Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Performance Matters is a peer-reviewed (double blind), open-access electronic journal published bi-annually by Simon Fraser University. Most of our issues are organized around specific topics and themes, though we also consider unsolicited individual submissions.

We are especially interested in work that focuses on the materiality and the consequentiality of performance: the objects that comprise it, the labour that goes into it, the physical sites that give shape to it, as well as the effects it has—what, in short, performance does, and why that is meaningful.

We encourage investigation of these questions from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives, and across a range of formats: scholarly articles; photo and video essays; book and performance reviews; manifestos and policy statements; interviews and critical dialogues; ethnographic transcriptions; and performance scripts. 

Scholars, artists, curators, and activists whose practice focuses on the broad spectrum of performance are invited to make further editorial and submission enquiries.


Section Policies


We welcome the ongoing submission of articles that fall within the journal's broad performance studies mandate. We also regularly solicit articles for special themed issues; please consult our announcements page for upcoming calls.

In all cases, articles should be between 7,000-9,000 words, and follow the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (author-date system). Please consult our submission guidelines for full instructions.


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We encourage the submission of both transcribed and recorded (audio or video) interviews with artists, practitioners, curators, activists, research collaborators, and scholars.

Please submit enquiries directly to the editor via email: peter_dickinson@sfu.ca.

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The journal's Forum section is a venue to constellate a range of critical voices around a specific topic--one that may either complement or be cognate to the focus of a special themed issue; or that in its timeliness and import merits inclusion within the journal's regular publication cycle.

Forum topics will generally be curated by members of the editorial and advisory boards; however, we also welcome external proposals. Please email the editor for more information.

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The Materials section is conceived as a space to explore—in modes that combine research and creation—the stuff by and from which performances are made, and also why the remains of those performances continue to matter. Here we gather scripts, photo-essays, video recordings, performance ethnographies, and the like.

Please send inquiries to the editor.

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We welcome both performance and book reviews. 

Performance reviews should be of professional productions and should be no more than 1,000 words. Emphasis should be placed on a critical analysis of production elements and/or the social, political or cultural significance of the performance event being considered. Avoid external citations and write in clear, acessible prose. We regret that we are unable to help in securing complimentary tickets to specific productions. Instead, we encourage you to contact the editor in advance to enquire about the suitability of the performance(s) you wish to review.

Unsolicited book reviews will not be accepted. Instead, please contact the editor regarding the book or books you wish to review. We will make every effort to secure review copies from the publishers. Reviews should be no more than 1,000 words for a single book; 1,500-2,000 words for reviews of two or more books. Please avoid external citations and ensure that your review conforms to the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

We will on occasion publish extended review essays.

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Reading Circus Bodies and Signs (Section Editor: Michael Eigtved, University of Copenhagen)

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Peer Review Process

1. A paper is submitted by email to Performance Matters, either as a solicited manuscript for a special issue, or as a general submission. In both cases, a return email is then sent to the author(s) acknowledging receipt of the submission. 

2. The Editor, in consultation with the Associate Editor and Consortium Editors, decides if the submission meets the dedicated focus of a planned special issue and/or the general mandate of the journal. If the Editors decide that this is not the case, an email is sent to the author indicating that the submission has been rejected. 

3. If the Editors decide that the paper should be submitted for review, the paper is sent electronically to two experts in the field for blind peer assessments. This will normally include one member of the journal's editorial advisory board.  

4. Within four weeks the reviewers must forward their comments to the Editor, who will in turn forward the reviewers’ comments to the author. 

5. If both the reviewers have advised that the submission be accepted for publication, the submission then proceeds to the copy-editing stage. If one reviewer accepts the publication and the other reviewer rejects the publication, the submission is either forwarded to a third reviewer, or left with the editorial team for further consideration. If both reviewers reject the submission, the paper will not be considered further.

6. The reviewers may decide that the submission should be revised and resubmitted, at which point the author will be invited to do so within a designated period of time. The author must attach to his or her resubmitted paper a statement indicating what revisions have been made. The re-submitted paper will then be forwarded to at least one of the two initial reviewers, who will make a final decision on whether or not the revised submission should be published.


Publication Frequency

Performance Matters is published electronically twice yearly in May and November.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.