestern University.

Stanford seeking ITALIC Lecturer

Position Title

ITALIC Lecturer


Stanford University Main Campus

Position Description

Working closely with the teaching team of three Stanford faculty, the program’s Assistant Director, and one other lecturer, the ITALIC lecturer will lead two discussion sections of 15 students per quarter and offer individualized instruction to his/her students. The lecturer will work with freshmen in probing the nature of artistic and aesthetic invention, discovery and issues.


Through a series of close investigations and analyses of major works and ideas of the visual, performing and filmic arts, as well as less considered instances of the aesthetic in everyday life, this three-quarter class will question what the cultivation of aesthetic perception, analysis, art making skills and experience in art can bring to creativity and perception in important areas of human endeavor outside of art.


Initial appointments are for a term of one year with a start date of September 1, 2015. The position may be renewable for additional years should the pilot program be continued beyond the start-up period. Salary and full benefits package is competitive.



The successful candidate will demonstrate excellence in college-level teaching, both in small seminar style classes as well as larger lectures. Must be sensitive to the particular demands of teaching freshmen in a year-long, residence-based course, and committed to effective, engaging pedagogy. Exceptional communication skills and experience in working collaboratively and in team-taught courses is also highly desirable. Evidence of distinction in relevant scholarship and research and (if relevant) arts practice, is required. The successful candidate will hold a Ph.D., M.F.A, M.A., or DMA in one of the Arts or affiliated fields (e.g. Art History, Cultural Studies, American Studies, Music, Dance Studies, Film Studies, and related arts and humanities disciplines), conferred no later than June 2015.

About Stanford University

 Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world.

To apply for the ITALIC Lecturer position, please visit:

Stanford University is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and is committed to recruiting and hiring qualified women, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.