Call for Papers: Special Edition of Contemporary Theatre Review: Contemporary Feminist Theatre and Performance

17 March, 2016 by Geraldine Harris | 0 comments

Call for Papers: Special Edition of Contemporary Theatre Review: Contemporary Feminist Theatre and Performance

Call for Papers: Special Edition of Contemporary Theatre Review: Contemporary Feminist Theatre and Performance




Special Edition of Contemporary Theatre Review: Contemporary Feminist Theatre and Performance


Proposal Deadline: Friday 22 April 2016


Guest Editors: Geraldine Harris, Lancaster University; Jen Harvie, Queen Mary University of London; Sarah Gorman, Roehampton University, London


We invite proposals for articles of 7,000 – 8,000 words in length (inclusive of notes and references) for a special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review on ‘Contemporary Feminist Theatre and Performance’. We also welcome submissions for shorter responses of 1,000 – 1,500 words to contribute towards the ‘Backpages’ and ‘Documents’ sections and we draw attention to the opportunity for online ‘Interventions’, specially developed online features that add to and extend the themes and topics explored in the print journal. For more information about the Interventions sections see here:


The impetus arises out of the sense that there has been a resurgence and renewal of interest in feminism in Britain, the US and many other countries worldwide over the last five years. This is evident in the feminist activism and debate boosted by social media but flourishing across a whole range of platforms, embracing groups such as UK Feminista, Slutwalks, Everyday Sexism, Daughters of Eve and One Billion Rising, as well as in the number of celebrities from Lena Dunham to Beyoncé via Emily Watson openly advocating feminism. It is also evident in the ever rising number of popular publications on feminism from Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman, to Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist.


After a long episode of what Elaine Aston termed theatrical ‘feminism fatigue’, the same period has seen a number of widely applauded productions which explicitly engage with questions about the nature of feminism and what it means to be a feminist. In the UK these include works as diverse as Nic Green’s Trilogy (2010), (2012), Karin Young’s The Awkward Squad (2012), Project O’s O (2012), Rosana Cade’s Sister (2013), Ontroerend Goed’s Sirens (2014), Rachael Young’s The Way I Wear My Hair (2014), Lauren Barri Holstein’s Splat! (2013) and the musical version of Made in Dagenham (2015). Events such as Camden People’s Theatre’s ‘Calm Down, Dear’ annual festival of feminist theatre launched in 2013, the Live Art Development Agency’s Just Like a Woman events (2015) and the Hear Me Roar feminists arts festival in Lancaster (founded 2015), have directed attention back on this politics. In the meantime, women have been becoming increasingly visible in all areas and genres of theatre, and female experience has been placed centre stage by a new wave of practitioners – who may not always present their work as ‘feminist’ – including GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, Eggs Collective, Lucy Hutson, Zinnie Harris, Figs in Wigs, and Abi Zakarian.

This therefore seems a crucial moment to take stock of the current role and influence of feminism in theatre and performance in the UK and elsewhere, and to consider how, as contemporary scholars and artists, we might respond to the challenges and opportunities represented by the resurgence of interest in this politics.

We hope that the issue will reflect the ‘diversity’ both of the subject area and of the subject positions and identities embraced by feminism and gender studies and draw attention to points of resistance within ‘feminism’ as it is currently understood. We strongly encourage international contributions, and are especially interested in working with Early Career Researchers from across the world.




We welcome articles and shorter pieces offering critical insights into any area of contemporary theatre and performance activity relating to feminism, gender, transgender, intersectionality, women and femininity. These might include:


a) Theories ('intersectionality', transnational feminisms, national feminisms)




b) Histories (waves/generations)




c) Aesthetics (new forms, popular forms, intermedial forms)




d) Activism (Slut Walks, Femen, One Billion Rising, Daughters of Eve)


Topics might include but are not limited to the following areas:



·         What sort of theories might be useful and important in addressing the changing theatre and performance landscape for women?


  • How does the current upsurge of feminist activity in theatre and performance relate to ideas of ‘transnational feminism’?


·         How is intersectionality emerging in and influencing theatre and performance practice and its theorisation? How have theatre and performance makers responded to Myriam Francois-Cerrah’s assertion that feminism has been ‘hijacked by white middle-class women’? (New Statesman, 2015)




  • What is the relationship between the feminist past and present in current theatre and performance activities? What lessons can be learnt from the feminist theatre past?

  • What recent feminist theatre and performance histories have already been ‘lost’, or are continually overlooked?

  • What do we need to do now to ensure that the full diversity of contemporary feminist theatre and performance practice does not become ‘hidden from history’?




  • What aesthetic and formal strategies, as well as topics and themes, are emerging in contemporary feminist/feminine/women’s performance?

  • Are there distinctly feminist aesthetic strategies now? What is their relationship to realism and past debates around essentialism?

  • How are contemporary feminist practitioners responding to the cultural dominance of digital technologies?




  • How are theatre and performance practices contributing to feminist activism?




Deadline for Proposals: Friday 22 April 2016


Address enquiries to Sarah Gorman –


Submit proposals to:;;




General guidelines:


• Before submitting a proposal we recommend visiting the CTR website: ( to familiarize yourself with the journal.


• Please limit proposals to 300 words and provide a short biography (100 words). Proposals will be accepted by e-mail (MS-Word ideally). Please put CTR Feminism in the subject line of your email.


• Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.


• Please indicate whether your article will include images, tables, etc.


• Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.


• If your proposal is accepted, you will be commissioned early June 2016 and the deadline for the first draft will be set for 1 October 2016. The provisional date for submitting final material to the journal is September 2017. On the final acceptance of a completed article you will be asked to sign an author agreement in order for your work to be published in Contemporary Theatre Review.




Guest Editors:


Professor Geraldine Harris, Lancaster University –


Geraldine Harris is Professor of Theatre at Lancaster University. Her publications include A Good Night out for the Girls, Feminist Futures: Theatre, Performance, Theory and Performance Practice and Process: Contemporary (Women) Practitioners (all with Elaine Aston), Staging Femininities and Beyond Representation: The Politics and Aesthetics of Television Drama. Her blog (like several of her books, co-authored with Elaine Aston) can be found at


Dr Sarah Gorman – Roehampton University –


Sarah Gorman is a Reader in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Performance at Roehampton University, London. Her research focuses on contemporary feminist performance and European/North American experimental theatre and Live Art. Her book The End of Reality: The Theatre of Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players was published by Routledge in 2011. She is the author of numerous reviews, articles and chapters with work published in: Feminist Review, Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review, New Theatre Quarterly, AngloFiles, Western European Stages and Studies in Theatre and Performance. Her Reading as a Woman blog can be found at She is currently working on a book project about women, performance and failure.


Professor Jen Harvie – Queen Mary University of London –


Jen Harvie is Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance at Queen Mary University of London.  She has co-edited two previous issues of Contemporary Theatre Review on Globalisation (2006, with Dan Rebellato) and the cultural politics of the London 2012 Paralympic and Olympic Games (with Keren Zaiontz, 2013). She is co-editor of Palgrave Macmillan’s series Theatre & (with Rebellato), The Only Way Home Is Through the Show: Performance Work of Lois Weaver (with Weaver) and Making Contemporary Theatre: International Rehearsal Processes (with Andy Lavender), and author of The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance (with Paul Allain), Fair Play – Art, Performance and Neoliberalism, Theatre & the City, and Staging the UK.  




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