Journal of American Drama and Theatre
Founded in 1989 and previously edited by Professors Vera Mowry Roberts, Jane Bowers, and David Savran, this widely acclaimed peer reviewed journal is now edited by Professors Naomi J. Stubbs and James F. Wilson. JADT publishes thoughtful and innovative work by leading scholars on theatre, drama, and performance in the Americas—past and present. Provocative articles provide valuable insight and information on the heritage of American theatre, as well as its continuing contribution to world literature and the performing arts.
The annual ATDS special issue is guest-edited by an ATDS member in collaboration with an editorial board composed of ATDS members. JADT’s Book Review editor is an ATDS member appointed by the ATDS president for a two-year term. JADT’s regular editorial board includes 12 ATDS members.
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2018 ATDS Special Issue Information
Mediations of Authorship in American Postdramatic Mediaturgies
Submission Deadline: 15 Dec. 2017
Authorship has proven to be an elastic concept determined by varying degrees of interference with media and technologies, cultures, materialities, co-authors and environments, protocols, traditions and disciplines. Different models of authorship can be imagined on a continuum between “strong” and “weak,” ranging from the romantic conception of the original creator through oral traditions and collaborative narratives, to the cut & paste aesthetics of so-called “uncreative writing.” The author as playwright and personality dominates the production and perception of theatre well into the 20th century, even if the directorial function emerged from the 19th century onwards. Reacting to what today is seen as the logocentric tradition of theatre dominated by the dramatic text and the dramatist, early 20th century avant-garde directors longed for a resurrection of the spiritual, sensory or communal potential of theatre. A few decades later a metaphorical conception of authorship started to develop in theatre, just as auteurism began to dominate the 1950s New Wave French cinema. Especially since the 1960s, when independently active playwrights also contributed to the devising process of collectives, directing has become a form of scenic writing whereby the text is decentered as the semiotic nexus of the performance, at the expense of the position of the playwright as originator of the theatrical event and “master” of the text. Since the 1980s, postdramatic theatre has further shifted its focus from the playwright to the director and performer as auteur, who either adapt the theatre repertoire or other literary genres, “newly” write, or altogether reject (linguistic) text in favor of the more sensory “languages” of theatre and the “new” media. Digital word processing, image and sound manipulation, as well as virtual and telepresence still reposition the author and the text in what have become in effect postdramatic mediaturgies.
This ATDS guest issue of the JADT seeks to address how American postdramatic mediaturgies effectively mediate these shifting models of authorship —including models disassociated from authorship and artisthood—through the integrated theatrical-technological apparatus. In particular contributions are invited that investigate how staging the presence and use of media—old and new, human and non-human— affects, forms, thematizes or problematizes models of authorship.