Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Colloquium - March 31 to April 2 2010


Research and Documentation in Theatre and Performance Studies: Strategic locations, disciplinary challenges, and critical dialogue

JNU, Delhi India, March 31 - 2 April 2010



Multiple modernities and the tension with modernism:

The broad theme captures the uneven experience and development of modernity; performance at moments; nation building and its links to modernity; formations of taste in light of modernity/modernism; modernism as an aesthetic category (comparative approaches); the unresolved tensions between modernism and popular culture or modernism and tradition. Broadly related are historiographic questions of documentation, critical performance ethnography (methods, and ethics,) and pedagogies of documentation

Topic one: Documenting Performance: Sources and Resources :

The complex and inseparable relation between the regime of technological interventions/facilitations and the domain of documentation has been a key issue in the archiving of performance at several historical junctures. But the contradictions between the new technological regimes and the histories of the materials being documented/ studied have thrown up several new problems and issues. This session proposes to explore some of these interrelations often enunciated through confrontational and even conflicting engagements with the process of archiving. The deliberations can grow out of a number of presentations of documentation projects in realization and process, opening up some of the existent and evolving discourses prevalent around documentation of performances.

Topic two: Multiple Modernities and Historiography:

Recent archiving activity in performance, particularly with its access to the new technological regimes in question, has opened up the notion of multiple modernities, demanding modifications, inversions and displacements of existing perspective on specific histories of performance and performance forms. This session would explore the need and possibility of new historiographical methods to situate and study and compare a diversity of performance experiences/idioms, seeking entry points for students and scholars from different cultural contexts.

Topic three: Citizenship and Theatre Practice:

This session would attempt to bridge the gap between theatre history research in the academia and theatre practice through a comparative study of the citizen artist living with the disjunctions, tensions and fissures between the political community and the cultural community and in the particular of the citizen artist in exile and performance in/of exile.