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Call for papers - No. 1/2023

2022-05-13

Call for Papers

STUDIA UBB DRAMATICA

Corporeal Narratives in Performing and Visual Arts

Issue 1/2023

Scholarly approaches to narration in performing arts and visual arts have focused on identifying an array of narrative structures driven by plot or characters. However, Mieke Bal’s seminal Narratology (1985) separates the study of “elements” (events, actors, places of the story) from “aspects” (presentation of those elements by means of the text). In Gerald Prince’s (1982) words this opposition arises in questions of “how” against questions of “what”, with an emphasis on the fact that the latter has garnered significantly more attention than the first. More recently, Daniel Punday (2003) proposed “corporeal narratology” as an interpretive method focusing on textual features of the human body in relation to the other narrative elements. In line with the Posthuman Paradigm, Punday’s “corporeal hermeneutics” contradicts the soul-body dualism approaching the body not as a mere prop, as an inanimate object but as a vital agent.

At the same time, inspired by the way philosophers such as Merleau-Ponty, Gilles Deleuze or Jean-Luc Nancy take into consideration “a bodily knowledge”, contemporary dance scholars and choreographers such as Martin Nachbar, Susanne Traub, Mathilde Monnier, Deuffert & Plischke, William Forsythe, promote abstract dance techniques centered on the body itself, with minor interest in the classical rules of storytelling and representing characters.

The digital age of virtual reality/body/identity redefines the issue of disembodiment, the promise to lift us beyond our individual bodies. Steven Shapiro, the English translator of Deleuze, reveals some hidden perils of this tempting promise, analysing the fluid, mutable and constructed nature of the virtual body, which nevertheless has become both an essential part of our digital persona and a key figure of our recent narratives. Lev Manovich, the father of new media art and former student of Mieke Bal, describes the structure of these digital narratives as non-linear and relates them with the replacement of the modern linear narrative with the database, the postmodern archive of photographs, documents, descriptions. In conclusion, the advent of the virtual body is related with the birth of the hyper-narrative, the non-linear story that enable the space navigation of the computer games’ player, and make possible the encounter of the user with digital interfaces and databases.

Thus, we invite scholars and practitioners to explore and contribute to the study of the human/human-like body as prevalent in relation to the narrative world/space/plot in performing and visual arts.

 

Topics may include (but are not restricted to):

  • History of the narrating body
  • Aesthetics of the narrating body
  • Non-narrative discourse in performing and visual arts
  • The performer’s body as archive: illness, disability, trauma
  • Movement/choreography as narrative agent
  • Posthuman Bodies in visual arts
  • Virtual bodies, hyper-narratives and space navigation

 

Issue Editors:

Guest editor: Raluca Oancea (raluca8ileana@yahoo.com)

Delia Enyedi (delia.enyedi@ubbcluj.ro)

 

Deadline for submission (sent to both issue editors): March 1 2022

Publication date: March 2023

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”After the hypothetical death of the author in the '60s, the apparent death of the director is often circulated today. Is the director really dead, or transformed, or is he in a state of crisis?” Patrice Pavis asks in Contemporary European Theater Directors, published by Routledge Publishing House, in its first edition on April 4, 2010. Reviving this question now, during and  after the pandemic crisis, but also whenever a new training cycle for theater directors begins, we find ourselves able to strengthen it by asking another question: taking into consideration the fact that this disappearance of the theater director was predicted, why is still considered the true pedagogue of the art of theatre?

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