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Edited by Theo D'haen and Hans Bertens

The Theater of Transformation

Postmodernism in American Drama


Kerstin Schmidt

The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama offers a fresh and innovative reading of the contemporary experimental American theater scene and navigates through the contested and contentious relationship between postmodernism and contemporary drama. This book addresses gender and class as well as racial issues in the context of a theoretical discussion of dramatic texts, textuality, and performance. Transformation is contemporary drama's answer to the questions of postmodernism and a major technique in the development of a postmodern language for the stage. In order to demonstrate the multi-faceted nature of the postmodern theater of transformation, this study draws on a wide range of plays: from early experimental plays of the 1960s by Jean-Claude van Itallie through feminist plays by Megan Terry and Rochelle Owens to more recent drama by the African-American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.
The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama is written for anyone interested in contemporary American drama and theater as well as in postmodernism and contemporary literary theory. It appeals even more broadly to a readership intrigued by the ubiquitous aspects of popular culture, by feminism and ethnicity, and by issues pertaining to the so-called 'society of spectacle' and the study of contemporary media.

The Postmodern Chronotope

Reading Space and Time in Contemporary Fiction


Paul Smethurst

The Postmodern Chronotope is an innovative interdisciplinary study of the contemporary. It will be of special interest to anyone interested in relations between postmodernism, geography and contemporary fiction. Some claim that postmodernism questions history and historical bases to culture; some say it is about loss of affect, loss of depth models, and superficiality; others claim it follows from the conditions of post-industrial society; and others cite commodification of place, Disneyfication, simulation and post-tourist spectacle as evidence that postmodernism is wedded to late capitalism. Whatever postmodernism is, or turns out to have been, it is bound up in rethinking and reworking space and time, and Paul Smethurst’s intervention here is to introduce the postmodern chronotope as a term through which these spatial and temporal shifts might be apprehended. The postmodern chronotope constitutes a postmodern world-view and postmodern way of seeing. In a sense it is the natural successor to a modernist way of seeing defined through cubism, montage and relativity. The book is arranged as follows: • Part 1 is an interdisciplinary study casting a wide net across a range of cultural, social and scientific activity, from chaos theory to cinema, from architecture to performance art, from IT to tourism. • Part 2 offers original readings of a selection of postmodern novels, including Graham Swift’s Waterland and Out of this World, Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor and First Light, Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, J. M. Coetzee’s Foe, Marina Warner’s Indigo, Caryl Phillips’ Cambridge, and Don DeLillo’s The Names and Ratner’s Star.

Body Show/s

Australian viewings of live performance


Edited by Peta Tait

Body Show/s: Australian Viewings of Live Performance asks: in what ways do physical bodies in live performance present vital and compelling expressions of ideas?
This collection contains critical analyses of cultural spectacle and social identity by eighteen major Australian scholars and practitioners. It discusses and describes bodies in contemporary performance, theatre, visual art and dance; in circus and ethnographic shows; in performance training, butoh and wrestling; at gay and lesbian dance parties; and in relation to digital images. It explores historical and theoretical issues of gender and postcoloniality, technology, and the location of bodies in architectural, social and virtual spaces.
Artistes and groups discussed include Sydney Front, Open City, The Performance Space, Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre, Chrissie Parrott, the Bell Shakespeare Company, Tess De Quincey, Yumi Umiumare, Gilgul Theatre, Lyndal Jones, Stelarc, Death Defying Theatre, colonial circus, ethnographic displays, the horse as performer, and wrestling legends Gorgeous George and Ravishing Ricky Rude.

Beckett’s Theater of Punishment

Act without Words I as Panopticon

Michael Palmese

rehabilitation. This essay also compares and contrasts the relation of the audience between this textual Panopticon and the original prison design by Jeremy Bentham discussed by Foucault, for whom audience and spectacle is important in both creating complicity and reinforcing a given sovereign or power dynamic

Gérard Lieber

’ y avait guère que Madeleine Renaud qui pouvait jouer toute la gamme des sentiments de Winnie […]. Je faisais à Madeleine des suggestions, nous cherchions le rythme de chaque phrase et du spectacle. Il me semblait que certaines phrases pouvaient être dites très lentement, d’ autres très vite, et surtout qu

Biomécanique de l’ attente

Implications cognitives dans la dramaturgie de Beckett

Gabriele Sofia

expérientiel déterminé (la perception d’ une œuvre d’ art par exemple), mais elles réussissent rarement à donner des informations sur le phénomène lui-même. Les neurosciences ne peuvent pas accéder à ce qu’ un spectateur éprouve durant un spectacle théâtral, mais peuvent indiquer quels mécanismes sous

Cécile Schenck

de Gavin Bryars (“Jesus’ blood never failed me yet”), les danseurs n’ en finissent pas d’ arriver et de repartir, leurs allées et venues différant sans cesse le terme de la représentation. Pour que le spectacle puisse s’ achever quand même, il faudra que soit prononcée pour la deuxième fois la

Une Catastrophe de Rien du tout ou De “l’ anarchie de l’ imagination”

Les artistes Maya Schweizer et Clemens von Wedemeyer répondent avec Beckett et Fassbinder aux émeutes des banlieues

Carla Taban

personnages du metteur en scène, de son assistante, du protagoniste et de l’ éclairagiste Luc, Catastrophe met en abyme non seulement l’ appareil de la production et du spectacle théâtraux, le sien y compris, mais potentiellement aussi toute autre situation artistique, sociale ou politique caractérisée par

Serge Ouaknine

advient en toute improvisation réussie. Au fil de la représentation d’ un spectacle qui “touche,” l’ acteur joue comme suspendu dans le temps . Il transporte le public et détache les actions dans un flux temporel aux nuances variables. Dans ce vide qui maintient la parole dans un état paradoxal, une