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Theatre Journal Call for papers: "Possible Worlds"

Posted By Joanne Tompkins, University of Queensland, Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Theatre Journal

Special Issue

“Possible Worlds”

Call for Papers

Recent critical attention to space and geography (for example, by proponents of site-specific performance) has helped articulate the detail of ‘location’ in theatre and performance. But there are numerous means of exploring space and place beyond those offered through conventional geography, as the Situationists International, among others, explored in past decades. Other significant spaces include mythic and psychic locations; or zones that may or may not be fixed by geographical coordinates. This special issue investigates the performance of possible and actual worlds that contribute to the shaping of space and place.

An alternative geography may be a vestige of history: for instance, assumptions made by early European geographers about the nature and location of southern lands were shaped by myth and suppositions. Simply by being ‘not here,’ such locations take up spaces of otherness, some characteristics of which remain in the public imaginary, despite the precision of contemporary mapping tools. Multimedia, meanwhile, describes a differently situated ‘geography of elsewhere.’ Doreen Massey has argued in For Space that “[s]pace […] is about contemporaneity (rather than temporal convening), it is about openness (rather than inevitability) and it is also about relations, fractures, discontinuities, practices of engagement. And this intrinsic relationality of the spatial is not just a matter of lines on a map; it is a cartography of power” (85).

How might the qualities that Massey identifies be performed? How do non-geographic ‘spaces’ such as capital or marginalized subjectivities intersect with conventional geography? This issue seeks interventions in the ways in which theatre’s metonymic performance of geography can expand our understanding of spatiality in performance, and of performance itself.

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal co-editor Joanne Tompkins. Submissions (6000-9000 words) should be e-mailed to managing editor Bob Kowkabany ( no later than 10 April 2015.

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