Joanne Tompkins Prize

The Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies has created a new award for Excellence in Editing, the Joanne Tompkins Prize

Purpose of the Award

The practices and processes of editing, be it long-term journal editing, convening special journal issues, or edited collections, play a key role in the shaping, enhancing, and even challenging the ways in which we can understand the inter-related fields of theatre, drama, and performance studies. Yet the role of editors is often overlooked. This prize recognises the contribution made by individuals or collaborative teams that lead and sustain editorial endeavours. More specifically, the Joanne Tompkins Prize recognises the editing of an ongoing journal, special issue, or significant edited collection.

The Joanne Tompkins Prize for Excellence in Editing will be awarded once every four (4) years, starting in 2017. Thus the Joanne Tompkins Prize will be awarded in the following years:

  • 2021;
  • 2025. 


Nominations will be accepted by editors who are self-nominating or by ADSA members who are nominating on behalf of editors. 

The nominators should provide a statement that consists of the following:

  • The name of the journal, special issue, or edited collection;
  • The reason for the nomination that addresses longevity of contribution, innovation in the field, and impact;
  • Details of past editing projects where appropriate;
  • Specific details on the submitted material:
    • For journal editing: a brief statement as to why the submitted issues are relevant to the nomination;
    • For special issues: a brief statement about the importance of the issue; and
    • For edited collections: a brief statement about the innovation of the collection.

Nominees will be asked to provide:

  • For special issues: three copies of the special issue
  • For journal series: three copies of three separate issues
  • For edited collections: three copies of the edited collection, or three unique links to e-book copies.


To be eligible, the journal or collection must be published in any of the FOUR years prior to the award of the prize (i.e. for the 2021 Joanne Tompkins Prize, judges will accept the nomination of journals published in 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020). The editor must have been a member of ADSA in the year in which the journal, special issue, or edited collection was published, and in the year of award. In the case of jointly edited projects, at least one member should be a member of ADSA in the year(s) stipulated (in this case, the prize money will be awarded to the member). Editors are not eligible to win the same prize consecutively.

Judges for the prize in 2021 are Jonathan Bollen (University of NSW), Sean Coyle (Toi Whakaari), and Asher Warren (University of Tasmania). 

Deadline: 1 october 2021. Written applications addressing the above criteria, and including copies of the nominated material, should be sent to Prizes and Publications Officer Sarah Woodland ( 

About Joanne Tompkins

Professor Joanne Tompkins is a Life Member of ADSA. Her research includes post-colonial, cross-cultural, intercultural and multicultural drama and theory; feminist performance; and space in historical and contemporary theatre. She is the author of: Theatre’s Heterotopias: Performance and the Cultural Politics of Space. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014;Unsettling Space: Contestations in Contemporary Australian Theatre. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. She is co-author of: Post-colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics. London: Routledge, 1996 (with Helen Gilbert); Women’s Intercultural Performance. London: Routledge, 2000 (with Julie Holledge). She is editor of: “Space and the Geographics of Theatre,” a special issue of Modern Drama, 2004; “Theatre and the Canadian Imaginary,” a special issue of Australasian Drama Studies, 1996. She is co-editor of: Theatre JournalPerforming Site-Specific Theatre: Politics, Place, Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012 (with Anna Birch); “Site-Specificity and Mobility,” a Special Issue of Contemporary Theatre Review, 2012 (with Anna Birch); “Performance and Design,” a special issue of Australasian Drama Studies, 2012 (with Andrew Filmer and Miranda Heckenberg); Modern DramaDefining the Field. University of Toronto Press, 2003 (with Ric Knowles and WB Worthen).

Winner of the 2021 Joanne Tompkins prize

Helena Grehan and Peter Eckersall for The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics (2019).
With the Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics, published in 2019, Helena Grehan and Peter Eckersall have directed their long-running editorial collaboration to address the power of performance across the world today. They have convened a strikingly expansive collection of essays, provocations and interventions, drawing on diverse perspectives from artists, audiences and critics in response to the question: 'How can we be political now?'. 
Like all submissions for the Joanne Tompkins prize this year, Grehan and Eckersall's editorial work convenes a community of scholars and promotes a body of scholarship that intervenes with significant impact in the field, addresses emerging areas of innovation in contemporary performance, and addresses the distribution of power in the production of knowledge about artistic practice. What distinguishes the editorial process that Grehan and Eckersall apply in their volume is dramaturgy. Theirs is not a run-of-the-mill editorial practice, informed by the rigours of publishing. Theirs is an innovative editorial process, emerging from the critical practice of collaborative engagement, participatory workshops, and dramaturgical strategies. 
In ways that are leading our field, Grehan and Eckersall are reinventing editing as a dramaturgy, convening a diversity of critical practices and perspectives, to yield an unprecedented conceptual architecture for understanding the power and politics of performance in our world. The book's structure provides an indication of this, organised around eight themes: post, assembly, gap, institution, machine, message, and re (as in 'reset, rescale, reanimate, reimagine, replay'). So too does the breadth of contribution from no less than 82 artists, scholars and critics. This is a genuinely diverse assemblage of voices, ranging across expertise and experience, identity formations and geo-political positions. The judges particularly appreciated the inclusion of early career artists and scholars in forging the volume's horizon of thinking. 
The collection is expansive in scope, extensive in reach; it embraces the edges of artistic practices, expands the scenes of scholarship, and is attuned to the currents of concern that sweep across our world. Its case for the relevance of performance to political process forges a powerful statement, as the reviews published in Theatre Journal and Times Higher Education have observed. Likewise, we expect scholars of theatre performance around the world, will be extended and inspired by this companion. (The unassuming 'companion' in the title is likely to foster widespread adoption; but don’t be mislead, this is an exciting volume; more explosive exposition, than comfortable companion.)
We also recognise this book's editorial innovation as the product of Grehan and Eckersall's long-running editorial collaboration, honed over the years through issues of the journal Performance Research, their numerous co-edited and co-authored volumes (in various combinations, both together, and with others), and in the recent issue of Imagined Theatres on Australian performance. Through these endeavours, they have expanded what editing can become and what collective scholarship can produce by drawing on the interactive and participatory prospects of dramaturgical invention to intervene in the process of scholarly publication. 
The judges of the Joanne Tompkins Prize thank Helena Grehan and Peter Eckersall for their exemplary endeavours as field-leading editors and congratulate them on receiving the award. 

Past Recipients

Joanne Tompkins 2018 inaugural prize

Winner - Gillian Arrighi  and Victor Emeljanow for Popular Entertainment Studies

As anyone who has ever done it would know, starting a new journal is a massive undertaking, not to be undertaken lightly, because of the challenges involved in finding a definitive place in the field, the challenge of finding a readership in a saturated market, the challenges of attracting quality contributions from scholars at a range of career stages as the journal is establishing itself, as well as the sheer work of editing each issue. Established in 2010, and just as the field globally was moving towards online, open access, internationalised markets, Popular Entertainment Studies has achieved this and more. The work Victor Emeljanow and Gillian Arrighi have done in establishing a contributing readership, and a conceptual throughline emphasising the value of scholarship of entertainments once marginalised, has allowed Popular Entertainments Studies to become a distinctive contributor to the field globally. This journal, publishing contributions examining a range of historical and contemporary entertainment paradigms, and a range of artforms, is truly interdisciplinary and international in scope. It highlights the Australasian voice, and Australasian entertainment history and practice, to and within a global field.

Victor Emeljanow and Gillian Arrighi submitted three editions of Popular Entertainments: Volume 4, No. 2 (2013), demonstrated the scope and structure of the journal as well as its mix of Australasian and international authors; Volume 6, No. 2 (2015) was an example of the journal with the input of a guest editor, in this case, Dr Nic Leonhardt from LMU, Germany, who worked in tandem with Emeljanow and Arrighi; and finally, Volume 7, No 1-2 (2016) indicated the editors’ willingness to nurture research publications by new and emerging scholars, alongside the research outputs of senior scholars. ­­­­An example of the fantastic work Victor and Gillian have been doing in and beyond ADSA and of the strong voice Australasian researchers can, should, and do have in global publishing, it gives us great pleasure to award the inaugural Joanne Tompkins prize for journal editing to Victor Emeljanow and Gillian Arrighi for Popular Entertainment Studies

Past Winners