Susanne Shawyer becomes editor of Theatre Topics journal

Associate Professor of Theatre Susanne Shawyer started her editorship of the Theatre Topics journal in August after serving two years as the journal’s co-editor.

Associate Professor Susanne Shawyer

Associate Professor of Theatre Susanne Shawyer is looking forward to using her pedagogical experience at Elon in her new role as editor of Theatre Topics, a publication focused on performance at the border of theory and practice.

Typically, editors of scholarly journals come from research universities with graduate programs rather than teaching-focused colleges like Elon; however, the journal’s focus on theatre pedagogy offers Shawyer a chance to apply her teaching expertise to the field of theatre studies.

Published by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Theatre Topics publishes scholarship at the intersection of theatre theory, pedagogy, practice and advocacy. Articles range from discussions of classroom exercises to theoretical explorations of theatre education’s role in colleges and universities. Authors offer analyses of creative practices and responses to current issues in the discipline.

The journal states that it is “committed to publishing original scholarship written in accessible, well-defined language” for both its primary audience of theatre educators and also the students they teach. Shawyer notes that she read Theatre Topics articles as a student, and often includes scholarship from the journal in her classes at Elon.

“The scholarship published in Theatre Topics addresses the urgent needs and current concerns in theatre practice and teaching,” Shawyer says, “and it is important that it serves a wide audience of both theatre educators and theatre makers so that the entire field can be part of these necessary conversations.”

As editor, Shawyer is responsible for leading an editorial team of six scholars, gathering articles on the latest developments in the field by attending professional conferences and shaping special issues. Once scholars submit their work for peer review, Shawyer matches the article with experts in the field and facilitates intellectual conversation with authors. For the past two years she has served as the journal’s co-editor, learning the ins-and-outs of the review and publication processes. She will now serve two years as editor.

The Association for Theatre in Higher Education is the largest professional organization for theatre practitioners and scholars in North America. Shawyer has been a member of ATHE since 2002 and is excited to explore how the journal can support the organization’s anti-racism and diversity initiatives. As a lifelong learner, she is also eager to bring back new ideas about theatre practice and pedagogy to share with her Elon colleagues and students.