This special issue focuses on the fractious, contested concept of ‘participation’ as it has emerged from the recent cross-fertilisation of literary and cultural studies with an array of performance theories and practices. In particular, it aims to investigate how a critical focus on the ‘travelling’ and interstitial concepts of performance and performativity can help to reframe, revise and challenge existing notions of publics and audiences (both as spectators and as readers). The contributions published here range from installation artworks and reality shows to photography and antithetical forms of theatre, including Deaf performances and embodied narrative, thus reflecting, each with their distinctive concerns and specific case studies, a limited but significant sample of the richness and variety of the inter- or trans-disciplinary dialogue tensely taking place among different artistic and critical perspectives on the issue of performing audiences.

Published: 2021-11-02

Full Issue