Call for chapters: Creative Activism

Type of post: Association news item
Posted By: Glen McGillivray
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 4 May 2020

Book Title: Creative Activism: Research, Pedagogy and Practice.

This multidisciplinary collection speaks to growing global recognition of creativity and the arts as vital to social movements and change. Bringing together diverse perspectives from leading academics and practitioners who investigate how creative activism is deployed, taught, evaluated, theorised, and critically analysed, the collection provides a home for relevant approaches right across the arts, humanities and social sciences spectrum. Evidence, critique and case study examples are juxtaposed to illuminate the what, how, where and why of creative activism from multiple perspectives.

Who can contribute:
Whether you’re from theatre, media studies, creative writing, performance, fine arts, psychology, communication, ethics, social movement studies, creativity studies, comedy studies, creativity studies, arts-based research, education, or more, if you have a scholarly perspective on creative activism, please consider submitting a chapter to this call. We are hoping for a wonderfully eclectic mix in order to help us all spot and spark transdisciplinary links.

Topic parameters:
Our working definition of creative activism is inclusive (or perhaps that should be elusive - part of the point of the book is to help hone some of the murky definitional issues) and so whether you call it socially engaged art, political art, protest art, artivism, performative activism, participatory community art, social justice art, artistic activism, or something else, we are keen to hear about your work and encourage you to submit your chapter/s.

Suggested topics might include (but are certainly not limited to these areas – this collection is intended to provide a wide-ranging survey):

  • Arts-based social issue engagement in the classroom – primary, secondary and tertiary

    examples of curricular innovation

  • Pandemic shock, climate grief and compassion fatigue – the role of creative practice

    and artistic responses in making sense of overwhelming topics

  • Creative activism as problem solving: the role of imagination in accelerating social

    change and generating solutions

  • Creative activism evaluation – approaches and tools for determining outcomes and


  • Creative activism safe practice: embedding self-care and other care

  • Critically analysing the forms, claims and creative processes of artistic activism:

    avoiding art-washing, and challenging assumptions about what works, what has value, and why

  • Decolonisation, anti-capitalism and the role of creative activism in systemic resistance or transformation

  • Defining the creative activism disciplinary field

  • Global citizenship and planetary issues - exploring creative activism as cross-cultural


  • Humour, satire, parody and their role in contemporary cultural subversion

  • Identity, culture, gender - creative activism as agent of personal and social evolution

  • Participatory ethics, sustainability, disruption and the civic responsibilities of creative


  • Performance, ritual, spectacle and carnival in the Anthropocene

  • Social movements and creativity case studies – methods, opportunities and challenges

  • Working together: building communities of interest and practice through collaborative

    creative activism

    Chapter guidelines:
    A chapter should normally be no longer than 6000 words, and should be original and previously unpublished. If the work has already been published (as a journal article, or in conference proceedings, for example), the publisher will require evidence that permission to be re-published has been granted.

    The referencing should use Chicago Notes & Bibliography style: see more here

    At this time, we do not have any deadlines for the submission of contributions – though this may change as circumstances develop. Please fill out and submit the contribution form if you intend to submit a chapter, even if you do not have it ready at present, and that way the publisher can keep you informed of developments.

    About the editor:
    Dr Elspeth Tilley teaches theatre and creative activism at Massey University in New Zealand, and is a multi-award-winning playwright, researcher and educator. She has led numerous performative social change projects including on youth incarceration, sexual consent and homelessness. Elspeth produces Climate Change Theatre Action Aotearoa and founded Create1World, a creative activism youth conference, in 2016. You can see more about Elspeth at her Massey University staff page, here:

    Why join this collection?
    While there are some monographs and within-discipline collections that usefully look at specific aspects of creative activism, there is nothing that expansively pulls together viewpoints across disciplines so that we might start to spot commonalities and transdisciplinary linkages that will help us join up the multiple ways of seeing this nascent field.

    Cambridge Scholars Press is a small but well-regarded press started by (as the name references) a group of former and current Cambridge University scholars. Elspeth investigated a number of publishing options before choosing CSP for this collection because of their:

  • Speed to press. The world, and this field in particular, are rapidly changing and getting work published while fresh is vital

  • Accessibility and wide distribution. From Elspeth’s experience publishing with CSP previously, she found the work was made more accessible than with some other publishers, with access either as a whole collection or individual chapters by both hard copy and e-book to a diverse range of libraries worldwide, at very reasonable prices for those libraries which encouraged uptake. For a collection that aims to be a useful resource not only to scholars but also to educators and practitioners, accessibility was important.

  • Quality standards. CSP has a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism and excellent editing standards. This will be a collection we can all be proud of.

  • Existing list of relevant work. CSP publishes original, innovative works and in her own research and teaching on creative activism Elspeth found herself often consulting and citing CSP texts. While the creative activism field itself is still being defined, this book will join a solid base of CSP publications related to this field.

    For a publisher’s submission form, please see the attached Word document, or if you did not receive the attachment, please click here to download the submission form directly from the Publisher’s website submission.docx.

    Chapters should be submitted, along with the completed submission form, to

    We look forward to hearing about your work. Please feel free to contact Elspeth if you have any questions about this call.