Reminder: Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683), Conference, 8-9 June 2022

A reminder that the Conference Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683) will take place on 8-9 June:

Day One: The Public Stage (8 June 2022, 1:45-5.00pm, BST)

Day Two: Festivals (9 June 2022, 2.00-5.10pm, BST)

These two half-days of talks and discussion will explore new perspectives on the representation of the Orient in early modern European art and performance between 1529 and 1683, the period framed by the two sieges of Vienna by Ottoman armies. The conference will examine different settings in which the Orient was imagined and talked about. In particular it will interrogate various types of public display common in early modern societies, in which the self-projection of power and identity was often interwoven with the spectacle of the Other: courtly and public festivals, civic ceremonies and rituals, etc. It will also consider staged productions, notably operas and ballets, whose multisensorial character added to the inherent orientalist tendency towards display, while heightening the attraction of the exotic for their audiences.

Find out more about the conference, read the programme, the abstracts, and book (registration is free but it is required to receive the link to attend).

Please note that the programme was amended on 3 June.

The Conference is organised by the CCL in collaboration with the Society for European Festivals Research.

Reminder:  Refracted from the Canon: The Transmuted Form of Europe’s Ambassador to Africa – a talk by Sola Adeyemi (26 May 2022, 6pm BST)

A reminder that Sola Adeyemi‘s talk Refracted from the Canon: The Transmuted Form of Europe’s Ambassador to Africa will take place on Thursday 26 May 2022, at 6 pm BST (online).

This is the third of three events in the CCL’s Postcolonial Theatre series, May 2022

In this presentation, Sola Adeyemi will explore the idea of tragedy from the perspective of Yoruba culture, framing this exploration from the refracted premise of classical European canon and how the meaning of tragedy has been altered to become part of the arsenal of anticolonial agency as deployed to the consecrated ritual space of the Yoruba people of West Africa. Focusing on the re-reading – or re-interpretation – of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarkand Euripides’ Bacchae, the talk aims to show that the process of re-interpreting the essence of the canonical god in the new space of Yoruba culture, or of translating the attributes with a new understanding and awareness, is more dialectical and more interwoven than the historical or anthropological process of re-working canonical texts by African writers…. Read more.

Attendance is free but booking will be essential to receive a link to attend.

The talk will be recorded and a video will be posted on the event’s webpage as soon as possible after the end.

Dr Sola Adeyemi is a Lecturer in Drama at the University of East Anglia. His researches are in world theatre and performance studies, African Literary Studies, and postcolonial literature and theatre (and the themes of decolonial and Global South studies). He is the author of Vision of Change in African Drama: Deconstructing Identity and Reconfiguring History (2019). Currently, he is working on ‘Dramatizing the Postcolony: Nigerian Drama and Theatre. His latest research is on performances after apartheid in South Africa and in Nigeria after the military dictatorship morphed into situations of ‘undeclared’ pre-colonial feudalistic insurrections, titled “Laughing from Both Barrels: New Satire in Modern African Performances”.

Sola’s talk will be chaired by Professor Samuel Kasule. Professor Kasule holds a BA in English and Drama and Diploma in Education from Makerere University, Uganda, and MA in Theatre Studies and PhD in Drama and Theatre from the University of Leeds. He is a founding member of the African Theatre Association and founding Reviews Editor of African Performance Review (APR). He was the President of the African Theatre Association between 2014 and 2020. His latest work (with Osita Okagbue) is Theatre and Performance in East Africa (London: Routledge, 2021).

 

 

CCL Spectacular Orientalism Conference programme

The CCL is pleased to announce the Programme of the Conference Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683).

The conference will be held on the afternoons of 8 and 9 June 2022:

Day One: The Public Stage (8 June 2022, 1:45-5.00pm, BST)

Day Two: Festivals (9 June 2022, 2.00-5.00pm, BST)

These two half-days of talks and discussion will explore new perspectives on the representation of the Orient in early modern European art and performance between 1529 and 1683, the period framed by the two sieges of Vienna by Ottoman armies.

The conference will examine different settings in which the Orient was imagined and talked about. In particular it will interrogate various types of public display common in early modern societies, in which the self-projection of power and identity was often interwoven with the spectacle of the Other: courtly and public festivals, civic ceremonies and rituals, etc.

It will also consider staged productions, notably operas and ballets, whose multisensorial character added to the inherent orientalist tendency towards display, while heightening the attraction of the exotic for their audiences.

Find out more about the event, read the abstracts, and book to attend (registration is free but it is required to receive the link to attend).

Please check the programme page again in case of last-minute amendments.

The Conference is organised by the CCL in collaboration with the Society for European Festivals Research.

 

Reminder:  Reimagining the Victorian Past in African and in Black Diasporic Theatre – a talk by Tiziana Morosetti (19 May 2022, 6pm BST)

A reminder that Tiziana Morosetti‘s talk Reimagining the Victorian Past in African and in Black Diasporic Theatre will take place on Thursday 19 May 2022, at 6 pm BST (online).

This is the second of three events in the CCL’s Postcolonial Theatre series, May 2022

Several African American and Black British playwrights have engaged in the past 25 years with material from the Victorian past. If issues of slavery and segregation have been at the forefront, aligning theatre to neo-Victorian and neo-Slavery narratives, Black playwrights have also engaged with specific figures from the long 19th century. Tiziana Morosetti’s paper will consider recent Black British plays that specifically engage with the Victorian past and will compare them to two Nigerian examples that display similar engagement. The paper will argue these examples, while displaying a closer focus on African history and overall different aesthetics, complement the vision of Black British playwrights by commenting on, and proposing counter-narratives to, the relation between Black cultures and white British power during the reign of Victoria… Read more.

Attendance is free but booking will be essential to receive a link to attend.

The talk will be recorded and a video will be posted on the talk’s page as soon as possible after the end.

Dr Tiziana Morosetti is an Associate Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is also an affiliate to the African Studies Centre, Oxford. She works on representations of race, Blackness and diversity on the 19th-century and contemporary British stage; and on Black drama, especially African. She is the editor of Staging the Other in Nineteenth-century British Drama (Peter Lang 2016), Africa on the Contemporary London Stage (Palgrave 2018) and, with Osita Okagbue, The Palgrave Handbook of Theatre and Race (2021). She is the General Secretary of the African Theatre Association UK (AfTA) and the co-founder and deputy director of the journal Quaderni del ’900.

Tiziana’s talk will be chaired by Lynette Goddard, Professor of Black Theatre and Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London. Their research focuses on documenting and analysing the contemporary histories of contemporary Black British theatre by looking at the politics of representation and the careers of performers, playwrights and directors. As well as numerous articles and chapters, they have published two full-length monographs Staging Black Feminisms: Identity, Politics, Performance (Palgrave, 2007) and Contemporary Black British Playwrights: Margins to Mainstream (Palgrave, 2015), one shorter book, Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (Routledge, 2017), and co-edited Modern and Contemporary Black British Drama (Palgrave, 2014). They selected and introduced the plays for The Methuen Drama Book of Plays by Black British Writers (2011) and wrote introductions for Mojisola Adebayo Plays One (Oberon, 2011) and Mojisola Adebayo Plays Two (Oberon, 2019). They are currently co-editing the anthology Black British Queer Plays and Practitioners (Methuen) and the two-volume Routledge History of Contemporary British Theatre.

Reminder:  ‘Hear the Bones Sing’: Postcolonial Ghost Plays – a talk by Clare Finburgh-Delijani (5 May 2022, 6pm BST)

A reminder that Clare Finburgh-Delijani‘s talk ‘Hear the Bones Sing’: Postcolonial Ghost Plays will take place on Thursday 5 May 2022, at 6 pm BST (online).

This is the first of three events in the CCL’s Postcolonial Theatre series, May 2022

What can ghosts teach us about how to live together in postcolonial societies such as the UK or France?

Clare Finburgh Delijani’s paper examines how a range of playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic are evoking colonial pasts, and their impact on the present, via ghosts. Revenants in these plays return to demand repair for injustices perpetrated in the past. At the same time, spectres create a doubling, the indeterminacy of which troubles monocultural notions of national identity, instead proposing postcolonial societies as a multi-ethnic and multidenominational…. Read more.

Attendance is free but booking will be essential to receive a link to attend.

The talk will be recorded and a video will be posted on the event’s page as soon as possible after its end.

 

Professor Clare Finburgh Delijani, Deputy Director of the CCL, is a researcher and teacher in the Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths University of London. She has written and edited many books and articles on theatre from France, the French-speaking world and the UK, including a special issue of Théâtre/Public on the Situationist International (2019), The Great Stage Directors: Littlewood, Planchon, Strehler (2018, with Peter Boenisch), Watching War on the Twenty-First-Century Stage: Spectacles of Conflict (2017), Rethinking the Theatre of the Absurd: Ecology, the Environment and the Greening of the Modern Stage (2015, with Carl Lavery) and Jean Genet (2012, with David Bradby). She is currently writing a book on theatre in France that addresses the nation’s colonial past, and multi-ethnic present.

Clare’s talk will be chaired by Dr. Mairi Neeves, Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. Mairi’s work includes We are all Rwandans (as production manager; 2008), winner of Best World Cinema Short, Phoenix International Film Festival 2008; the documentary on Apartheid in Israel/Palestine Hidden From View (as co-director/producer; 2007); and the feature length documentary on extreme global poverty 58 – The Film (as writer, assistant director/producer; 2011).

Announcing the CCL Postcolonial Theatre series, May 2022

The CCL is delighted to announce its May 2022 series of talks on Postcolonial Theatre.

This series of three talks by members of the Goldsmiths Department of Theatre and Performance will examine how contemporary theatre from the UK, USA, France and West Africa is staging legacies of colonial history in postcolonial societies today.

All talks will be online and will start at 6pm BST.

Booking is free but is necessary for each event to receive a link to attend.


We start on 5 May 2022 with Clare Finburgh-Delijani‘s talk ‘Hear the Bones Sing’: Postcolonial Ghost Plays.

What can ghosts teach us about how to live together in postcolonial societies such as the UK or France?

Clare Finburgh Delijani’s paper examines how a range of playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic are evoking colonial pasts, and their impact on the present, via ghosts. Revenants in these plays return to demand repair for injustices perpetrated in the past. At the same time, spectres create a doubling, the indeterminacy of which troubles monocultural notions of national identity, instead proposing postcolonial societies as a multi-ethnic and multidenominational…. Read more and book.


On 19 May 2022, Tiziana Morosetti will give the second talk, Reimagining the Victorian Past in African and in Black Diasporic Theatre.

Several African American and Black British playwrights have engaged in the past 25 years with material from the Victorian past. If issues of slavery and segregation have been at the forefront, aligning theatre to neo-Victorian and neo-Slavery narratives, Black playwrights have also engaged with specific figures from the long 19th century. Tiziana Morosetti’s paper will consider recent Black British plays that specifically engage with the Victorian past and will compare them to two Nigerian examples that display similar engagement. The paper will argue these examples, while displaying a closer focus on African history and overall different aesthetics, complement the vision of Black British playwrights by commenting on, and proposing counter-narratives to, the relation between Black cultures and white British power during the reign of Victoria… Read more and book.


And on 26 May 2022, Sola Adeyemi Refracted from the Canon: The Transmuted Form of Europe’s Ambassador to Africa.

In this presentation, Sola Adeyemi will explore the idea of tragedy from the perspective of Yoruba culture, framing this exploration from the refracted premise of classical European canon and how the meaning of tragedy has been altered to become part of the arsenal of anticolonial agency as deployed to the consecrated ritual space of the Yoruba people of West Africa. Focusing on the re-reading – or re-interpretation – of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarkand Euripides’ Bacchae, the talk aims to show that the process of re-interpreting the essence of the canonical god in the new space of Yoruba culture, or of translating the attributes with a new understanding and awareness, is more dialectical and more interwoven than the historical or anthropological process of re-working canonical texts by African writers…. Read more and book.

 

‘Spectacular Orientalism’ Conference postponed

The conference Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683), planned for 24-25 February 2022, has been postponed to 8-9 June 2022, due to the renewed strike action by Goldsmiths staff against a large number of redundancies and restructuring imposed by the College’s senior management, which would directly affect the staff in comparative literature and translation studies and in the CCL, as well as many other staff in the Departments of English & Creative Writing and of History and across the College.

This article, published last Autumn, this page by the Goldsmiths University and College Union and this article by Goldsmiths’ Collective Change give additional context and information.

We thank our speakers for agreeing to postpone the conference, and our members and audience for your patience and your support of the CCL.

Lucia Boldrini, CCL Director, and Marie-Claude Canova-Green, Deputy Director and organiser of the postponed event

‘Dance, Performance and Politics’ talk postponed

Professor Margaret McGowan’s talk on Dance, Performance and Politics: A Study of how Choreography developed in Court Ballets to meet changing political needs has been postponed to a date to be confirmed, due to the strike by Goldsmiths staff against a large number of redundancies and restructuring imposed by the College’s senior management, which would directly affect the staff in comparative literature and translation studies and in the CCL, as well as many other staff in the Departments of English & Creative Writing and of History and across the College.

We thank our speaker, Professor Margaret M. McGowan, and the respondent, Dr Jennifer Nevile, for their support.

If you wish to support us, you can sign this Open Letter.

This article, just published, and this page by the Goldsmiths University and College Union give additional context and information.

We shall publish the new date of the event as soon as we are able to do so.

Thank you, in the meantime, for your patience and your support of the CCL.

Lucia Boldrini, CCL Director, and Marie-Claude Canova-Green, Deputy Director and Chair of the postponed event

Paper proposals now open for Spectacular Orientalism

Paper proposals are invited for the conference Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683), organised by the Centre for Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, in collaboration with the Society for European Festivals Research.

The conference will be held on 24-25 February 2022.

The deadline for paper proposals of up to 300 words is 29 October 2021.

Please read the Call for Papers for more information.