TJ will publish two open and two special issues in 2020. The Call for Papers for the two special issues can be found below.

Special Issue for September 2020: Minor Asias

The 50th anniversary of Asian American Studies has coincided with a number of phenomena that challenge the ways in which we might think about the utility and limits of that rubric. Increased policing of particular minority communities within China, protests in Hong Kong, growing recognition of indigeneity in Taiwan, ongoing tensions between Okinawa and Japan, recognition of Koryo-Saram in Kazakhstan, regional and ethnic articulations in Thailand, the circulation of diasporas within and beyond the eastern hemisphere—all of these examples point to networks that complicate how Asia means. Moreover, the global financial power of Asian economies, especially within the cultural industries, has produced a number of new subjects such as the African trader in Guangzhou and the white K-Pop band. Theatre and performance studies has slowly been responding to these shifts but, for the most part, has not assumed a central role in the scholarship. Nevertheless, the emphases of our fields on body, space, audience, and technology promise major interventions even as the shifts in Asia itself might challenge assumptions about some of those analytic categories. This special issue, then, takes up Asia together with Asian American and diasporic circulation in the wake of ongoing historical imperialisms and the current era of globalization.

The turn to Minor Asias recognizes several factors. Theatre Journal has accorded relatively little importance to Asian performance (not withstanding a previous special issue on that topic) in spite of the magnitude and influence of Asian cultural flows now and in the past. Moreover, Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih’s edited volume Minor Transnationalism argues compellingly for the need to explore what they have called the “transversal” relationships that move above and below the scale of the national and what one might call the continental. Such a call exists in tandem with various regional assertions that have existed and continue to influence politics from the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere imposed by Japan to the Asian Values discourse deployed by Malaysia and Singapore. Lionnet and Shih’s general attention to the minor builds on Edouard Glissant’s ideas of rélation which argues for a decolonizing poetics and an expansive ethics of connection and recognition. In an intersecting analysis, Kuan-Hsing Chen in Asia as Method has tried to articulate how globalization manifests as societies within Asia use one another as a reference point. In this vein, globalization perhaps paradoxically produces regionalization.

Such theoretical conundrums might be productively explored through several material examples, and the editors invite essays from any geographic site or historical period that might articulate “Minor Asia.” As Anna Tsing has written, globalization is a history of social projects that might be traced through the “sticky materiality of practical encounters” that might “give grip to universal aspirations.” We seek to amplify Asia’s importance to theatre and performance studies and to insist on the relevance of theatre and performance to Asian and Asian diasporic studies.

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal coeditor Sean Metzger. We will consider both full length essays for the print edition (6,000-9,000 words) as well as proposals for short provocations, video and/or photo essays, and other creative, multimedia material for our online platform (500-2,000 words). For information about submission, visit:

Submissions for the print journal and for the online platform should reach us no later than 1 January 2020.

Submissions for this issue will be via ScholarOne only:

Feel free to contact the editors with questions or inquiries:

Sean Metzger, Coeditor at

Margherita Laera, Online Editor at



Special Issue for December 2020: The Global South

The idea of ordering regions into "north" and "south" began during the Cold War, first as the Non-Aligned Movement and then as the Group of 77 member states of the United Nations. While these nations were initially designated "The Third World," the dissolution of the Soviet Union made such a designation obsolete. However, the challenges faced by the formerly colonized world remained much the same, and neoliberal globalization exacerbated already pressing environmental and economic crises. That most of these states are situated south of the imperial powers prompted political analysts to begin using the term "global south" in the 1980s and 1990s. It has since become a common ground for scholars and activists attempting to address large-scale problems across regional and disciplinary boundaries.

In the journal The Global South, established just a decade ago, Levander and Mignolo hoped the new ordering would offer "productive pathways and contact points for new modes of scholarly exchange that can work against such long-standing imperatives" that "sustain and normalize the ways in which we parse power systems in an increasingly global age."1 Working through the lens of the Global South has generated working groups at the Hemispheric Institute's Encuentro and the American Society for Theatre Research. Within theatre and performance studies, pulling together research on performance practices and performance history of the Global South can enable us to explore the structure of postcolonial power, dynamics of imperialism, the effects of globalism, cultural hybridities, environmental impacts, and the kinds of cooperative connections being forged between regions within the Global South that can bring productive, effective social change.

For this special issue, essays might cover performance practice, history, and theory situated in the Global South: Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Essays may examine, collaborations, hybridities, and resistances, as well as preservation, traditions, and tools of state oppression. What are our responsibilities as scholars of the Global South? How can "(t)hose of us in postindustrial countries who research performance in these 'other' parts of the world should be particularly cognizant of the ethical responsibility" to disrupt familiar "tropes of passivity and helplessness" as Laura Edmondson has noted?2 What is gained by using the "Global South" as a conceptual frame? What is lost?

This special issue will be edited by Theatre Journal editor E.J. Westlake. We will consider both full length essays for the print edition (6,000-9,000 words) as well as short provocations, video and/or photo essays, and other creative, multimedia material for our on-line platform (500-2,000 words). For information about submission, visit our website:

Print submissions and online submissions should submitted no later than 1 February 2020.


Submissions for this issue will be via ScholarOne only:

Feel free to contact the editors with questions or inquiries:

E.J. Westlake, Editor at

Bob Kowkabany, managing editor



Caroline Levander and Walter Mignolo. "Introduction: The Global South and World Dis/Order." The Global South 5, no. 1 (2011): 1-2.

2 Laura Edmondson. "TDR Comment: Of Sugarcoating and Hope." TDR: The Drama Review 51, no. 2 (2007): 7-10. 


Submissions are always welcome for the journal’s general issues.


1.     How often can I publish an essay in Theatre Journal?

An author may be published in the journal no more frequently than once every two years.

2.     Can I have an essay published in Theatre Topics in the same year as Theatre Journal?

While the two journals are independent, it is best to space submissions to them so that essays by the same person are not appearing in the two journals at the same time.

3.     If my essay is rejected by Theatre Journal when can I try to submit another essay to Theatre Journal?

An author must wait a year before submitting a subsequent essay to Theatre Journal.

4.     My essay is about a single production. Will this affect its chances of being accepted?

Yes: Theatre Journal tends not to publish essays on a single play or production. Exceptions are occasionally made when essays explore a very broad and well-contextualized understanding of a moment or an aspect of performance or when the assessment of a single production is a springboard to a larger argument.

5.     My essay is about a single play. It is a deep and thorough reading of that play. Would Theatre Journal be interested in that?

As with the answer to the question above, Theatre Journal tends not to publish essays on a single play unless they use that exploration to reinterpret the play or the author’s oeuvre, etc. Such an essay would need to demonstrate a very thorough knowledge of the ways in which the play has been read to that point.

6.     My essay doesn’t deal very much with theatricality or performance. Will this be a problem?

Theatre Journal is interested in performance aspects first and foremost so it is very important that essays engage with theatricality.

7.     My essay is very historically focused. Is it true that Theatre Journal privileges contemporary work?

Theatre Journal publishes the best essays relating to theatre and performance, regardless of era. Historical essays that are not accepted may deal with a specific moment in time without any indication of how that moment matters to a broad theatre readership.

8.     Do I need to send in an abstract to get the editors’ approval before submitting an essay?

No, please do not submit an abstract: we prefer to read the full essay and make an assessment on that basis. If your essay is accepted, we will ask for an abstract then.

9.     How many images can I expect to include in an accepted essay?

We can publish roughly five images per essay, but images are not essential. We urge authors to include only high quality images that contribute to the essay’s argument.

In some instances, depending on the topic, more images may be necessary and we deal with such matters on a case by case basis. The online platform can support images that are not able to be included in the print version. This platform can also support other forms of illustration/supporting material. Any images there are in color, while images in the print version are black and white.

As ever, it is the author’s responsibility to secure the high-quality images, the permissions, and to pay any cost for them.

10.  How many images can I expect to include in an accepted performance review?

There is a maximum of two images per performance review, unless the review covers a festival.

As with essays, it may be possible for additional images to be uploaded to the online platform.

11.  How often can I write a performance/book review?

An author can contribute one performance review and one book review per calendar year.

12.  How often do the roles of Co-Editor, Editor, Online Editor and Book/Performance Review Editors turn over?

The Co-Editor has a two year term, followed by two years as Editor (four years total). The Online, Book and Performance Reviews Editors have three year terms. Calls for applications for these positions appear through ATHE approximately 6 months before the previous terms expire.

13.  What is the function of the online platform?

The online platform extends the print journal and provides an exciting space for creative research that engages with multimedia and digital opportunities, such as video and photo essays, podcasts, documentaries, rehearsal footage, video interviews, etc. It is also a space where we can publish supplementary material that can’t be contained between the print covers (charts, extra illustrations, video clips, podcasts, etc). Through the online platform, the Editors can also communicate with readers about news from the team and from the field.

14.  Can I propose to edit or co-edit a special issue of Theatre Journal?

While Theatre Journal has two special issues per year, the Co-Editor and Editor edit these. The journal doesn’t normally bring on guest editors. If you have a topic that you feel the journal should consider, please speak to one of the editors. 

15.  How can I have my say?

Please speak to one of the editors either at a conference or via email:

E. J. Westlake:

Sean Metzger: