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Samuel Beckett

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The Samuel Beckett working group, first convened in 1996, meets every 1–2 years at the IFTR conference. The group provides a forum for discussions of current research approaches in Beckett studies undertaken by scholars around the world. It has consistently had a wide range of international participants from Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia, and encourages new members from other regions as well.

 

Work Plan

The group sets topics for each meeting, either adopting the theme of the IFTR conference or focusing on a specific play or theory in the hope of eliciting a lively exchange of ideas. Participants' essays are circulated approximately one month prior to the meeting, and at the actual sessions presenters briefly summarize, but do not read, their papers. Group members then discuss each work in detail for at least 30 minutes, asking questions, offering constructive comments and making suggestions for further research. So far, two books have resulted from this process.

 

Publications

Drawing on Beckett: Portraits, Performances, and Cultural Perspectives. Ed. Linda Ben-Zvi. Tel Aviv: Assaph Books, 2004.

The book contains twenty-one essays by leading Beckett scholars, as well as twenty-four drawings of Beckett by his friend and noted Israeli painter, Avigdor Arikha.

Beckett at 100: Revolving It All. Edited by Linda Ben-Zvi and Angela Moorjani. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

This collection of twenty-two essays is based on, but not limited to, essays presented at the Trinity College, Dublin centenary celebration in April 2006. The Beckett Working Group was invited to feature in the central academic program where approximately 40 papers were presented.

 

Convenors:

Linda Ben-Zvi:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mariko Hori Tanaka:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Julie Campbell:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Next Meeting:: TBA

Last Meeting: Munich 2010. The proposed topic was 'New Approaches to Beckett's Television and Radio Dramas'.

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The New Scholars Forum also has a group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/596044380446700/

The New Scholars’ Forum provides a supportive platform for PhD and early career researchers within IFTR to present ten minute papers on their work. These papers do not have to speak to the conference theme; they can be on any subject relevant to the New Scholar. The New Scholars’ Forum is designed to allow New Scholars to receive maximum feedback on work in progress from senior academics. New Scholars are not obliged to present in the New Scholars Forum – they can also submit longer papers to Working Groups or to General Panels.

IFTR organises targeted workshops and programmes for New Scholars during its conferences. The New Scholars’ reception provides a chance to meet members of the IFTR executive committee and to learn more about the organisation. A series of workshops with keynote speakers and other prominent theatre academics gives New Scholars the opportunity to build essential skills for a successful career. The New Scholars’ caucus, held near the end of the conference, allows New Scholars to feedback on their IFTR experiences and shape the direction of the organisation.

IFTR’s Working Groups are very welcoming of New Scholars. You can find a list of IFTR working groups on this website. If you would like to attend one, it is a good idea to contact the convener to introduce yourself. You can attend a working group without presenting a paper at one.

If you have any questions then please contact your student representative Sigríður Lára Sigurjónsdóttir at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or the chair of the New Scholar’s Forum Jean Graham-jones at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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MUSIC THEATRE

September, 2014

The aim of the Music Theatre working group is to discuss a broad range of methodological and theoretical perspectives on all kinds of music theatre, from opera and popular forms (such as Broadway musicals) to contemporary experiments with new forms of music theatre. The background for the working group is our perception of the need to find new ways to deal with a subject which is part of at least two disciplines – theatre studies and musicology – but which is not, in fact, at home in either field. In our experience, musicologists tend to forget about the performance aspect and theatre scholars often forget about the music, so there is no doubt that we need to discuss music theatre from an interdisciplinary perspective. What our approaches all have in common is that they start from a notion of music theatre as theatre, performance and experience, always dealing with the interplay between all of the senses. Certainly not exhaustive, some areas of concern that extend to theatre and performance, broadly understood, include:

  • Acoustemologies of theatre / performance
  • Music in / as theatre and performance
  • Performativities of song and dance
  • Materialities of the voice
  • Phenomenology of sound / music in performance
  • Hearing cultures in performance: Cultural sounds and sounds in culture
  • Politics and aesthetics of Opera
  • Politics and aesthetics of Musicals
  • Composed Theatre
  • The Broadway and British Musical
  • Experimental music theatre
  • Hermeneutics of auditory reception
  • Aurality and performance; Listening and Voice
  • Philosophies of sound / music in performance
  • Politics of silence
  • Noise / Music
  • Intersections of music, sound and the performing body
  • The Actor-Singer-Dancer

We welcome any scholar who is working on the intersections of sound / music and performance and would love to have you join us. If you would like to know more about the Working Group, or if you have changed your e-mail-address, please contact the convenors (see below).

Publications

The group has published two edited collections with essays derived from discussions of the working group and comprised of chapters contributed by individual members.

The Legacy of Opera: Music Theatre as Experience and Performance (Rodopi Press, 2013)

The first collection considers the way in which ideological and cultural assumptions have impacted on our contemporary view of music theatre, focussing in particular on the way that opera’s development as a form and status as an art has inscribed a very particular set of assumptions and expectations about the musical stage that twentieth century developments have had to negotiate. In this respect, opera is seen as a defining cultural form and practice whose shadow looms large over the popular and modernising developments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Gestures of music theatre: the performativity of song and dance (Oxford University Press, 2013).

There are two principal questions posed through this series of essays: how do song and dance function as physical and material gestures, as dimensions or perhaps sub-sets of music theatre works? How might identities be constituted for characters, performers and audiences within and through the song and dance of music theatre? The first consideration, through a series of philosophical discussions, engages with music theatre’s substance, function and form; the second, through analyses of those song and dance gestures in a range of music theatre contexts, engages with its reception, effect and affect.

Work Plan

We will be meeting in Hyderabad, India in 2015.
More information will be available soon.

Convenors:
Marcus Tan (
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

George Rodosthenous ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 


Last Meeting: IFTR World Congress, Warwick, UK 2014
Next Meeting: IFTR Annual Conference, Hyderabad, India 2015

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Over the past two years, members of the Feminist Research Working Group have shared work and passionate discussion about performance, feminism, affect and activism in the era we are calling our neoliberal times. Symptoms of these times include: the marketization (commodification, monetization) of everyday life; pervasive precarity as economic fact and affective condition (what David Harvey calls a “new habit of the heart”); the dismantling of state funding supporting health, education, housing, and arts institutions; the privatization of industries formally in the public trust; the aggressive unraveling of collectively won gains in gender and racial equality in favor of the new cultural fetish: the virile entrepreneurial individual.

Neoliberalism grounds itself, as Raewen Connell writes, in “existing centers of power: corporate capital, white middle-class men, major professions, managers in state and private sectors.” Yet she also points out that “neoliberal regimes have been created by stitching together a coalition of social forces and finding a locally gripping ideological language to defend them.”

Performance – embodied, culturally marked, ephemeral practices – can be part of that social stitching, and can also be its unraveling; often it is both. Performance sites might include ritual spaces, traditional theatre venues, department store elevators, corporate property, village squares, city streets, parliaments, YouTube videos or massive political spectacles. Affect theory guides us to think of new forms of relationality conducive to exploring the many vectors of feeling aroused by performance. Contending that there is no activism without affect, we want to bring feminist activism in all its affective power to to the foreground of our working group agenda.

For the Warwick Working Group meeting, we invite papers on the theme of performance, feminism, affect and activism in neoliberal times. Participants may also consider the main IFTR conference theme of Theatre and Stratification (http://iftr2014warwick.org/)

which for us would be multi-layered performances that engage the layered complexity of social experience under neoliberalism.

Abstracts for the Feminist Research Working Group should be submitted through the Cambridge Journals Online pages by 15th January, 2014. For more information on this process, go to: http://iftr2014warwick.org/?page_id=205

Our Process

The Feminist Research Working Group is composed of scholars from Sweden, India, Pakistan, Britain, China, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Spain, Germany, Canada, Australia, and the United States. It works by circulating papers to members in advance of the conference. Those who have circulated papers are invited to speak for no more than seven minutes and are paired with a respondent who offers a seven minute response. The 15 minute presentation and response format is structured to encourage cross-cultural exchange and is followed by 15 minutes for the group to discuss the work.

 

The full text of the selected papers (no more than 3000 words) should be emailed to the conveners by 1st July 2014 for uploading into the group’s dropbox. We will also publish the papers on the group’s website. For further information please do not hesitate to contact the conveners. You are reminded that in order to present your paper it is necessary to formally submit your abstract according to the guidelines on the conference website, register for the conference and to become a member of IFTR. You are also reminded that papers can be given to the working group or within the main conference, but you may not do both.

NB In addition to the group’s regular sessions, members of the Feminist Working Group may wish to form a WG-sponsored panel within the conference general program. The panel will consist of three papers representing the working group. If you are interested in forming an open panel as an alternative to presenting a paper in the group’s regular sessions, please indicate your wishes to the working group convenors. Panelists would still attend the working group meetings and contribute to the discussion. Abstracts (300 words) should be sent by email to the WG conveners by 15th December 2013. We have set this early deadline in order to respond to you before you have to make a formal submission of your abstract through the conference website on 15th January.

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