Call for proposals: Performance Philosophy 4.1 'Crisis/Krisis'


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Performance Philosophy Journal
Vol. 4, No. 1: ‘Crisis/Krisis' (June 2018)
Issue Editors: Eve Katsouraki, Theron Schmidt, Will Daddario
Proposal Deadline:  30 October 2017


‘The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.’

 – Rudi Dornbusch

In the classical Athenian theatre, theatrical experience was most profoundly understood in the act of ‘krisis.’ Meaning the rigorous mental activity of judgement (κρίσιν), krisis was exercised in theatre by the audience and the judges (known as kritai [κριτaί]), through which verdicts were made about the plays. Performed as part of religious festivals in which the poets/playwrights were contesting against each other, theatre’s consent to the authoritative judges of the auditorium had become a creature with a voice. It is why in Plato’s treatment of the Athenian theatre, theatrical judgement served as a prototype of the democratic paradigm but one that he condemned. As performed wisdom, Plato insisted in Laws, the aesthetic principles of theatrical judgement were indistinguishable from those of political and moral deliberation. But the moral psychology of theatrical judgement not only privileged a critical model that was ultimately, for him, deceptive, but it also claimed to surpass the intensive mental work of philosophy, marking since then the long-lasting tension between theatre and philosophy known as the anti-theatrical tradition.

Today, Krisis has mutated into the seemingly more banal term of ‘Crisis,’ generally understood as ‘breaking-point,’ but the underlying web of connections remains the same. While on the surface, ‘crisis’ names a state of panic, a situation to be overcome en route to a better state or health, and most frequently denotes a rupture in the smooth workings of the everyday, the word ‘crisis’ still carries within it the critical principle of judgement. For something or someone to be in crisis, one must have already been confronted with a decision that ultimately dictates an outcome of upheaval. For Walter Benjamin, ‘crisis’ was synonymous with Modernity and Capitalism. There was, he believed, no discreet time called crisis; rather, crisis was the mediality of the 19th century, and the goal to overcome the permanent state of crisis was to be achieved through philosophical reflection from within the immanent field of the crisis itself. Now, in its neoliberal definition, ‘crisis’ is ontologically linked with the increasingly complex, globalized world dominated by manufactured risk and perpetuated failure. As the historical sociologist Greta Krippner claims, the present crisis is another stage in the long, drawn-out departure of capitalist democracies that performs one fundamental act – financialization—that is, ‘the tendency for profit making in the economy to occur increasingly through financial channels rather than through productive activities’ (Krippner, 2011, p. 4). Starting from their formative post-war era of high and steady economic growth (Streeck 2012, p. 408), the state of crisis justifies as much as it necessitates the ‘turn to the market’ rather than government in the hegemony of an economic world.

Nearly everywhere we look, we find a crisis and a history of philosophy to help either overcome, endure, or prevent this crisis. This specific edition of the Performance Philosophy journal seeks to solicit ideas from performance scholars, philosophers, writers, visual artists, musicians, theatre-makers, performance artists, and cultural theorists who are willing to reconsider the philosophical and historical interface between krisis and crisis as a performative model and conceptual paradigm of judgement. How does this connection help us understand the many crises we face today and the kind of judgements that we make? From the flight of the +65million refugees around the world, to the Trump Presidency, to the Brexit, to the rise of Far Right political groups in Europe, to the state of education around the world, crisis is central stage dictating both the course of action and its outcomes. How might performance philosophers equipped with an understanding of Krisis-as-Judgement intervene in these topics, or, at the very least, present modes of (embodied) thinking and (theories of) praxis that can help us all to escape the perpetual anxiety of austerity, fear, and conservative thought that so routinely follows crisis?

Some of the topics (but not limited to) that this special issue wishes to explore are:

-          How is crisis being performed today in theatre?

-          What kind of theatre/performance is required in times of crisis and how might theatre/performance find new forms during crisis?

-          What is a philosophy of crisis? How can we think and/or perform in Crisis? What does it mean to be ‘in crisis’?

-          How does the link between crisis, krisis and judgement enable us to reconceptualise contemporary theatre today and/or its history?

-          What kind of theories and concepts of crisis stage alternative perspectives?

-          Can crisis/krisis become a productive medium of thinking a new politics/thinking politics anew (e.g. resilience-thinking, interstitial thinking, (re)fugitive thought)?

-          What kind of revelations can crisis produce?

-          How are we to understand crises as productions of ‘creative destructions’? Can crises be ‘positive’?

-          How can performance philosophy conceptualise ‘crisis’ in its methods and subjects of study? How is crisis organized, delivered and received in thought and performance?

Some indicative topics might include:

  • Crisis/Krisis and global economies
  • Crisis, transformative politics and political upheaval
  • Crisis/Krisis as modes of ‘being’ and ‘becoming’
  • Phenomenological / affective crisis
  • Crisis and resilience
  • Theological groundings of crisis as Krisis – eg. the Final Judgement, the apocalypse
  • Crisis of thought
  • Crisis and institutional critique
  • Crisis, animal life and the environment
  • Crisis and transformation / upheaval
  • Crisis and futurity
  • Crisis and extremity
  • Crisis, destruction and renewal

Proposals (one-page):  30 October 2017       
Final Drafts:  1 February 2018         
Publication:    June 2018

ALL proposals, submissions, issued-related and general enquiries should be sent direct to:

Eve Katsouraki [email protected]

Theron Schmidt [email protected]

Will Daddario [email protected]


About Performance Philosophy

Performance Philosophy is an emerging interdisciplinary field of thought, creative practice and scholarship, supported by an international network of over 2000 scholars and artists. As an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal, Performance Philosophy publishes articles that interrogate what this field might be, and that test the relationship between performance and philosophy in all its possible configurations, including the philosophy of performance as well as performance-as-philosophy and philosophy-as-performance. 

We are interested in scholarship that draws on a broad range of philosophical traditions, concerned with any aspect of philosophy, whether from Continental or Analytic traditions or beyond, and with any discipline or definition of performance, including but not limited to drama, theatre, dance, performance art, live art, and music.

General Guidelines for Submissions:

• Before submitting a proposal we encourage you to visit our website and familiarize yourself with the journal:
• Proposals will be accepted by e-mail and should not exceed one A4 side.
• Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.
• If you intend to send large images electronically, please contact the editors first to arrange the best means of doing so.
• 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 for peer-review by the above deadline.
• We are able to embed video and other media (where appropriate permissions have been obtained) in our online edition, and we welcome creative, non-standard approaches to writing in our [Margins] section; see

Peer Review Process

Performance Philosophy operates a system of double-blind peer review.  Every article that is accepted for consideration will be evaluated by two external referees, selected by the Editors based on their areas of expertise.  The Editors will make the final decision about publication or assess the need for further revision.  We endeavour to get a decision back to authors within 12 weeks of submission.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.  We do not charge fees for accessing articles, nor for publishing or processing submissions. 

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal, provided it is for non-commercial uses; and that lets others excerpt, translate, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

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