• Call for Papers Documenta (Volume 42, Issue 2, 2024 and Volume 43, Issue 2, 2024) - Toneelstof V & VI

    Call for Papers Documenta (Volume 42, Issue 2, 2024 and Volume 43, Issue 2, 2024) - Toneelstof V & VI

    Posted by Posted by Steff Nellis on 2024-01-16 © "Infini 1-15", Jozef Wouters/Decoratelier (Photo: Phile Deprez) on 2024-01-16

CFP Documenta – Toneelstof V & VI

Issue editor: Jasper Delbecke (LUCA School of Arts/Ghent University)


Between 2007 and 2010, Toneelstof appeared in Documenta: tijdschrift voor theaterThis four-part series was the result of a three-year heritage project initiated by Thersites (Association of Flemish Theatre Critics). Toneelstof emerged as ‘the result of a naive question’ from young theatre critics who wondered ‘what theatre would have looked like in the past’, as stated in the editorial of the first issue (Hillaert, et al., 71). The young members of Thersites observed that ‘as strong as Flanders is in making theatre, it appears flawed in its public preservation" (ibid). An overarching Flemish theatre history had. yet to be written – and still needs to be today. With the support of the Flemish Community and Vlaams Theaterinstituut (VTi, today Kunstenpunt), it was made possible to conduct archival research and interview artists and cultural workers who witnessed (r)evolutions in and around the stage from close by. Hereby, a more nuanced picture of the developments of performing arts in Flanders and Brussels from 1960 onwards emerged.


Toneelstof I – route ’66 (2007) examined how the work and practices of European theatre innovators such as Brecht, Grotowski, and Artaud inspired experimentation in a theatre landscape that was strongly dominated by city theatres. Toneelstof II – sympathy for the seventies? (2008) mapped the revolutionary spirit of 1968 that continued to influence theatre in the subsequent decade, resulting in more outspoken politically engaged theatre. This issue also focused on the emergence of youth theatre, the arrival of festivals in Flanders, and the first traces of Performance Art that foreshadowed developments of the 1980s. Toneelstof III – The Wonder Years (2009) critically examined the stage work of the 1980s, debunking the idea that the work of innovators emerged completely out of nowhere. Many artists looked to international developments and benefited from pioneering work in the 1970s. The issue also highlighted the growing professionalization and institutionalization of performing arts, leading to further national and international expansion of Flemish performing arts in the 1990s. The last decade of the twentieth century took centre stage in Toneelstof IV – Breaking the Wave (2010). This final part pointed to the intertwining of the 'wondrous' 1980s and 1990s. The issue marked November 24, 1991, “Zwarte Zondag”, as the moment when a new engagement became more evident and outspoken. Suddenly, the (performing) arts responded to current events, both in form and content. It was a period in which the first signs of a 'multicultural story' (Jans, 321) in Flemish performing arts became observable. This fourth issue also looked at how a new generation of artists was confronted with the omnipresence of the artistic pillars of what had come to be called the 'Flemish wave’. The consolidation of companies or artistic practices during this period quickly led to discussions about institutionalization.


The 'naive question' that initially prompted the members of Thersites to launch a heritage project is today (once again) being asked by a new generation of students and young scholars populating the auditoriums and ateliers of universities and (art) colleges. Like the previous generation of young theatre critics, the present one has heard and read about the artists who played a prominent role in this history and who’s performances left their mark on the Flemish performing arts landscape. Due to the establishment of organizations such as Vlaams Theaterinstituut (Kunstenpunt) and CEMPER, more robust Theatre Studies programs, and artists’ archiving of their own practices, many gaps have been partially filled. The monographs that appeared in the last decade about certain pioneers of ‘the Flemish Wave’ are exemplary of this phenomenon. Additionally, academic research, both nationally and internationally, has focused on the artists and practices that played a key role in ‘the Flemish wave’. Despite this catch-up movement, certain gaps in knowledge remain unfilled. For example, research and reflection on broader artistic developments within Flemish performing arts since the beginning of the millennium is rather limited. For example: the thematic issue on performing arts from Flanders that appeared in Contemporary Theatre Review (see Boenisch and Orozco 2010) was published in 2010, over a decade ago.


Following in the footsteps of the previous issues, Documenta is issuing a new call for contributions for two new issues to continue the Toneelstofseries. These two thematic issues retain the artificial division of artistic periods into clearly defined decades of their predecessors. Toneelstof Vfocuses on the period 2000-2010, and Toneelstof VI on the 2010-2020 period. Like the previous issues in the series, Toneelstof V and VI aim to map out the artistic developments and shifts that have taken place within Flemish performing arts in a ten year period. For both issues, certain artistic trends must be outlined against the social, political, economic, and cultural background of that time. Underlying the Toneelstof series is a desire to chart certain trends, while opening the call to contributions beyond the practice or oeuvre of individual artists. Toneelstof V and Toneelstof VI are particularly interested in how various, sometimes less prominent artists, have played a decisive role in certain developments that have occurred since the beginning of the twenty-first century. The first four parts of the Toneelstof series demonstrated that many developments within the Flemish Performing Arts landscape cannot be viewed separately from institutional frameworks and funding channels created over the years by the government. Toneelstof V and Toneelstof VI also want to take this aspect into account. But considering how the 'naive question' about what has been seen on stages across Flanders over the past two decades will continue to resurface in the future (precisely because these theatrical mechanisms are neither dead nor relegated to the dustbin of history, but still very much alive), Documenta, with these two themed issues, wants to create a vivid picture of what characterized the recent history of Flemish performing arts within set time frames for future generations of students and scholars.


For the upcoming two issues, Toneelstof V (focus on the period 2000-2010) and Toneelstof VI (focus on the period 2010-2020), Documenta is looking for articles, interviews, or alternative forms related to certain artistic trends within the Flemish performing arts landscape. Reflections on these trends can be about the following themes, but are certainly not limited to them:


-       Interaction between performing arts and visual arts

-       Contemporary dance evolving beyond classical structures intended for dance

-       Development of music theatre

-       Introduction of circus

-       (New) role of city theatres

-       The place of (institutional) dramaturgy and/or dramaturges

-       Role of work and residency spaces

-       Developments outside the Brussels-Ghent-Antwerp triangle

-       Flemish performing arts vis-à-vis international trends and developments




Toneelstof V (2000 – 2010) - publication Fall 2024

First draft: 24 June 2024

Final draft: September 2024


Toneelstof VI (2010 – 2020) – publication Fall 2025

First draft: January 2025

Final draft: April 2025


Deadline proposals for both issues: 1 March 2024. 

Please indicate in your proposal to which issues you want to contribute.


All proposals and submissions should be sent directly to Jasper Delbecke: jasper.delbecke@ugent.be Issue-related inquiries should be directed to the editor as well.

General guidelines for proposals:

-       Proposals will be accepted by email.

-       Proposals should not exceed one A4 side (approximately 300 words).

-       Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.

-       Please provide a short biography (approximately 100 words) in a separate document.

-       Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

-       Before submitting a proposal, we encourage you to visit our website (www.documenta.ugent.be) and familiarize yourself with the journal.


Documenta currently enjoys an A1.2 status and is VABB-listed. In recent years, there has been a shift in focus as we are increasingly working – not to say exclusively – with thematic focuses. These special issues are entrusted to guest editors who are responsible for recruiting articles, contacting the authors, and providing all the necessary materials.


At Documenta the peer review system is an integral part of the submission and evaluation process. The system of double-blind peer review ensures that published research is rigorous and meets the international standards set by each discipline. We engage in a collaborative refereeing process, which ensures that the work submitted is evaluated by and commented upon by two independent referees selected by the editors based on their areas of expertise. The editors will make the final decision about publication or assess the need for further revision. Feedback is then shared with the author. However, the reviewer’s name is not disclosed.



-       Boenisch, Peter M., and Lourdes Orozco. 2010. "Editorial: Border Collisions - Contemporary Flemish Theatre." Contemporary Theatre Review 4: 397-404.

-       Hillaert, Wouter, Ellen De Bin, Karlien Vanhoonacker, Bram De Vuyst, and Evelyne Coussens. 2007. "Woord Vooraf”. Documenta: tijdschrift voor theater 25 (2): 71-72.

-       Jans, Erwin. 2010. "Een regenboog boven het Vlaamse theater? Het multiculturele verhaal in de Vlaamse podiumkunsten." Documenta: Tijdschrift voor theater 28 (3-4): 321-334.

- Hillaert, Wouter, et. al (ed.). 2007. Documenta: Tijdschrift voor theater. Toneelstof I – Route ’66 [special issue] 25 (2). https://documenta.ugent.be/issue/22569/info/

-  Hillaert, Wouter, et. al (ed.). 2008. Documenta: Tijdschrift voor theater. Toneelstof II – Sympathy fort he Seventies [special issue] 26 (2-3). https://documenta.ugent.be/issue/22566/info/

-  Hillaert, Wouter, et. al. (ed.). 2009. Documenta: Tijdschrift voor theater. Toneelstof III – The Wonder Years [special issue] 27 (2-3). https://documenta.ugent.be/issue/22563/info/

-  Olaerts, Ann (ed.) 2010. Documenta: Tijdschrift voor theater. Toneelstof IV – Breaking the Wave [special issue] 28 (3-4). https://documenta.ugent.be/issue/22559/info/

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