Borders and Translations

Call for Papers for a themed edition of RiDE examining the ideas of borders and translations in applied drama and theatre

‘But remember that words are signals, counters. They are not immortal. And it can happen that a civilisation can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape of […] fact’; ‘We must learn those new names […] We must learn where we live. We must learn to make them our own. We must make them our new home’; ‘it is not the literal past, the “facts” of history, that shape us, but the images of the past embodied in language.’ […] ‘We must never cease renewing those images; because once we do, we fossilise.’ (Friel 1984 pp.419 & 445)

RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance is a fully refereed, international journal published by Routledge, now included in the Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index. This themed edition seeks submissions of work that consider the shape and contours of applied drama and theatre practice as they crosses different types of borders and are translated into different languages.

Both metaphorically and conceptually, the ideas of borders and translations have currency within the field of applied drama and theatre. They bring to mind philosophical issues of nation, identity, community, politics, post-colonialism, inter-disciplinarity and liminality. They also allow us to access the more grounded discourses of language, field, discourse and communication.Historically, we have sought to cross borders with our work, and the process of translating practice from largely euro-centric roots has been on-going during the last half-century. Over the past decade, work within our community has begun to redefine borders of the extent and nature of our work, and to share languages in ways that have made them less deeply fixed. Recent issues of RiDE and other work illuminate this clearly.

What becomes clear is that challenges continue to emerge in the on-going expansion and greater diversification around what defines the limits and boundaries of work in the field, and what languages are used both to describe and conceptualise practice. This special issue will seek to publish research that specifically dwells on translations and borders in applied theatre and drama with a view to identifying tensions, difficulties, dilemmas and successes. It particularly invites articles that metaphorically and conceptually probe the languages and borders of our practices in applied drama and theatre, and it seeks to be a volume that gathers together research that explicitly deals with the changing nature of practice and thinking in our community.

Key issues that the themed edition will consider: 

·         What are the common tenets of language that bind together disparate aspects of practice and research within an increasingly diversified applied drama and theatre community?

·         How are the practices of drama education and applied theatre being interpreted and translated within specific national, cultural and linguistic settings?

·         How can the practices and languages of the community of drama and theatre education be further refined in a manner that avoids narrowness and cultural specificity but that allows for greater communicative clarity and wider access to the work of the community?

·         What marks the borders of practice and discourse in applied theatre and drama and how can their identification allow the community co-exist successfully but distinctly alongside neighbouring and related fields such as education, theatre studies and performance studies.

Articles of approximately 5,000 words in length are welcomed in response to the general statement and key issues noted below. The breadth and potential playfulness of the issue’s theme may also suggest research that is not explicitly identified above.

Delegates to the 7th International Drama in Education Research Institute (, to be held in Ireland in July 2012 on the same theme, are welcome to submit their papers for consideration.

Article abstracts (of no more than 500 words) must reach the editor Michael Finneran ( by July 20th 2012 and should also be copied to Joe Winston (

Contributors whose proposals have been initially accepted will be informed by August 15th, 2012, and will be required to submit the full article for peer review by December 21st, 2012. Further editing is then likely in response to review and editorial comment, and final submission will be July 1st, 2013 for publication in RiDE 18:4 in the autumn of that year.