CALL FOR PROPOSALS – Performance Research Journal ‘On Names’

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Performance Research Journal ‘On Names’
Deadline date: October 17, 2016:

Volume 22, Issue 6–‘On Names’ (September 2017)
Proposals Deadline: 17 October 2016
Issue Co-Editors: Konstantina Georgelou and Janez Janša

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself
(Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, II, 2, 43–9)

This issue asks contributors to discuss matters that concern names, their performativity and their dramaturgical functions. Names are deeply rooted in culture and bear their own politics. Every culture and every new social order establishes itself by creating a regime of naming, which raises the questions: To whom does a name belong? And, what does it mean to consider names through their performative and dramaturgical operations? Names belong to individuals as much as they belong to particular societies. Not only because of culture, tradition, language and belief systems, but also by the mere fact that a proper name is used much more by those in the social surroundings of an individual than by the person or thing who bears the proper name. Furthermore, a proper name is not always of one’s own choosing but rather is often something given, something imprinted by another, something one has to bear all through life and after. It could be said that a name is an interface between the one bearing it and society; a tool to assess society and to be assessed by it.

Names are always at work, operating their own dramaturgical functions although they may also be considered empty signifiers. A name is an empty shell to be filled by a bearer (‘I will inhabit my name’, writes the poet St John Persel), which is to say that there is no essence to a name. That is also Juliet’s position, when she asks Romeo to change his name since the only obstacle to their love is his name. Slavoj Žižek refers to the Lacanian ‘decentred subject’, who is never in a stable relationship to the name that fixes its symbolic identity. ‘As already Shakespeare’s Juliet knew’, writes Žižek, ‘I am never “that name”’. However, a name is always at work and this is at the core of the two lovers’ tragedy as Mladen Dolar notes, because ‘there is no way one can cut off names as expendable additions, for names as intruders are nevertheless what gives us access to being, and they affect being’.

With particular regard to art and performance, names have historically played a role in constructing identities, in creating impostors and homonyms, in allowing one to act anonymously or through (unnamed) characters, in exposing the legal system and intervening in the political sphere, etc. In other words, performativity of names also generates different modes of agency that have been at work in art and performance. So, what can one (un)do with names? How do artistic and activist practices reveal personal, legal, social and political aspects that determine names and the act of naming? What are the dramaturgical tactics and operations that are at work in these practices? How can we consider the aesthetics and poetics of names, of name-giving and name-bearing? What is it that cannot be said or captured by a name?

Essays, provocations, artists’ and lawyers’ pages are invited with regard to the intersection of names, performativity and dramaturgy, including but not limited to:
Politics of naming
Im/proper names
Psychoanalysis and naming
Naming, gender, identity and identification
The law pertaining to names
Performativity of names
Dramaturgies of names and naming
Naming characters
Namelessness in contemporary performance
Representation and names
Publicness of names
Activism by means of names
Histories of name-giving and name-bearing

Proposals: 17 October 2016
First Drafts: January 2017
Final Drafts: May 2017
Publication Date: September 2017

All proposals, submissions and general enquiries should be directed to the Journal at

Issue-related enquiries should be directed to the issue editors:
Konstantina Georgelou:
Janez Janša:

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 email (MS-Word or RTF). Proposals should not exceed one A4 side.
-Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.
-If you intend to send images electronically, please contact the Journal first to arrange prior agreement.
-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.


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