Issue 30

Tue, 1 Apr 1997

CFP Performance Paradigm 15, Performing Southern Feminisms

Type of post: Association news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Glen McGillivray
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 4 Feb 2019
Co-editors: Caroline Wake (University of New South Wales) and Emma Willis (University of Auckland), and section editors (TBC)

From Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the United Nations to comedian Hannah Gadsby on Netflix—the women of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia have rarely been more visible on the international stage. Like their sisters around the world, the women of the Asia-Pacific raised their hands and voices in 2017 to say #metoo. However, regional differences mean that the movement has unfolded differently here. In Australia, strict defamation laws have stymied the naming of perpetrators and instead facilitated the effective “weaponisation” of the #metoo movement (Maley 2018). In China, women were using the hashtags #??? (#IAmAlso) and #MeToo??? (#MeTooInChina) until the tags were banned, at which pointed they switched to the user-generated nickname for the movement, ??, which translates as “rice bunny” but is pronounced as “mi tu” (Zeng 2018). [I apologise that the eurocentric operating system won't import Chinese characters - Prez] In other instances, the movement served to reanimate previous efforts, for example the Australia Council of the Arts’ report Women in Theatre (Lally and Miller 2012) and in the Republic of Korea, Seo Ji-hyun’s complaint against her senior colleague in 2010 (Haynes and Chen 2018). Now, twelve years after Tarana Burke first tweeted #metoo, and one year after it went viral, women are also asking themselves—what next?

The aim of this issue of Performance Paradigm—an open-access, peer-reviewed journal now in its 15th year—is twofold. Firstly, to document and analyse the theatre, performance, dance and live art being made by and with cis- and trans-women across the Asia-Pacific. Secondly, and more ambitiously, to develop a theory and vocabulary of “Southern feminisms” for theatre and performance studies. In their recent issue on “Feminisms Now,” Sarah Gorman, Geraldine Harris and Jen Harvie remark on “the inadequacy of the term ‘feminist’ for non-white artists and scholars” (2018, 280). This “inadequacy” has particular regional resonances. For example, on the experiences of Pacific women, artists Lana Lopesi and Louisa Afoa write that, “The liberal feminist idea of a universal women’s experience can be unrelatable for women from cultures who have been victim to colonisation” (2015). Similarly, in her analysis of Hot Brown Honey, Sarah French draws on the work of Aileen Moreton-Robinson, a Goenpul woman of the Quandamooka nation, to argue that “Australian feminism has consistently excluded Indigenous women and … there are necessarily limitations to Indigenous women’s involvement with white feminists” (Moreton-Robinson 2000, cited by French 2018, 322).

These remarks reiterate the argument Celia Roberts and Raewyn Connell make in the introduction to their special issue on “Southern Feminism” (2016). Drawing on Beninese philosopher Paulin Hountondji (1997), they point out that: “Theory is normally produced in the metropole and exported to the periphery, while the periphery normally produces data and exports this raw material to the metropole. All academic disciplines show these patterns; viewed as a whole, feminist, women’s and gender studies are no exception” (Roberts and Connell 2016, 135–36). Neither are theatre and performance studies, both historically dominated by North American and European scholars. Rather than solely seeking to add some Asia-Pacific data to feminist theatre and performance studies, this issue sets out to develop a theory. It asks: what might Southern feminist performance—and performance theory—look like if we were start with our own “peripheral” selves?

We therefore invite contributions that problematise, extend and challenge what Southern feminism means in a wide variety of performance contexts including theatre, dance, performance and live art, ritual, activism, burlesque and voguing. Here we are thinking of everything from Arden’s diplomacy and Gadsby’s comedy to anything in between. We are interested in ensembles, solo artists, choreographers, company leaders, and community workers. Moreover, we invite appraisals of both feminist-identified performances and works that may not identify as “feminist” but that engage with the relationship between gender and power by way of their own cultural and aesthetic frameworks. While we do not wish to “colonise” artists who do not identify as feminist by naming them so, we do wish to broaden the parameters of the discussion in order to enrich the critical discourse. 

Topics may include but are not limited to:
  • Pacific feminisms, mana wahine
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander feminisms, Indigenous/indigenous feminisms
  • Feminism, allyship, and “decolonising solidarity” (Land 2015)
  • Queer, trans and non-binary feminisms
  • Cultural paradigms that provide their own matrices for articulating the relationship between gender, power and cultural expression in performance
  • Feminism and religious identities
  • Feminism, migration and performance
  • Feminist epistemologies and dramaturgies
  • Feminist performance on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and beyond
  • Pink/pynk aesthetics
  • Intergenerational feminist performance
  • Ecofeminism and performance
  • Xenofeminism and performance
  • Postfeminism
  • Issues of industry, participation and representation

Please send proposals of approximately 300 words to Caroline Wake ( and Emma Willis ( by Monday 18 February 2019. Full articles will be due on 31 May 2019 for publication in December 2019.

Works Cited

French, Sarah. 2018. “‘Talkin’ Up to the White Woman’: Intersections of Race and Gender in Hot Brown Honey.” Contemporary Theatre Review 28 (3): 320–331.

Gorman, Sarah, Geraldine Harris and Jen Harvie. 2018. “Introduction: Feminisms Now.”
Contemporary Theatre Review 28 (3): 278–284.

Hountondji, Paulin J. 1997. “Introduction: Recentring Africa.” In Endogenous Knowledge: Research Trails, edited by Paulin J. Hountondji, 1–39. Dakar: CODESRIA.

Land, Clare. 2015. Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles. London: Zed Books.

Lopesi, Lana, and Louisa Afoa. 2015. “Body Language.” The Occassional Journal 2015 (“Love Feminisms”).

Moreton-Robinson, Aileen. 2000. Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Aboriginal Women and Feminism. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press.

Roberts, Celia, and Raewyn Connell. 2016. “Feminist theory and the global South.” Feminist Theory 17(2): 135–140.


CFP: WHY DEVISE? [working title]

Type of post: Association news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Glen McGillivray
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 13 Nov 2017

Volume editors Heather Fitzsimmons-Frey & James McKinnon

Devised theatre, performance creation, collective creation, performer-created theatre – by these or many other names, “devising” is increasingly visible in the global theatre industry, and as such it invites attention in post-secondary theatre studies and training contexts. How and why is devising embraced (or not) in advanced training centres, universities, and colleges? What are the perceived risks and rewards? While there are many collections suggesting techniques for devising, or analysing devised practices and projects (Barton 2008; Bicat and Baldwin 2002; Milling and Heddon 2005; Oddey 1994), this collection seeks contributions examining devising and performance creation in the contexts of post-secondary teaching, training, and research. Editors Heather Fitzsimmons Frey and James McKinnon are looking for essays investigating the purposes, practices, and outcomes of devised theatre projects in institutions of higher learning and/or advanced training.

This book is geared toward practitioners, students, scholars, and anyone with a stake in the issue of what post-secondary drama, theatre, and performance programs do—and for whom. We invite practice-based approaches reflecting current research, and/or case studies focusing on how devising aligns with or challenges the traditional disciplinary boundaries, praxes, and policies. Acknowledging that our curricula and practices vary enormously worldwide, we seek contributions representing a range of perspectives (including students, alumni, industry professionals, scholars, scholar-artists, and others) on “devising” in a variety of post-secondary educational contexts, including (but not limited to): liberal arts, drama in education, applied theatre, and conservatory training programs. Essays might explore any of the following areas:
  • Pedagogy: What do we learn from devising? How does this learning prepare students for life after study, either in or out of the professional theatre contexts? How are outcomes (for both faculty and students) defined and evaluated?  How does devising align with—or how can it be aligned with—evidence-based theories of teaching and learning? What special risks or rewards does it offer? What assumptions about student learning and devised projects do educators need to reconsider?
  • Inquiry: How does devising present or catalyze unique opportunities for participants to practice and/or participate in inquiry, investigation, and dissemination, or interdisciplinary scholarship?
  • Diversity: How do devising projects address local contexts, cultural difference, language, previous theatrical skill training and performance traditions? How, for example do potential identity markers like racial constructs, gender, sexuality, ability and disability, age, religious affiliation, or language knowledge influence planning, process, and reception of the projects?
  • Tradition, lineage, and methodology: Through what channels do knowledge and techne of devising and performance creation—including well-known systems such as the RSVP Cycles—flow between training institutions and practitioners?
  • Devising and Campus Theatre Production: How do theatre and performance training programs position student-devised new work in their public performance mandates? When (and why) is this work featured, or marginalized?
  • Devising’s mantras and myths: What clich├ęs, truisms, and assumptions need to be carefully examined and re-evaluated when placed in post-secondary/tertiary training and education contexts?
  • Disciplinary division: Embracing devising implies moving away from traditional models of drama studies and theatre production; how do practitioners, students, scholars, and programs perceive and address this implication?
  • Industry and stakeholders: How does training in performance-making and devising align with our perceptions of what the theatre industry needs, and what graduates need to succeed in it? Contributors may also want consider professional contexts like drama therapy, drama educator, community facilitator, cultural venue animator, etc.
Submission guidelines:
  • Email a 300-500 word abstract to both editors: James McKinnon ( and Heather Fitzsimmons Frey (
  • Please include a 150 word bio and/or 2 page CV highlighting your creative & scholarly contributions.
  • Final length of accepted essays will be 4000-6000 words
  • Illustrations welcome, 300dpi
  • Queries welcome!

The deadline for proposals is 15 January 2018

CFP: Performance Paradigm 16: Performance and Radical Kindness

Type of post: Association news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Glen McGillivray
Status: Current
Date Posted: Thu, 19 Mar 2020
Edited by Emma Willis (University of Auckland) and Alys Longley (University of Auckland)

Kindness as a radical act is not just ‘being nice’ to one another; it is the core of articulating, recognising, and valuing the complexity and beauty of the human condition, and putting this into practice in order to dismantle harmful systems of oppression and subjugation. Radical kindness is the creation of space for vulnerability. (Burton and Turbine 2019)

In an era where political and civil discourses are marred by populist politics of division and exclusion, kindness may seem to be in short supply. When it does appear, it is perceived as soft, uncritical and feminized. Alternatively, it is critiqued as inherently biased and/or dependent on differences in subject position and power (Clegg and Rowland 2020). Yet kindness has its champions. In performance, the fields of applied theatre as well as socially engaged and relationally oriented modes of performance often express an ethos of kindness through their aim towards, justice, social coherence, and transformation. In the scholarly and popular psychology, researchers have heralded the benefit of kindness to personal happiness and wellbeing. At a political level, current New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has attracted global attention for her politics and practices of kindness. However, ‘Kindness in the contemporary moment continues to be an under-researched emotion even in the midst of a surge of work in emotion and affect theory’ (Magnet at al 2014). This issue of Performance Paradigm ( seeks to respond to this gap in the literature, focusing on performance-based instantiations of kindness, and performance-led analyses of political and civil discourses that extend our understanding of its radical potential. Through discussion of a broad range of performance examples, we are seeking to redefine the performative potential of kindness, reinvesting it with the political power needed to counter prevailing political dispositions.

In considering the relationship between performance and kindness, we encourage a broad range of approaches. Kindness may be framed as a politically aspirational ethic that underlies or motivates performance – Petra Kuppers’ and Neil Marcus’s practice of ‘Helping Dances,’ for example, of which Kuppers writes: ‘All of us acknowledge living inter dependent lives, intersected and enabled by many, carried on the backs of infrastructural laborers of all kinds and touched by the kindnesses of strangers’ (Kuppers 2014). Kindness may also constitute an act of political and aesthetic refusal. Reflecting on a series of feminist performance works in Australia, Jana Perkovic remarks that the artists ‘found their strength not in attacking the enemy, but in standing their own ground. They were friendly works, non-combative – but through them, the artists claimed the right to exist for a universe full of dress-ups, kindness, self-reflection, freedom, and femininity’ (2014). Writing of Back to Back Theatre’s work, Super Discount, Helena Grehan and Peter Eckersall remark that ‘The juxtaposition between dark and light, vulnerability and superpower, and acting and performance remind us that it is not the epic encounter that is of significance. Instead, as the artifice of acting is banished from this work, we are left with moments of human kindness and a series of questions about where we go from here’ (2013).

Kindness may also feature as a subject of thematic consideration. Lydia Adetunji’s 2019 play Calculating Kindness, for example, explores the life of George Price, best known for formulating an equation explaining altruism. Kindness may also inform the creative process. Sandra Reeve, for example, writes of what she calls ‘regenerative choreography’ which incorporates ‘loving kindness’ into its methodology (2018, 78). Performance strategies discussed may involve creating enabling disruptions or, as anthropologists Alison Phipps and Lesley Saunders describe, ‘poetry for the sake of gentling the space where violence is writ large and ugly’ (2009). Finally, a performance-based analysis might be applied to the discourse of kindness in political rhetoric. For example, in the same way that Denise Varney applies a performance studies framework to scrutinise the ‘affective power of misogyny’ (2017) in attacks on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, such an approach might be used to assess the rhetoric of kindness in the discourse of leaders such as Ardern.

Through considering performances that variously enact, contemplate or promote kindness, we invite authors to challenge some of the prevailing beliefs and assumptions about what constitutes kindness. We therefore invite authors to consider not only performances that enhance our understanding of both the radical potential of kindness but also those that draw attention to its misuses.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
  • What is the role of kindness in creative pedagogies and creative practices? What is the relationship between discipline, disciplinarity and kindness in classrooms and rehearsal rooms?
  • How might the poetics of kindness inflect creative research methodologies, such as studio practices of performance writing?
  • How is kindness both performed and understood differently in distinct cultural contexts? How do these culturally specific articulations of kindness expand our understanding of kindness as praxis?
  • How does kindness figure in performances concerned with the politics of race and gender?
  • How, as Burton and Turbine explain, do various social and political biases undermine the legitimacy afforded to kindness? How has kindness, as they suggest, been ‘weaponized,’ and how can performance effectively challenge such bias?
  • How might performance-based analysis be applied to the discourse of kindness in political rhetoric?
  • How might kindness be applied beyond the human? For example, how might the radical potential of kindness be conceived of in relation to ecological crisis?
  • How do performances of kindness emphasize notions of interdependence and reciprocity?
  • How might kindness be conceived of as radical action? In what sense might it, as Magnet et al. write, function in performance as a ‘technology of social transformation’ and a ‘microtechnique for both resisting and shaping power relations’ (2014)?
  • How might kindness be framed as a principle for convening community in both performance contexts and civil society, building what Hall and Smith call networks of ‘flexible resilience’ (2015)?
  • How might we critique the capture by capital markets of kindness as an affective currency? What does this ‘mainstreaming’ of kindness tell us about its instrumentality?

Please send proposals of approximately 300 words to Dr Emma Willis ( and Dr Alys Longley ( by 8 May 2020. Full articles will be due on 1 November 2020 for publication in Performance Paradigm, July 2021.

Please feel free to contact the issue editors with any questions. For more information about them, see here:
  • Dr Emma Willis, Senior Lecturer in Drama:
  • Dr Alys Longley, Associate Professor in Dance:

Works Cited

Burton, Sarah and Vikki Turbine (2019) “‘We’re Not Asking for the Moon on a Stick’: Kindness and Generosity in the Academy.” Discoversociety July 03,
Clegg, Sue and Stephen Rowland (2010) “Kindness in pedagogical practice and academic life”, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31:6, 719-735.
Grehan, Helena and Peter Eckersall (2013) “Review: Super Discount by Back to Back Theatre”, The Theatre Times, 20 November,
Habibis, Daphne, Nicholas Hookway and Anthea Vreugdenhil (2016) “Kindness in Australia: An Empirical Critique of Moral Decline Sociology.” The British Journal of Sociology, 67(3), 395-413.
Hall, Tom and Robin James Smith (2015) “Care and Repair and the Politics of Urban Kindness.” Sociology 49(1) 3–18.
Hazou, Rand (2018) “Performing Manaaki and New Zealand Refugee Theatre.” Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 23(2), 228-241.
Kuppers, Petra (2014) “Crip Time.” Tikkun, 29 (4), 29-30.
Magnet, Shoshana, Corinne Lysandra Mason and Kathryn Trevenen (2014) “Feminism, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Kindness.” Feminist Teacher 25 (4), 1-22.
Perkovic, Jana (2014) “Performance: Dying on stage: Feminism 4.0.” The Lifted Brow, 23, 34.
Phipps, Alison and Lesley Saunders (2009) “The Sound of Violets: the Ethnographic Potency of Poetry?” Ethnography and Education 4 (3), 357-387.
Reeve, Sandra (2018) “On the Way to Regenerative Choreography.” Choreographic Practices 9 (1), 75-80.
Shklar, Judith N. (1989) “The Liberalism of Fear.” Pp. 21–37 in Liberalism and the Moral Life, edited by Nancy L. Rosenblum. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Varney, Denise (2017) “‘Not Now, Not Ever’: Julia Gillard and the Performative Power of Affect” in E. Diamond et al. (eds.), Performance, Feminism and Affect in Neoliberal Times, Palgrave Macmillan, 25-38.