Spring 2018 Special Issue

The American Theatre and Drama Society invites submissions for the Spring 2018 issue of The Journal of American Drama and Theatre

Mediations of Authorship in American Postdramatic Mediaturgies

Submission Deadline: 15 Dec. 2017

Authorship has proven to be an elastic concept determined by varying degrees of interference with media and technologies, cultures, materialities, co-authors and environments, protocols, traditions and disciplines. Different models of authorship can be imagined on a continuum between “strong” and “weak,” ranging from the romantic conception of the original creator through oral traditions and collaborative narratives, to the cut & paste aesthetics of so-called “uncreative writing.” The author as playwright and personality dominates the production and perception of theatre well into the 20th century, even if the directorial function emerged from the 19th century onwards. Reacting to what today is seen as the logocentric tradition of theatre dominated by the dramatic text and the dramatist, early 20th century avant-garde directors longed for a resurrection of the spiritual, sensory or communal potential of theatre. A few decades later a metaphorical conception of authorship started to develop in theatre, just as auteurism began to dominate the 1950s New Wave French cinema. Especially since the 1960s, when independently active playwrights also contributed to the devising process of collectives, directing has become a form of scenic writing whereby the text is decentered as the semiotic nexus of the performance, at the expense of the position of the playwright as originator of the theatrical event and “master” of the text. Since the 1980s, postdramatic theatre has further shifted its focus from the playwright to the director and performer as auteur, who either adapt the theatre repertoire or other literary genres, “newly” write, or altogether reject (linguistic) text in favor of the more sensory “languages” of theatre and the “new” media. Digital word processing, image and sound manipulation, as well as virtual and telepresence still reposition the author and the text in what have become in effect postdramatic mediaturgies.

This ATDS guest issue of the JADT seeks to address how American postdramatic mediaturgies effectively mediate these shifting models of authorship —including models disassociated from authorship and artisthood­—through the integrated theatrical-technological apparatus. In particular contributions are invited that investigate how staging the presence and use of media—old and new, human and non-human— affects, forms, thematizes or problematizes models of authorship.

Manuscripts of max 6000 words should be prepared in conformity with the Chicago Manual of Style, using endnotes, and submitted as attachments in Microsoft Word format. All correspondence will be conducted by e-mail. Submissions must be received no later than 15 December 2017; please e-mail queries and articles to Johan Callens, jcallens@vub.be

Authors do not need to be a member of the American Theatre and Drama Society but submissions from members are especially encouraged.

For more information about JADT, see http://jadtjournal.org

For more information about ATDS, see www.atds.org

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