Theatre and the Nomadic Subject
14 October, 2015
“Theatre and the Nomadic Subject” – special issue of Nordic Theatre Studies 27.1, edited by S E Wilmer (published September 2015)
This special issue of Nordic Theatre Studies focuses on the topic “Theatre and the Nomadic Subject”, which was the theme of a nomadic conference in April 2014. The event began with lectures at the National Theatre in Helsinki, followed by presentations in a special train cabin on an 800-kilometre trip to the Arctic, and ended with papers at the University of Lapland and the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi. The conference was partially inspired by the writings on nomadism by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (such as their “1227: Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine” in A Thousand Plateaus) and Rosi Braidotti’s Nomadic Subjects. Some of the participants in the conference drew on Deleuze and Guattari’s and Braidotti’s texts, which present poststructural notions of desubjectivation and which critique normative notions of Eurocentric, white male subjectivity and advocate, what Braidotti calls, “the ‘non-unitary’ […] subject, [and] issues of fragmentation, complexity, and multiplicity”. The essays tackle nomadism from a variety of perspectives and help to establish the concept of the nomadic subject as a fruitful tool for analysing theatrical activity. They address nomadism conceptually as well as geographically, considering issues of desubjectivation and deterritorialisation, problems of migration, asylum and national identity, as well as the nomadic practices of artists, companies and audiences.