CFP: [Theatre] Festival of Original Theatre 2009 Conference: Violence and Representation

full name / name of organization: 
justin blum
contact email: 

The Festival Of Original Theatre (FOOT), a yearly graduate conference held
at the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, seeks 20
minute paper presentations for its 2009 Conference: “Exquisite Corpses,
Bloody Bodies: Murder, Myth, and Representations of Violence on Stage and
Screen,” to be held in Toronto, Ontario January 29th-31st, 2009.

A history of theatre and film from Aeschylus to Martin McDonough might very
well be written as the story of violence and its representation. The
world’s theatres have been the sites of countless acts of physical
aggression, murder, even cannibalism: violence occurring onstage and off;
violence represented with extreme realism and extreme stylization; violence
played for laughs or played in chilling silence. Littered with bodies,
corpses, blood and bones that are the products of violent murder, ‘noble’
self-sacrifice, spectacular accidents, calculated sadism, and occasionally
even ‘natural’ circumstances, the theatre is a venue in which the dead
literally arise, take a bow at the end of the evening and do the whole
thing over again tomorrow night.

If we start from the premise that the dramatic arts function as key sites
for the production and transfer of myth and social understanding, what do
the conventions by which violence is represented at a given historical
moment tell us about a particular culture? About the relationship of an
act of theatre to the society that produced it? About that society’s
views, however diverse and contested they may be, of the place of violence
in culture, the relationship of the individual body to the body politic,
the threat of violence, and even what it means to exist as an individual?

Contributions that historicize the topic, even when dealing with
contemporary theatre, would be particularly welcome. A variety of
approaches are encouraged: presenters might focus very closely on the
depiction of violated bodies in one particular staging occurring at a
specific historical moment, or the changing representational strategies
applied to one play or mythic story in different cultures.

A few possible panel topics might include:

*Ob-scenity and verbal violence: representing the off-stage murder.

*Blood at the “origin”: changing depictions of blood and violence in mythic
Greek theatre and its revivals.

*Slapstick and knockabout: violence played for laughs.

*Murder, my sweet: female bodies and the sexualization of violence.

*Realism and its discontents: film, the theatrical body, and the
possibility of “authentic” representations of violence and death.

*Breath as little as possible: living actors as dead bodies.

Potential participants are asked to submit a 250 word abstract for a 20
minute presentation, along with a one line bio, to no later than October 25th, 2008. Applicants
will be notified by email by November 1st.

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Received on Sun Oct 19 2008 - 23:58:11 EDT