Call for Papers
Whither political theatre?
Cambridge Conference for a Poetics of Critical Political Theatre in Europe
Faculty of English, Cambridge, and St John’s College, Cambridge
19-20 September 2014
This conference is concerned with the state and direction of contemporary political theatre in Europe after 2000, initiating a re-engagement with the aesthetics and politics debates of Bloch, Lukács, Benjamin, Brecht and Adorno and with their legacies. While calling for critical reflection on the relationship of contemporary theatre with politics, sociology, education and the public sphere, we ask how contemporary plays and theatre practices can contribute to developing autonomy, critical responsibility and political awareness towards building solidarity and inclusive communities.
We welcome proposals for papers that suggest possibilities of developing and interrogating a post-Brechtian aesthetics of critical political theatre in intranational, international, and transcultural drama and theatre practices in Europe. According to David Barnett, Brecht’s dialectical worldview ‘is political because it proposes that both human behaviour and society are unfixed, a relationship which affects the exercise of power.’ He argues that the post-Brechtian ‘has at its core both a dissatisfaction with the narrowness of the Brechtian dialectic and a desire to expand its remit to address concrete social problems.’ Abstracts submitted should offer both this dissatisfaction and this desire towards theorising a poetics of political theatre.
Limited places are available for British Academy current and former PDFs, early career research fellows, postgraduate students, and senior scholars. Abstracts of 200 words and short biographies should be emailed to both Dr Eva Urban (Clare Hall, Cambridge) on firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr Drew Milne (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge) on email@example.com by 1 July. We will contact you with a decision by 15 July.
This event is sponsored by the British Academy as a BA Regional Event.
BA Champion: Professor John Kerrigan, FBA, St John’s College, Cambridge.
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