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Call for Proposals: On Hybridity

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Call for Proposals: On Hybridity


Volume 25, Issue 6 – On Hybridity

Issue Editors: Frank Camilleri (The University of Malta) and Maria Kapsali (University of Leeds)

This issue of Performance Research considers hybridity in relation to performance, in particular the making, reception and study of performance as practices that emerge from heterogeneous sources, as well as the performative operation of hybridity in historical, cultural and political contexts.

The term emerged from roots in agriculture and horticulture (for example, grafting) and is related to animal husbandry (cross-breeding) and to applications in metallurgy (alloys). It took on pseudo-scientific biological overtones when it overlapped with the history of imperialism and slavery, in the process generating a racialized discourse. In the second half of the twentieth century, hybridity became more broadly associated with questions of ‘subjectivity’ and ‘identity’, eventually leading to notions of ‘cultural hybridity’. Homi Bhabha’s reading of the term in the context of colonialism marks the interstitial and the liminal, for example in processes like those of mimicry, which reproduce the dominant culture in an ‘alien’ indigenous/colonized setting. Such perspectives resonate with others that emerge when two (or more) cultural worlds collide, including creolization in language, as well as Mikhail Bhaktin’s heteroglossia (the ‘hybrid utterance’) and the carnivalesque (satire/critique through imitation). In the twenty-first century, hybridity has taken a more pronounced tinge in light of technology, where to be human entails an ever-increasing reliance on and entanglement with non-human materiality. In addition to discourses about post-colonialism, multiculturalism, and identity, therefore, hybridity is now invoked in the contexts of globalization, technologization and the Anthropocene.

In discussions on contemporary performance, hybridity is often used loosely to capture the synthesis and co-mingling of different sources, practices and methodologies that arguably underpin it. More specifically, the term has been employed in discussions of cultural and racial performance, as well as in relation to the emergence of new theatrical practices in colonial contexts. Responding to the complex connection between hybridity and performance, this special issue is grounded in the following points: 1) a reconsideration of the concept is timely; and 2) performance, in reflecting and influencing human activity and life, is strategically placed to conduct such a reappraisal specifically via its practices of preparation and presentation. Accordingly, this issue of Performance Research investigates the intersections between hybridity and performance as the coming together of performer and environment, materials and practitioners, performance and reception, event and analysis. Hybridity is, therefore, understood as at once a formative, trans-formative and per-formative encounter that shapes performance and culture on many levels:

  • as pedagogical process
  • as compositional and production strategy
  • as ensemble and assembly (human and non-human)
  • as inter- and intradisciplinary endeavour
  • as a professional strategy
  • as inter- and intracultural phenomenon.
  • Topics may include but are in no way limited to:
  • issues and themes of hybridity in terms of technology, spaces/sites and fluid identities (for example, cyborgs, cultures, migrations) in performance
  • the hybridization of physical and digital elements in performance (intermediality, multimedia, mixed media)
  • intercultural/multicultural performance
  • interdisciplinarity and intradisciplinarity in performance
  • the multisource development and multichannel transmission of training exercises (including massive open online courses (MOOCs), mobile apps)
  • compositional strategies like devising, choreography and ensemble work
  • improvisation and relational performance processes
  • applied performance as hybrid adaptive practice
  • comedy, satire and the carnivalesque in performance
  • issues related to genre, including performance art, ‘total theatre’, opera and other forms like music theatre, mime and dance that can be conceived in hybrid terms
  • analysis of historical performances from the lens of hybridity
  • practice as research case studies as hybrid methodologies and practices
  • the post-human, the post-modern and the post-dramatic as hybrid paradigms
  • conceptual frameworks related to hybridity that have a performative element (for example, grafting, fusion, merger, assemblage, otherness)
  • historiography and ethnography as hybrid and evolving practices that involve diverse methodologies and technologies from various sources
  • human and non-human relationalities and issues of agency in performance (objects, clothes, technology, design, architecture, plants, animals).


  • Proposals: 8 November 2019
  • First drafts: February 2020
  • Final drafts: May 2020
  • Publication: October 2020

Issue contacts:

All proposals, submissions and general enquiries should be sent direct to Performance Research at: info@performance-research.org

Issue-related enquiries should be directed to the issue editors:

Frank Camilleri: frank.camilleri@um.edu.mt

Maria Kapsali: M.Kapsali@leeds.ac.uk


General Guidelines for Submissions:

• Before submitting a proposal, we encourage you to visit our website (www.performance-research.org ) and familiarize yourself with the journal.

• Proposals will be accepted by email (Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF)). Proposals should not exceed one A4 side.

• Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.

• Please include the issue title and issue number in the subject line of your email.

• Submission of images and other visual material is welcome provided that all attachments do not exceed 5 MB, and there is a maximum of five images.

• Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

• If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to submit an article in first draft by the deadline indicated above. On the final acceptance of a completed article you will be asked to sign an author agreement in order for your work to be published in Performance Research.