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Acts of Resistance in Late-Modernist Theatre

Writing and Directing in Contemporary Theatre Practice

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Richard Murphet

In Acts of Resistance in Late-Modernist Theatre, Richard Murphet presents a close analysis of the theatre practice of two ground-breaking artists – Richard Foreman and Jenny Kemp – active over the late twentieth and the early twenty-first century. In addition, he tracks the development of a form of ‘epileptic’ writing over the course of his own career as writer/director.
Murphet argues that these three auteurs have developed subversive alternatives to the previously dominant forms of dramatic realism in order to re-think the relationship between theatre and reality. They write and direct their own work, and their artistic experimentation is manifest in the tension created between their content and their form. Murphet closely investigates how the works are made, rather than focusing upon an interpretation of their meaning. Through an examination of working practices, we gain a deeper understanding of the nature of a paradigm shift in theatre launched by late modernism.

Postmodern Pirates

Tracing the Development of the Pirate Motif with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean

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Susanne Zhanial

Postmodern Pirates offers a comprehensive analysis of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series and the pirate motif through the lens of postmodern theories. Susanne Zhanial shows how the postmodern elements determine the movies’ aesthetics, narratives, and character portrayals, but also places the movies within Hollywood’s contemporary blockbuster machinery. The book then offers a diachronic analysis of the pirate motif in British literature and Hollywood movies. It aims to explain our ongoing fascination with the maritime outlaw, focuses on how a text’s cultural background influences the pirate’s portrayal, and pays special attention to the aspect of gender. Through the intertextual references in Pirates of the Caribbean, the motif’s development is always tied to Disney’s postmodern movie series.

Stoicism and Performance

A Joyful Materialism

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Cormac Power

Power’s Stoicism and Performance presents Stoicism as a means of navigating key debates and concepts in contemporary theatre and performance. Stoicism has influenced many of the most cited radical thinkers in the discipline of theatre and performance studies; for instance Deleuze, Foucault, Kristeva, Agamben. A central aim of this work is to bring Stoicism more explicitly into the fold of the discipline, and to use Stoicism to think differently about performance. With a series of chapters covering themes such as performativity, embodiment, emotion, affect and spectatorship, this book finds points of encounter between Stoicism and contemporary understandings and practices of performance. It presents these encounters as modes of transformative experience in relation to our being in the world.

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Edited by Dirk Vanderbeke and Brett Cooke

The contributors to this volume share the assumption that popular narrative, when viewed with an evolutionary lens, offers an incisive index into human nature. In theory, narrative art could take a near infinity of possible forms. In actual practice, however, particular motifs, plot patterns, stereotypical figures, and artistic devices persistently resurface, indicating specific predilections frequently at odds with our actual living conditions. Our studies explore various media and genres to gauge the impact of our evolutionary inheritance, in interdependence with the respective cultural environments, on our aesthetic appreciation. As they suggest, research into mass culture is not only indispensable for evolutionary criticism but may also contribute to our understanding of prehistoric selection pressures that still influence modern preferences in popular narrative.

Contributions by David Andrews, James Carney, Mathias Clasen, Brett Cooke, Tamás Dávid-Barrett, Tom Dolack, Kathryn Duncan, Isabel Behncke Izquierdo, Joe Keener, Alex C. Parrish, Todd K. Platts, Anna Rotkirch, Judith P. Saunders, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, Dirk Vanderbeke, and Sophia Wege.

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Edited by Jennifer Saltzstein

In Musical Culture in the World of Adam de la Halle, contributors from musicology, literary studies, history, and art history provide an account of the works of 13th-century composer Adam de la Halle, one of the first named authors of medieval vernacular music for whom a complete works manuscript survives. The essays illuminate Adam’s generic transformations in polyphony, drama, debate poetry, and other genres, while also emphasizing his place in a large community of trouvères active in the bustling urban environment of Arras. Exploring issues of authorship and authority, tradition and innovation, the material contexts of his works, and his influence on later generations, this book provides the most complete and up-to-date picture available in English of Adam’s œuvre.
Contributors are Alain Corbellari, Mark Everist, Anna Kathryn Grau, John Haines, Anne Ibos-Augé, Daniel E. O’Sullivan, Judith A. Peraino, Isabelle Ragnard, Jennifer Saltzstein, Alison Stones, Carol Symes, and Eliza Zingesser.

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Edited by David A. Crespy and Lincoln Konkle

Edward Albee as Theatrical and Dramatic Innovator offers eight essays and a major interview by important scholars in the field that explore this three-time Pulitzer prize-winning playwright’s innovations as a dramatist and theatrical artist. They consider not only Albee’s award-winning plays and his contributions to the evolution of modern American drama, but also his important influence to the American theatre as a whole, his connections to art and music, and his international influence in Spanish and Russian theatre.

Contributors: Jackson R. Bryer, Milbre Burch, David A. Crespy, Ramon Espejo-Romero, Nathan Hedman, Lincoln Konkle, Julia Listengarten, David Marcia, Ashley Raven, Parisa Shams, Valentine Vasak

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Edited by Elspeth McInnes and Anka Mason

This work provides an inter-disciplinary exploration of the aftermath of trauma arising from social conflict and the wounds dealt through interpersonal relations of loss, abuse and torture. Contributing authors examine how individuals and societies come to terms with traumatic injuries and disruption. Disciplinary perspectives cross the boundaries of textual analysis, sociology and psychology to offer pathways of perception and recovery. From the conflicts in Rwanda and Lebanon to the ethical challenges of journalism and trauma, loss and dementia, domestic violence and child sexual abuse, as well as the contributions of literary texts to rendering conflict, this volume enables readers to find their own resonance with the rupture and recovery of trauma. Contributors are Kim M. Anderson, Lyn Barnes, Catherine Ann Collins, Fran S. Danis, Stefanie Dinkelbach, Lyda Eleftheriou, Kirsten Havig, Anka D. Mason, Elspeth McInnes, Joan Simalchik, Stephanie Tam and Rana Tayara.

Testimony and Trauma

Engaging Common Ground

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Edited by Cristina Santos, Adriana Spahr and Tracy Crowe Morey

This book offers a collection of reflective essays on current testimonial production by researchers and practitioners working in multifaceted fields such as art and film performance, public memorialization, scriptotherapy, and fictional and non-fictional testimony. The inter-disciplinary approach to the question of testimony offers a current account of testimony’s diversity in the twenty-first century as well as its relevance within the fields of art, storytelling, trauma, and activism. The range of topics engage with questions of genre and modes of representation, ethical and political concerns of testimony, and the flaws and limitations of testimonial production giving testament to some of the ethical concerns of our present age. Contributors are Alison Atkinson-Phillips, Olga Bezhanova, Melissa Burchard, Mateusz Chaberski, Candace Couse, Tracy Crowe Morey, Marwa Sayed Hanafy, Rachel Joy, Emma Kelly, Timothy Long, Elizabeth Matheson, Antonio Prado del Santo, Christine Ramsay, Cristina Santos and Adriana Spahr.

The Five Continents of Theatre

Facts and Legends about the Material Culture of the Actor

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Eugenio Barba and Nicola Savarese

The Five Continents of Theatre undertakes the exploration of the material culture of the actor, which involves the actors’ pragmatic relations and technical functionality, their behaviour, the norms and conventions that interact with those of the audience and the society in which actors and spectators equally take part.

The material culture of the actor is organised around body-mind techniques (see A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology by the same authors) and auxiliary techniques whose variety concern:

■ the diverse circumstances that generate theatre performances: festive or civil occasions, celebrations of power, popular feasts such as carnival, calendar recurrences such as New Year, spring and summer festivals; ■ the financial and organisational aspects: costs, contracts, salaries, impresarios, tickets, subscriptions, tours; ■ the information to be provided to the public: announcements, posters, advertising, parades; ■ the spaces for the performance and those for the spectators: performing spaces in every possible sense of the term; ■ sets, lighting, sound, makeup, costumes, props; ■ the relations established between actor and spectator; ■ the means of transport adopted by actors and even by spectators.

Auxiliary techniques repeat themselves not only throughout different historical periods, but also across all theatrical traditions. Interacting dialectically in the stratification of practices, they respond to basic needs that are common to all traditions when a performance has to be created and staged. A comparative overview of auxiliary techniques shows that the material culture of the actor, with its diverse processes, forms and styles, stems from the way in which actors respond to those same practical needs. The authors’ research for this aspect of theatre anthropology was based on examination of practices, texts and of 1400 images, chosen as exemplars.

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Barbara Baert

Interruptions and Transitions: Essays on the Senses in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture is an anthology of the most recent works by Barbara Baert, discussing the connection between the experiences of the senses in the medieval and early modern visual culture, the hermeneutics of imagery, and the limits and possibilities of contemporary Art Sciences.
The six chapters include Pentecost, Noli me tangere, the woman with an issue of blood, the Johannesschüssel, the dancing Salome, and the role of the wind.
The reader is shown a medieval and early modern visual culture as a history of artistic solutions, as the fascinating approach between biblical texts, plastic imagination, and the art-scientific métier. This makes him a privileged guest in a unique in-between space where humans and their artistic expression can meet existentially.