PHILOSOPHY & DRAMA : the performance of the self, 12th February 2010

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University of Toulouse 2, France.
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CFP: Conference: PHILOSOPHY & DRAMA : the performance of the self, 12th February 2010. University of Toulouse 2, France.
Language: English / French

Beckett questions human identity to the very limits of its stage existence. Endgame cancels out the spatial and existential landmarks of the character. However, Beckett's heroes need to be situated textually and scenically. The purpose of this conference is to study Beckett's strategies for the performance of existential issues through the joint perspectives of philosophical, literary and dramatic debates and inheritances.
Dramatically the beckettian character is determined by an essential liminality. The protagonist is an in-between, the zero of a theatrical and literary Euclidean space. It is the locus of various encounters between sometimes contradictory stylistic, dramatic and poetic temporalities. Beckett creates a nexus of dramatic and textual games from Shakespeare to his own contemporaries. The conference wishes to confront thoughts on various aspects of the works that influenced Beckett in creating a new form of drama. Adopting a literary but also a performance perspective, papers could explore the staging and the writing of the self in Beckett's works and that of his contemporaries. Moreover, the major philosophical debates raised by his theatre in the works of Adorno, Badiou, Deleuze, Lacan or Zizek, should also be a major concern for this conference. The philosophical inheritance of beckettian plays and their influential role on both drama and philosophy will be discussed. However, Beckett's singularity as a playwright and a thinker dwells in a form of resistance to the literary continuum it inherited as well as to the philosophical currents which tried to analyse them. As Derrida wrote, "language bears within itself the necessity of its own critique", and Beckett plays explore this dimension of resistance on the linguistic level as well as the theatrical and the philosophical levels. This deliberate or not resistance to influence of the beckettian text is also to be considered.

This conference welcomes 20 to 30 minutes presentation on the intertextual nature of Beckett's work and its singular dramatic writing of the self. Papers focusing on philosophy, drama studies, theatre studies and literature are preferred.

Please send 250-words abstracts by January 15th 2010 to

Organising team: Philippe Birgy, Christian Fioupou, Nathalie Rivere de Carles for Atelier de Recherche sur le Theatre ( ), Universite de Toulouse, France.