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Opera was a prominent political forum and a potent force for nineteenth-century nationalism. As one of the most popular forms of entertainment, opera could mobilize large crowds and became the locus of ideological debates about nation-building. Despite its crucial role in national movements, opera has received little attention in the context of nationalism. In Staging the Nation: Opera and Nationalism in 19th-Century Hungary, Krisztina Lajosi examines the development of Hungarian national thought by exploring the theatrical and operatic practices that have shaped historical consciousness. Lajosi combines cultural history, political thought, and the history of music theater, and highlights the role of the opera composer Ferenc Erkel (1810-1893) in institutionalizing national opera and turning opera-loving audiences into a national public.
Editor: Kene Igweonu
Trends in Twenty-First Century African Theatre and Performance is a collection of regionally focused articles on African theatre and performance. The volume provides a broad exploration of the current state of African theatre and performance and considers the directions they are taking in the 21st Century. It contains sections on current trends in theatre and performance studies, on applied/community theatre and on playwrights. The chapters have evolved out of a working group process, in which papers were submitted to peer-group scrutiny over a period of four years, at four international conferences. The book will be particularly useful as a key text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in non-western theatre and performance (where this includes African theatre and performance), and would be a very useful resource for theatre scholars and anyone interested in African performance forms and cultures.
Apartheid and Beyond in South African Literature
Over the past fifty years transformations of great moment have taken place in South Africa. Apartheid and the subsequent transition to a democratic, non-racial society in particular have exercised a profound effect on the practice of literature.
This study traces the development of literature under apartheid, then seeks to identify the ways in which writers and theatre practitioners are now facing the challenges of a new social order.
The main focus is on the work of black writers, prime among them Matsemela Manaka, Mtutuzeli Matshoba and Richard Rive, who, as politically committed members of the oppressed majority, bore witness to the “black experience” through their writing. Despite the draconian censorship system they were able to address the social problems caused by racial discrimination in all areas of life, particularly through forced removals, the migrant labour system, and the creation of the homelands. Their writing may be read both as a comprehensive record of everyday life under apartheid and as an alternative cultural history of South Africa.
Particular attention is paid to theatre as a barometer of social change in South Africa.
The concluding chapters consider how in the current period of transition writers and arts institutions have set about reassessing their priorities, redefining their function and seeking new aesthetic directions in taking up the challenge of imagining a new society.
Discourses, Strategies, and Power in the Yorùbá Play of Transformation
A poetic ‘voice’ scans the rhythm of academic research, telling of the encounter with odún; then the voice falls silent. What is then raised is the dust of a forgotten academic debate on the nature of theatre and drama, and the following divergent standpoints of critical discourses bent on empowering their own vision, and defining themselves, rather, as counterdiscourses. This, the first part of the book: a metacritical discourse, on the geopolitics (the inherent power imbalances) of academic writing and its effects on odún, the performances dedicated to the gods, ancestors, and heroes of Yorùbá history.
But odún: where is it? and what is it? And the ‘voice’? The many critical discourses have not really answered these questions. In effect, odún is many things. To enable the reader to see these, the study proceeds with an ‘intermezzo’: a frame of reference that sets odún, the festival, in its own historico-cultural ecoenvironment, identifying the strategies that inform the performance and constitute its aesthetic. It is a ‘classical’ yet, for odún, an innovative procedure. This interdisciplinary background equips the reader with the knowledge necessary to watch the performance, to witness its beauty, and to understand the ‘half words’ odún utters.
And now the performance can begin. The ‘voice’ emerges one last time, to introduce the second section, which presents two case studies. The reader is led, day by day, through the celebrations – odún edì, Morèmi’s story, and its realization in performance; then confrontation by the masks of the ancestors duing odún egúngún (particularly as held in Ibadan). The meaning of odún becomes clearer and clearer.
Odún is poetry, dances, masks, food, prayer. It is play ( eré) and belief ( ìgbàgbó). It is interaction between the players (both performers and spectators). It is also politics and power. It contains secrets and sacrifices. It is a reality with its own dimension and, above all, as the quintessential site of knowledge, it possesses the power to transform. In short, it is a challenge – a challenge that the present book and its voices take up.
Editor: Michael McAteer
Silence in Modern Irish Literature is the first book to focus exclusively on the treatment of silence in modern Irish literature. It reveals the wide spectrum of meanings that silence carries in modern Irish literature: a mark of historical loss, a form of resistance to authority, a force of social oppression, a testimony to the unspeakable, an expression of desire, a style of contemplation. This volume addresses silence in psychological, ethical, topographical, spiritual and aesthetic terms in works by a range of major authors including Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Bowen and Friel.
In A Companion to Celestina, Enrique Fernandez brings together twenty-three hitherto unpublished contributions on the Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, popularly known as Celestina (c. 1499) written by leading experts who summarize, evaluate and expand on previous studies. The resulting chapters offer the non-specialist an overview of Celestina studies. Those who already know the field will find state of the art studies filled with new insights that elaborate on or depart from the well-established currents of criticism. Celestina's creation and sources, the parody of religious and erudite traditions, the treatment of magic, prostitution, the celestinesca and picaresque genre, the translations into other languages as well as the adaptations into the visual arts (engravings, paintings, films) are some of the topics included in this companion.

Contributors are: Beatriz de Alba-Koch, Raúl Álvarez Moreno, Consolación Baranda, Ted L. Bergman, Patrizia Botta, José Luis Canet, Fernando Cantalapiedra, Ricardo Castells, Ivy Corfis, Manuel da Costa Fontes, Enrique Fernandez, José Luis Gastañaga Ponce de León, Ryan D. Giles, Yolanda Iglesias, Gustavo Illades Aguiar, Kathleen V. Kish, Bienvenido Morros Mestres, Devid Paolini, Antonio Pérez Romero, Amaranta Saguar García, Connie Scarborough, Joseph T. Snow, and Enriqueta Zafra.
After Beckett / D’après Beckett (edited by Anthony Uhlmann / Sydney; Sjef Houppermans / Leiden and Bruno Clément / Paris) constitutes a collection of over 40 articles selected from contributions to the Sydney Symposium of January 2003 that – as a part of an International Sydney Festival – was one of the major events related to Samuel Beckett of the last decade.
The three sections of the book reflect the most vibrant fields of research in Beckett studies today: “Intertextuality and Theory”, “Philosophy and Theory” and “Textual Genesis, Contextual Genesis and Language”. Scholars from all over the world participating in this collection testify to the durable and universal nature of interest in Beckett’s work.

After Beckett / D’après Beckett (édité par Anthony Uhlmann / Sydney; Sjef Houppermans / Leiden et Bruno Clément / Paris) constitue une collection de plus de 40 articles présentant une sélection parmi les contributions au Colloque International de Sydney qui a eu lieu en janvier 2003 dans le cadre du Festival International de Sydney. Cette réunion a été l’un des événements majeurs de ce début du troisième millénaire pour ce qui concerne les études beckettiennes.
Les trois sections du recueil reflètent les champs d’intérêt les plus importants de la critique beckettienne actuelle: “Intertextualité et confluence”, “Philosophie et Théorie” et “Genèse textuelle, Genèse contextuelle et Langage”. Des universitaires du monde entier ont participé à ce livre et témoignent ainsi de l’intérêt universel et durable de l’œuvre de Samuel Beckett
Relocating the Body in Contemporary Performing Art
In ice hockey, the term body check refers to a specific move to gain control. It is a blow from body to body, a dynamic clash of physical strength, which will determine the course of the game. In this book, too, the body is checked and there is physical confrontation. Not in the hockey ring, but on stage.
This book deals with the body in contemporary (performing) arts. The focus is on exploring theoretical avenues and developing new concepts to grasp corporeal images more accurately. This theoretical research is confronted with the voice of artists whose work explicitly deals with the body. In-depth interviews with a.o. Meg Stuart, Wim Vandekeybus, Romeo Castellucci, Jerôme Bel reveal a very broad range of views on the (re)presentation of the body in today’s performing arts. The combination of these two voices –the theoretician’s and the artist’s -shows that research by artists and cultural scientists is perfectly complementary.
Un théâtre de voix / A Theatre of Voices
Marguerite Duras. Un théâtre de voix / A Theatre of Voices propose une relecture originale du théâtre de Marguerite Duras dans sa dimension à la fois textuelle et scénique. Les articles ici réunis sont écrits par plusieurs des meilleurs spécialistes du théâtre français ou par des praticiens de la scène. Ils témoignent des dernières avancées de la recherche, particulièrement dans les domaines de la voix et du son. Les auteurs démontrent, par des analyses précises et approfondies d’un large éventail des pièces de Duras, que ses innovations scéniques ont eu un impact radical sur le développement de la forme théâtrale. L'ouvrage offre également la lecture d'un entretien inédit en français de Duras sur son théâtre en 1985. Ce livre est donc une ressource indispensable pour les étudiants de la littérature française, ainsi que pour les étudiants du théâtre contemporain.

Marguerite Duras. Un théâtre de voix / A Theatre of Voices presents a radical reappraisal of the plays of Marguerite Duras. The essays are written by some of the leading scholars in French theatre studies today. A number of the approaches, particularly in the areas of voice and the auditory, are at the cutting-edge of contemporary performance research. The authors demonstrate, by precise and detailed analysis of the full range of her plays, that Duras was a trailblazer, and that the startling ways in which she manipulated the languages of the stage have shaped the development of the form. The book is a therefore a vital resource for students of French literature and culture, and for students of contemporary theatre.