Volume 1: Performers 

Call for Proposals: Women’s Innovations in Theatre, Dance, and Performance

Volume 1: Performers

Co-edited by Colleen Kim Daniher and Marlis Schweitzer


This volume will focus on innovations by women and femme artists such as dancers, actors, musicians, storytellers, performance artists, and other entertainers who appear in public within an audienced context. We are specifically interested in innovations in performance practices as a way to uncover new historiographies of women’s performance across time and space. How might the way that women performers innovatively use voice, gesture, role/repertory, technologies of appearance, publicity, and social experimentation open up new genealogies of innovation, lines of influence, and contact zones of performance history? Conversely, how might new geographies and temporalities of relation across women’s performance practices open up new conceptualizations of both innovation and feminist historiography? Instead of an exceptionalist/individualist account of innovation or a strictly chronological approach to documenting women’s innovations in performance across time but not space, we aim to produce a relational historiography that spatializes as well as temporalizes women’s innovations in performance. Thus, we take our cue from feminist historiographical methods of “connective comparison”—as modeled by The Modern Girl Around the World (Duke 2008) project—to track convergences of innovations in women’s performance across time and space.

The volume consequently embraces a flexible structure focused on performance practices. We seek a range of written submissions that consider a broad history of women’s performance organized around the following themes:

Contributions might include:

While we acknowledge that “full” historiographic coverage is an impossibility, this volume will take a global history approach that centers the intimacies of empire, colonialism, and migration in both social and aesthetic contexts. We seek contributors who can speak to these recurring themes across multiple languages, geographies, cultures, and time periods. We are particularly interested in centering the voices of IBPOC scholars and contributors across career stages.

Additional questions to consider include:

We invite scholars and artists to address these or other pressing questions in the form that seems most appropriate to them. We anticipate including a range of essays (3,000-6,000 words) as well as shorter pieces (2,500-3,000 words) in the form of artist commissions, manifestos, creative nonfiction, annotations to primary source documents, interviews, and critical responses in the field of feminist performance historiography. We also welcome forms not listed here.

Contact Colleen Kim Daniher (cdaniher@wlu.ca) and Marlis Schweitzer (schweit@yorku.ca) if you have questions. 

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 HERE.