CFP #7 (past)

Call for Articles, Reviews and Interviews

From

TEXT MATTERS: A JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, THEORY AND CULTURE
Published by the University of Łodź in Poland
Editor-in-Chief
Dorota Filipczak

No. 7

Special Themed Issue

Drama / Theatre in Transition

Changes, Challenges and Prospects

edited by Andrzej Wicher

(University of Łódź)

The great English historian of drama Allardyce Nicoll talks about “the mimetic instinct” as lying behind the urge that makes drama such a universal phenomenon. He says: “The mimetic instinct is confined to no single nation; it is universal in its appeal, and reveals itself as one of the most primitive of human emotions”. This conception, stressing instinct and “primitive emotion”, no doubt assumes that acting, performing and the bodily movement they involve are an absolutely essential ingredient of drama. And yet it is well known that drama appeared quite often as the so called closet drama, intended to be read rather than performed. The way drama is treated in literature courses of all kinds also usually robs it of its performative aspects  and turns it into a literary, fictional text, not essentially different from other literary genres. This tendency is often opposed, critics tend to pour scorn on “bookish plays” and extol “vigorous performing tradition”. But it is easy to see that the relationship between drama and performance is changeable and dynamic, and perhaps even increasingly so. The universality of drama, emphasised so strongly by Nicoll, can also be questioned. There are puritanical or iconoclastic cultures that are traditionally unfriendly towards drama – and drama itself, at least in its traditional theatrical form, is said to be undergoing a crisis, a popularity crisis in the first place. Perhaps it may be, and actually is, reinvigorated by a connection with other, similarly mimetic, media, such as film, radio, television, or the internet. But this clearly also creates problems, both practical and theoretical. It is such, and other, matters that the prospective contributors to our volume are invited to address.

The editors also accept proposals of articles devoted to the very problem of mimesis in the twentieth-century performance and theatre. The variety of mimetic forms present in the new media and avant-garde, experimental performance as well as film may also offer potential topics for consideration. The post-war theatrical, performative and media-oriented experimentation redefined the concept of traditional mimesis. The aim of the editors is to shed more light on the issue of representation and simulation of reality within the broad field of contemporary theatre, film, media and performance. Similar issues to this one, and other mentioned above, were no doubt also a matter of importance for playwrights, theatre-goers, and drama aficionados of the past, which is why the editors also invite articles including reflection on the great plays belonging to the English and other literary canons of all epochs.

Please send proposals of no more than 400 words to:

andwich@wp.pl

Deadline for proposals: Feb. 28, 2016

Deadline for final essays: May 30, 2016

Word limit for final essays: 4,000–7,000.