Call For Papers: The Journal of Improvisation in Professional Practice Deadline Extended: September 20, 2015

The Journal of Improvisation in Professional Practice [Improv Practice] will create a discourse community that explores major inquiries about improvisation in our professional lives.  Improv Practice will facilitate the exploration of how improvisation plays out in our work and in our learning, teaching and becoming as professionals. Please join an interdisciplinary conversation about the complex improvisational practices of professional action, about how we learn as professionals and about how professional education can be understood. 

The journal will publish two kinds of papers:

Narratives/ explorations in improvisational work

Scholarly research


Narratives/ explorations in improvisational work

We want to hear from anyone in any profession, past or present, about the way that your work is (or possibly isn’t) improvisational.   This is a particularly good opportunity for writers who don’t always write academically or who are looking for first publication.  These are shorter than a typical academic article, with a range of 500 to 2000 words. 

As far as improvisational practice is concerned, you do not have to try to explain every aspect of your work in terms of improvisation, particularly if it doesn’t fit that description.  Rather, consider how you can bring the reader into what is unique about the thinking and acting processes involved in your work, past or present.  You may use the following questions as prompts for narrative submissions:

How do you figure out what decisions to make when more than one choice is feasible and appropriate?

What aspects of your work demand a “thinking on your feet” kind of approach?

If you’re a seasoned veteran in your field, what are some of the key lessons you’ve learned about in-the-moment decision making for your work?  How did you learn them?

If you’re beginning in your field, in what ways does the job itself teach you how to make decisions?  Are there mentors, formal or informal, who guide you and if so how?

We’re also interested in hearing from those who act as professional inductors within their organization and in inquiries such as:

How did you come to have this role? 

What are the rewards and struggles of this role? 

How, if at all, do you guide newcomers to an understanding of the fluid, improvisational aspects of your profession? 

Narratives on applied improvisation: we would like to hear from practitioners of applied improvisation on any of the following inquiries:

In what ways do you enable people to encounter the process of improvisation?

In what ways has your work teaching improvisation helped people in their work?

To what extent is there struggle and success involved in teaching people the importance of improvisation in their work?

What particularly draws you to improvisation?  What in your past experience might account for devoting your professional self to improvisation? 

Narratives go through a process of double-blind peer review.  Submissions must not include any identifiers for the author or anyone else included in the narrative.   Please alter the name of your place of work and of the people who might be included in your narrative. 

Scholarly research articles

These submissions are long-form research articles of about 4000 to 8000 words or 15 to 30 typed, double-spaced pages.  The aim of these articles is to contribute to the emerging field of improvisation as it pertains to any aspect of professional practice. Professional practice is defined broadly to include the activities of professionals, the education of professionals and the conceptualizing of professions.  These articles will preferably be qualitative research that delves deeply in the discussion and analysis of the research.  Given that this is an interdisciplinary journal focused on a theme of emerging interest, with a plethora of creative potentials, we’re excited to receive scholarly work that pushes the boundaries of standard approaches.  Conventions such as abstracts, section headings, explanation of methodology are valued but not required.  Articles should address one or more of the journal’s broader inquiries:

How do we learn the improvisatory practices of a profession?

How well can the complex and conflicting definitions of improvisation help us gain insights into how we work and how we learn to work?

How does practice happen?

How do we learn the practice of a profession?

How does education for the professions happen?

How can we understand the on-the-job education as well as pre-service, university-based education?

How do our values as educators within our profession inform and get informed by our role as educators? 

To what extent is work an aesthetic experience?

How does creative expression and individuality in one’s work influence crucial issues facing the world of work right now?

Pop-cultural analysis of improvisation in work:

It is also possible to write about professional practice as it is portrayed in film, literature, and television.  A critical analysis of the professional practice of characters in film and literature and the ways in which improvisation is or isn’t part of their practice would provide an interesting shared text to further the discussion of improvisation in work. 

Please use APA citation format for all submissions. 

Submissions go through a double-blind peer review process.  Please make sure there are no personal identifiers in the submission for either the author(s) or any participants or people otherwise mentioned in the article. 

To submit please register for an account on our Open Journal System.