Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Talks at Manchester University
Cultivating Research – spring 2014
Thursday 20th February, 5.15pm – Martin Harris Centre SL01
Professor Helen Nicholson (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Participation: Commodity or Community?
This paper will open questions about the politics of participation. Historically, debates in applied theatre tended to make sharp distinctions between active participation and passive consumption - with assumptions that see participation as necessarily emancipatory or morally virtuous. This view seems outdated in a context in which many different forms of theatre invite participation, where museums have become participatory theme parks, and when shopping is regarded as integral to an experience economy. Affect sells, and participation has been commodified. So what’s left?
The first part of the talk will open some of these assumptions about the political porousness of participation for critical scrutiny, asking how participation in theatre shifted from a utopian ideal of communitarian equality to a valuable commodity. Thereafter, a forum-style discussion will consider examples of practice that challenge, test or affirm the perception that participatory performance (in its broadest sense) is being reshaped and reconceptualised in the 21st century.
Thursday 20th March, 5.15pm – Martin Harris Centre SL01
Professor Maggie Gale and Dr. Jenny Hughes (University of Manchester)
In the Beginning was the Grant…
In this session, Maggie and Jenny will each introduce and discuss their new research projects, starting in 2014, that are funded respectively by Leverhulme and AHRC grants (brief info below). The discussion will also open up to consider the challenges and benefits of pursuing extended grant awards.
A Social History of British Performance Cultures 1900 -1939: Law, Surveillance and the Body. Maggie Gale’s new project will develop research that critically interrogates early twentieth-century British performance cultures. The research explores the ways in which repeated motifs of estrangement, fear of the ‘other’, and transformations in the experience of identity and citizenship, can be understood through a social history of cultural production.
Poor theatres: a critical examination of theatre, performance and economic precarity. Jenny Hughes’s project explores the relationship between theatre, performance and poverty by interrogating their interstices at three distinct historical junctures (in the 1830s, 1980s, and the 2010s). The research develops a contribution to the understanding of social welfare and resource management systems in times of economic austerity and ecological uncertainty.
Wednesday 14th May – 5.00pm Martin Harris Centre G16
Professor Simon Shaw-Miller (University of Bristol)
The Art of Marcel Duchamp, Nam June Paik and the Modernist Musical Paradigm
This is the first guest lecture in a series curated specifically to bring together colleagues across the Division comprising Music, Drama, Art History and Visual Studies, within the larger of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. It considers two avant-garde figures of importance in all three fields.
“Marcel Duchamp has already done everything there is to do – except video. He widened the entry but narrowed the exit. That very narrow door is video art and only through video art can we get ahead of Marcel Duchamp.” So said Nam June Paik in 1974. This talk will pause on the notion of ‘video’ (sight) and link it to ideas about music (sound), for it is with music that both Paik and Duchamp’s aesthetic have foundational roots. The talk addresses key moments in the formation of modernism and argues for the centrality of ideas about music as a governing paradigm, moving from idea to object to action.