Women’s Innovations in Theatre, Dance, and Performance aims to capture the innovations women have made to the performing arts in their historical, geographical, and disciplinary diversity. The definitions of both “performance” and “woman” are capacious. The former includes all forms of theatre, dance, opera, performance art, and solo performance. The latter includes cisgender, women-identified, trans, and femme bodies. Our definition of “woman” is also undergirded by Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and other intersectional feminisms alongside queer theories which trouble the gender construct/binary. Innovation is defined by the context in which it happens. It can be something that disrupts or breaks from conventions; it can create new methods (forms, styles, aesthetics, etc.); it can be something that establishes a strong influence in the development of the field. This series seeks to broaden, celebrate, and recover historical awareness of these performance-based artmakers and their contributions; as such, it showcases innovative, intersectional feminist historiographical approaches along with a history of women’s innovation in the field.
The series will consist of four volumes, which will be published together as a set; each volume will focus on processes and practices surrounding roles, broadly conceived. The set will be organized as such: Vol. 1: Performers; Vol. 2: Creators; Vol. 3: Designers & Crafters; and Vol. 4: Leaders. Each volume will showcase how historiographical form and content are interrelated through a framework that seeks to explore relationships across time and space rather than linear narratives that privilege cause and effect.
The primary goals of this series will be to:
- Showcase and recuperate the innovative contributions of women to theatre, dance, and performance from a broad geographical and historical scope.
- Emphasize novel, intersectional feminist historiographical approaches to the writing of women’s innovations in theatre, dance, and performance.
- Highlight the necessary relationship between form (the way in which history is written) and content (historical material in the chapter) in the writing of women’s performance histories.
- Resist tendencies to canonize while reframing historiography to increase inclusivity, uplift collective artmaking, and counter historio/hagiographies of the individual.
Contributors are invited to consider the cultural, historical, political, and social inflections of women’s innovations in their specific context, though transhistorical and comparative analyses are also welcome.
We seek contributions that take on a variety of forms, including (but not limited to):
Analytical/Critical essay on a proposed topic (or on a type of innovation) (3,000-6,000 words)
Writing that models historiographic methodologies such as auto-ethnography, performative writing, critical fabulation, creative nonfiction, speculative historiography, or feminist historiographies (up to 3,000 words)
Annotated primary source/ engagement with primary historical source(s) in the form of an "analytical dialogue” consisting of a primary source + commentary (commentary of up to 1000 words; multiple contributors could offer commentary on the same source)
Interview/ conversation/ “roundtable” format with scholarly engagement/ framing (3,000-4,000 words)
Manifestos & mission statements (up to 1,000 words)
Calls for each of the individual volumes are below. Contributors are welcome to submit abstracts for more than one volume. Contributors may also request that the same abstract be considered for more than one volume via the submission form. We strongly encourage the submission of contributions from those situated in the Global South and from scholars and artists representing the global majority.
Abstracts may be submitted in languages other than English, although final essays will need to be in English.
Abstracts submitted should be 250 words, and include a working title and a description of the methodological approach. Potential contributors should also include a brief (150-word) bio. These should be combined into one MS Word document (Times New Roman, 12-pt, single-spaced) for submission.
New extended deadline for submission of abstracts is April 15, 2023. Abstracts should be submitted online through forms found under each volume below.