Journal of American Drama and Theatre


Alt Inq: Scientific Research and Inquiry in American Theatre


Deadline: 1 December 2015


The American Theatre and Drama Society invites submissions for the Spring 2016 issue of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre. Membership in ATDS is not required for submission of an article, but submissions from ATDS members are especially encouraged.

This special issue explores forms of research and inquiry offered by theatre in the United States and throughout the Americas and its scholarship in the age of STEM. The dominance of these disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is driven both by economic exigencies and underlying ideological assumptions about what constitutes valuable research and inquiry. What challenges and opportunities does this historical moment present for theatre to reassert its relevance and necessity? How does it engage in alternative forms of inquiry? How does scholarship aid theatre, both by bringing theatre’s forms of inquiry into view or engaging in such inquiry itself? Can alternative forms of inquiry close the gap between practice and analysis in the arts and humanities, and counter claims that research occurs only in STEM disciplines?

Questions authors may pursue include but are not limited to:

  • How do plays or other performance texts address the STEM disciplines? How do they depict science in action or under discussion?
  • Should theatre offer an ethical perspective on STEM research that claims to be value free?
  • How have historical or current theatrical productions, alternate performance platforms, or pedagogy integrated the STEM disciplines?
  • What does performance as research (PAR) or practice as research (PaR), and scholarship supporting such forms of inquiry, contribute to debates over the value of creative-arts research?
  • How do the STEM disciplines incorporate performance techniques? (e.g. standardized patients programs used to train medical doctors)
  • How do federal and state initiatives and policies affect the development of inquiry in theatre and performance? In colleges and universities? In conservatory or studio programs?
  • How does STEM put transnational pressure on theatre and performance inquiry throughout the Americas?

Manuscripts (5000-7000 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 1 December 2015; please e-mail queries and articles to Iris Smith Fischer,

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