Call for Papers: Resilience? Response, Resourcefulness, Recovery, Resistance

Type of post: Association news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Yoni Prior
Status: Current
Date Posted: Thu, 23 Feb 2023


Australasian Drama Studies, vol. 83 (Special Edition)


Resilience? Response, Resourcefulness, Recovery, Resistance

Call for proposals

The effects of the Covid pandemic on the field of theatre and performance in Australasia have intensified and, in some cases, refocussed the attention of artists and scholars on issues of resilience, well-being and precarity that have been legitimate preoccupations across academic disciplines since the early 2000’s. As Ames and Greer (2021: 1) point out, however, the resilience so frequently attributed to those who work in creative spheres can also serve “to rationalise and naturalise the redistribution of responsibility for social and systemic problems from the state to communities and individuals” . 

How is this sustainable? This century we are witnessing the emergence of critique, practices and actions that foreground the value of ‘the arts’ and challenge instrumentalist models, demanding greater emphasis on people-centred and strength-based approaches. In this issue, we aim to interrogate convenient notions of resilience and seek to reiterate Ames and Greer’s salient questions, asking ‘resilience to what?’ and ‘resilience for whom?” (4) in our region. How might the quest for resilience serve the larger agenda of governments and the corporate sector if the resourcefulness attributed to our sector represents what Evans and Reid describe as “deceitful emancipatory claims that force people to embrace their servitude as though it were their liberation” (2015: 154) ? Where do rebellion, resistance and revolution feature in the discourse, aesthetic, and practices of next generation artists? 

We purposely do not use the term ‘post-pandemic,’ as the pandemic is still with us and our processes, modes and sites of production and learning continue to need to account for this. In a changed landscape, is it resilience that is needed? Can resilience be characterised simply as a ‘bouncing back’ to original shape in this context? Acknowledging the “located, contextual nature of resilience” (Ames and Greer: 3), where, and in what shape, do we find ourselves?

This issue is, then, intended as a form of health check, examining the state of play in theatre, performance, scholarship and training in Australasia in precarious times. While the Covid pandemic sits within a range of imminent and immediate global crises that both inform and threaten our practices as artists and scholars (if not our existence), its effects have arguably piggy-backed on more persistent problems in relation to making and holding space for diversity, decolonisation, equity and wellbeing. All of these pressing issues point to both individual and collective vulnerabilities and appear in localised formations in our region that can be fragile, at risk of erosion, and in some cases of extinction.
  • Managing precarity and vulnerability: in response to climate crisis, global pandemic, cultural and social and change
  • Australasian innovations in approaches to partnership and collaboration to engender more sustainable approaches to performing arts.
  • Performance practices and training for resilience, cultural safety and well-being
  • Key questions regarding liveness and presence in performance and pedagogy which have arisen (or re-emerged) in relation to the pandemic.
  • Alternatives to current renditions and conceptions of resourcefulness and resilience
  • Government and policy responses to the Covid pandemic and the post-lockdown environment.
  • Alternate economies and the loss of economic certainty for artists and small to medium companies in the performing arts
  • Designing robust strategic change approaches to embed arts and artists in communities
  • Artistic responses to the Covid pandemic, climate emergency, global economic instability, and war
  • The place of care and personal wellbeing within the performing arts
  • Intimacy, institutional and corporate responsibility in the performing arts
  • University responses to the Covid pandemic
    • The changing nature of the Higher Education landscape 
    • Losses to the sector during Covid
    • Strategic rebuilding for a sustainable future
  • Changing aesthetics and production processes in the post-lockdown environment.
  • Economic and social labour in the small to medium and independent artist sectors
  • Holistic working practices and technologies for a sustainable performing arts sector
  • How the industry is contending with with and leading/innovating in policy and procedures embedding First Nations, disability, LGBTQI+ concerns to sustain diverse teams and cultural safety for artists and audiences
  • Imagining the future: practice, training, scholarship

Send proposals of 300 words to the editors on the emails below by 17 April 2023. If commissioned, full submissions will be due on 25 July 2023.
Rea Dennis (
Yoni Prior (
Sarah Woodland (
Erica Charalambous (
Margaret Ames & Stephen Greer (2021) Renegotiating resilience, redefining resourcefulness, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 26:1, 1-8.
Brad Evans & Julian Reid (2015) Exhausted by resilience: response to the commentaries, Resilience, 3:2, 154-159.