NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin State University Professor of Theatre Emeritus Dr. Richard Jones continues to write for professional journals and book-length collections in a range of disciplines.
A few years prior to his retirement, Jones received an email from a colleague he’s known for some time through professional organizations, asking if he’d write a chapter for a book he was editing. “He wanted something specific, and it wasn’t a topic in which I had any particular expertise,” Jones said. “But I did have some interest, and I knew enough about the subject to know where to look for more information, so I agreed.”
Jones had published a few things prior to that time, but most of his scholarly writing was for conference presentations. This chapter turned out to be four or five times as long as what he was used to writing. “But I really enjoyed the process, enough so that I began to shift my professional priorities a little,” he said.
Since then, Jones has looked for more opportunities to research and write specifically for publication.
“Of my most recent work, one chapter was at the urging of the book’s editor, who had been one of the leaders of an NEH Summer Institute where I had presented a preliminary (and considerably shorter) version of the essay,” he explained. “Another project involved expanding a conference paper from a few years earlier into article length. And there were a couple of calls for papers around a theme; I asked myself if I had any ideas that would fit those parameters. If the answer was ‘yes,’ I contacted the editor, and went from there.”
Jones authored the chapter “World Drama in Translation: In the Classroom and on the Stage” in the 2022 book “Teaching Literature in Translation: Pedagogical Contexts and Reading Practices,” edited by Brian James Baer and Michelle Woods and published by London-based Taylor and Francis. This essay discusses strategies for both professors and theatre directors for choosing and presenting plays in translation.
He penned the article “Ulick O’Connor and His ‘Extremely Modern Form’” published in the New England Theatre Journal in 2022, analyzing the extent to which O’Connor’s “Noh plays” do and do not adhere to the aesthetic principles of that traditional Japanese theatre form.
His chapter “Warren Zevon and the Absurd Universe” in this year’s “Warren Zevon and Philosophy: Beyond Reptile Wisdom,” edited by John E. MacKinnon, views the life and lyrics of the late singer-songwriter through the lens of Albert Camus’ essay, “The Myth of Sisyphus.”
Additionally, he’s written a chapter on Russian/French dramatist Arthur Adamov for “The Routledge Companion to Absurdist Literature,” edited by Michael Y. Bennett; that volume is at press, scheduled for release sometime in 2024.
Jones has also written reviews of Barry Houlihan, “Theatre and Archival Memory: Irish Drama and Marginalised Histories, 1951-1977,” published this past January in Theatre Survey, and of Elizabeth Brewer Redwine, “Gender, Performance, and Authorship at the Abbey Theatre,” forthcoming in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism.
Jones also currently serves as national president of Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society.