Lateral Journal: Performance and Cultural Studies Special Issue

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 12:00am

The Performance Working Group of the Cultural Studies Association calls for proposals for politically engaged articles and innovative digital publishing projects at the intersections of cultural studies and performance for a special issue (Thread) in the upcoming issue of Lateral: The Journal of the Cultural Studies Association.


The first syllable of Performance, per-, denotes “by means of or by agency of” (to send it per the mail), “by each or for every” (20 cents per liter), and “according to” (as per the instructions). With these definitions informing cultural studies’ concerns with capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy, the editors seek work that explores the actions, processes, systems, limitations, and interventions of performance. Deemphasizing the product or the ends, this thread considers culture relationally and in circulation--materially, historically, affectively, and performatively.

How do interactions and negotiations shape performance? How does performance influence its own transmission? When are the exchange relations perceivable or tangible? By whom and for whom are performances created? What marks performance in its dissemination? How is performance itself a “means”?

The editors seek contributions that address these questions through theoretical, historical, and performative examples of:
• global and local circulations or networks of performance
• performative markets and exchanges
• political performance and agency

The editors are especially interested in contributions that engage or have the potential to engage the sensory and interactive aspects of the open-access, web-based publication platform, and that bridge the disciplines of performance studies and cultural studies.

If you are interested in contributing, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words by August 15th, 2014 describing your proposed contribution and how it might utilize an interactive digital platform such as Lateral. Please also include a CV, bio, or link to a personal website. Completed contributions will be due in the fall. Inquiries are also welcome.

Stefanie A. Jones, The Graduate Center, CUNY (
Eero Laine, The Graduate Center, CUNY (

About Lateral:
Committed to imagining new forms of academic scholarship and challenging exclusionary definitions of what counts as "academic," Lateral is a peer-reviewed, multimodal, open-access online journal produced annually by the Cultural Studies Association (US). We publish critically-engaged media, games, conversations, mashups, manifestos, pedagogical tools and, of course, academic essays in order to spark transdisciplinary conversations between academics, activists, educators, makers and the general public. Each issue is organized topically around 3-4 research threads (each thread is essentially a miniature special issue). Whereas most academic journals publish a special issue once and then move on, a Lateral thread will return to the same topic for 2-3 years, allowing contributors to build upon, or respond to, the content in the previous issue's thread. This format is particularly conducive to nuanced conversations and long-term collaborations.

About the Performance Working Group:
The Performance Working Group of the Cultural Studies Association investigates performance, broadly construed, as it comes to bear on cultural and social formations. The Performance Working Group is especially concerned with performances of race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, and the ways in which these performances resist, embrace, and define historical and contemporary politics. While the Performance Working Group favors mutually-constitutive intersectionality, a wide-range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches and methodologies are welcome.

proposals due August 15th


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