Editor's Note: Under Mike Sell's excellent editorship, the Critical Stages column in Theatre Survey was developed as a venue for representing current issues for subdisciplinary divisions within the broader field of theatre and performance studies. As the new editor for the column, I hope to build upon Sell's previous editorial work by shifting the form of these short essays in two ways: first, by spotlighting concerns that reach both inside the many corners of our field and outside into a range of broader “publics”; and second, by engaging multiple scholars and artists in “conversations” in order to provide plural perspectives on these concerns. For this first column of my editorship, Eng-Beng Lim, Lisa Duggan, and José Esteban Muñoz track several micro- and macromaneuverings of neoliberalism—from the classroom to the department to the “global university”—and consider how theatre and performance scholars might approach the political difficulties currently threatening the mission of higher education.
Eng-Beng Lim recently published “Performing the Global University” in Social Text 101 (2009) and is finishing his book manuscript, Tropic Spells: Performing Queer Encounters in the Asias. He is Assistant Professor of English at Michigan State University.
Lisa Duggan is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is author, most recently, of The Twilight of Equality?: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy (Beacon, 2003).
José Esteban Muñoz chairs the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. His most recent publications include a special issue of the journal Women & Performance titled “Between Psychoanalysis and Affect: A Public Feelings Project” and the book Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (NYU Press, 2009).