Past events


Margaret M. McGowan † (1931-2022), Dance, Performance and Politics: A Study of how Choreography developed in Court Ballets to meet changing political needs

The contribution of dance for propaganda purposes was taken for granted in Renaissance Europe. Professor M. McGowan explores what we know of choreography at this time, and the influences of Italian and French creators of ballet. She studies the role of diplomacy and how, increasingly, dance became a vehicle for political strategies. As the nature of dancing changed and became more complex, so its ability to express was increased and its effect on audiences was more powerful. This transformation is explored in detail through examples of court ballets, intermezzi and masques from the Early Modern period.

We are very sad to announce that Professor Margaret M. McGowan, CBE, Fellow of the British Academy and Research Professor at the University of Sussex, passed away on 16 March 2022. Her talk will be recorded and will be uploaded to the webpage soon.

8-9 June 2022 – Conference:

Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683)

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.

Click on the title of conference for more details on the programme, papers, speakers…

May 2022 – Event series:

The CCL Postcolonial Theatre series, May 2022

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

The talks in this series included:

Clare Finburgh-Delijani, ‘Hear the Bones Sing’: Postcolonial Ghost Plays
5 May 2022, 6.00PM BST, online. 


Tiziana Morosetti, Reimagining the Victorian Past in African and in Black Diasporic Theatre
19 May 2022, 6.00PM BST, online


Sola Adeyemi, Refracted from the Canon: The Transmuted Form of Europe’s Ambassador to Africa
26 May 2022, 6.00PM BST, online


Click on the title of each of the events for more details on the speakers, papers, readings, and to watch the video recordings of the seminars.


7-22 September 2021 – Seminar series:

Remnants of the Iraq Wars: Iraqi Literature Twenty Years after 9/11. September 2021 

Two events organised by Hanan Jasim Khammas, Visiting Doctoral Scholar at the CCL:

Iraq: Corporeality & Memory. Iraqi literary production, twenty years after the 9/11 attacks.

7 September 2021, 4-6.15 pm BST, online. 


Aftermath Bodies: Corporeality in Contemporary Iraqi fiction. 

22 September 2021, 4-5.30 PM BST, online.


Click on the title of each of the events for more details on the speakers, papers, readings, and to watch the video recordings of the seminars.


4 December 2020 – Seminar:

In, on, around, across the Mediterranean: Displacement, ethics & the challenge of representation in fiction, drama, life writing & the arts. Online.

Click on the title of the event for more details on the speakers and papers, and to watch a recording of the seminar.