Call for Papers - Performance Research 22.8 - On Leftovers

Call for Papers - Performance Research 22.8 - On Leftovers
Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 12:00am to Monday, February 20, 2017 - 12:00am

Volume 22, Issue 8—On Leftovers (Dec 2017)

Proposal Deadline: 20 February 2017

In recent years, various aspects of sustainability have gained more attention in industrialized Western countries that are still dominated by the effects of a throwaway society. People are starting to exchange, for example, clothes or books via respective shops or online portals; others are engaged in dumpster diving (skip/tip foraging) or setting up restaurants offering a cuisine solely based on leftovers. However, there is also a critical discourse about those methods of recycling and repurposing that disregard certain regions of the world that are not able to invest in those rather sophisticated projects, as they simply depend on what has been thrown away by others, living on the leftovers of a still, and even more so, consumer society.

In the arts, on the other hand, practices of reconstructing, re-performing or (self-) archiving have been challenging the realm of the performing arts that otherwise operate under the primacy of presence. What was once assembled as something that created presence—and thus even a critical event—is now subject to preservation performances that attempt to record (for example, ‘storage’ performances such as re-enactments). It is a turn from performance’s presence to preservation that also touches on aspects of artistic marketing. Moreover, the focus tends to shift to leftovers, for example, as relics being on display in museums or galleries when it comes to exhibitions dealing with performing arts (as, for instance, the nails of Chris Burden’s seminal performance Trans-Fixed being meticulously displayed in the curation of an exhibition). Another aspect of leftovers rivets on artists working with detritus, tying their findings into other dis/functional and aesthetic contexts.

From the perspective of artistic practice, sometimes the creation of a production/performance generates an excess of material, giving life/substance to other work in unplanned and serendipitous ways.  Sometimes, material resists capture in a performance or refuses to sit purposely within a scenario; leftover, through dramaturgical selection, often this material gives life to subsequent projects.

In the domestic kitchen, again, creativity flourishes with the use of leftovers; entire cannons of distinctive (national) dishes exist, often surpassing the flavour and nourishment of the ‘original’ meal. So, too, in performance, the creation of new work from the leftovers of previous endeavour, or the restaging (reconstitution) of earlier work, can produce efficacious and fulfilling productions.

Hence, this issue asks about the consequences and specific modalities of leftovers in the performing and visual arts as well as in broader cultural and social contexts: What is the status of leftovers when, for example, being on display or being distributed otherwise after a performance? To what extent do they ‘help’ or rather ‘betray’ the attempts to write performing art’s history? What kind of impact does the integration of debris as art’s material have on the conception and reception of the artwork as such? And in what ways does a certain performative quality apply when it comes to the arrangement of leftovers other than working with ‘unused’ and ‘fresh’ material? What about the politicality of integrating leftovers into ‘newly‘ done work? And how does the value of leftovers change when reintegrated into the consumer’s society? Those reflections also imply more general questions about the cultural status and value of leftovers in the social and political realm.

Articles, essays and other contributions by scholars and artists are welcomed, covering the field of leftovers at the nexus of performing and visual arts, and cultural and social practices, with regard to, for example:

  • leftovers and artistic re/production
  • politicality of remains
  • performativity of leftovers in practices of everyday life
  • leftovers as debris between uselessness and re-use
  • historiography as/in performance arts/archive
  • dumpster diving or skip/tip foraging as a political and artistic practice
  • cultural and economical value of remains
  • sustainability in arts and cultural contexts
  • theoretical frameworks, such as new materialism.


Proposals: Monday 20 February 2017

1st drafts: Friday 12 May 2017

2nd drafts: June 2017

Publication: December 2017

ALL proposals, submissions and general enquiries should be sent direct to the Journal at:

Issue-related enquiries should be directed to issue editors: Susanne Foellmer and Richard Gough

 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 (MS-Word or RTF). Proposals should not exceed one A4 side.

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

• Submission of images and visual material is welcome, PROVIDED that all attachments DO NOT exceed 5MB, and a maximum of 5 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.








No comments