Call for Papers

Theatre and Language

Nordic Theatre Studies, Vol. 28 No. 1

Nordic Theatre Studies – the leading academic journal for theatre scholars writing on all aspects of Nordic and Baltic theatre and for Nordic and Baltic theatre scholars writing on any aspect of theatre – invites contributions to our up-coming issue. The journal is divided into a thematic section and a section open for a broader scope of topics.

The theme of Nordic Theatre Studies 28/1 is Theatre and Language.

Why Theatre and Language?

Living in an era of accelerating internationalization, globalization and multiculturalism, we are surrounded by a multitude of languages, and we face an urgent need of understanding each other across cultural borders and manners whether by means of verbal or nonverbal communication.

Traditionally theatre has been a site for shaping national identities, a site for language-politics. How does cultural emancipation through language transpire in the era of Globalization in which the nation-state is challenged? How is performance affected by English, which is increasingly seen as the lingua franca? How do different languages constitute identities, hierarchies and power relations today? How are gender, class, age and race performed through verbal language? How do non-verbal sign systems, bodily and visual languages function in performances and how do they relate to spoken and written texts? How does written language interact with different artistic practices? How do different institutional and artistic contexts influence practices of language e.g. in the work of playwrights and dramaturges? What happens when a play-text is translated; or a live performance subtitled or dubbed? How are audiences addressed by means of language? What is the position and function of language in post-dramatic theatre, where drama-texts seem to have lost their hierarchical position? In what ways does language constitute performative power in different realms of life e.g. in politics, education or science, and how is this reflected in the institutional “staging” of these practices?

The theme of theatre language is open to many different scholarly approaches: historical, theoretical, political and philosophical. We call for contributions that address this theme, for example:

• Language on stage after the post-dramatic break with the hierarchy of text?
• National or local identities and languages vs. globalization and English as lingua franca
• Language politics in theatre and research practices.
• Language as political performance.
• Language as a site for constructing and performing power positions, hierarchies, identities and sense of selfhood.
• Language as cultural resistance, lingual minorities or dialects in theatre; multiculturalism and multilingual performances.
• Exporting theatre performances to global markets, translating or subtitling performances.
• Theory and practice of dramaturgic work and playwriting.
• Different practices of verbal and non-verbal languages in performances, eg. verbatim theatre, invented or nonsensical language, f. ex. Grammelot as comical expression; uses of dead languages such as Ancient Greek or Latin for aesthetic effects.
• Translating or updating old dramatic works into contemporary language practice.

Proposals for contributions (both to the thematic and open sections) should be presented in a short abstract (not exceeding 300 words) and sent to the Editor-in-Chief Laura Gröndahl (laurakgrondahl[at] no later than 15 September 2015. The completed manuscript should be delivered before 1 March 2016. Manuscripts are to be submitted in English. The length of the article should be approx. 35,000 characters, including punctuation marks, spaces, notes and references. Nordic Theatre Studies is a peer-reviewed journal, and all articles are read and commented on by the journal’s international board.

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