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"Presenting the Theatrical Past: Interplays of Artefacts, Discourses and Practices"
IFTR Conference, Stockholm University, 13-17 June 2016



The conference “Presenting the Theatrical Past. Interplays of Artefacts, Discourses and Practices” addresses questions concerning our relationship to theatre history, i.e. the relation between present and past. How and why do we deal with history? What do we do with history? To what extent is historical research an exploration of our present?

Departing from the 250th anniversary of the Drottningholm Court Theatre, IFTR 2016 focuses on critical perspectives on theatre history. The theatre of the past is accessible to us via historical objects, theoretical discourses and archive materials. But we can also experience it through performance practices that keep traditions alive or engage in re-enactments of theatre events and representations.

Critical investigation of historiographical issues in the field of Theatre Studies touches upon the interplay between theatrical artefacts, practices and discourses. In our view such historical artefacts in relation to theatre can be theatre sites/venues, historical objects (props, scenery, costumes), historical materials and documents, historical locations for re-enactments, etc. Practices comprise performances such as theatre, drama, dance, opera, performance, installation art, laboratory experiments, educational curricula etc. The notion of discourse relates to historical ideas as well as contemporary theories, questions of ‘historically informed productions’ (HIP) and historiographical concepts, reconstructions of past performances etc.

For more information, visit the International Federation for Theatre Research website.


 
 
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Dickens Society 21st Annual Symposium: “Adapting Dickens”
Iceland University, Reykjavik
11–13 July, 2016

No sooner had Dickens made a name for himself by writing novels than the London theatres began to adapt them to the stage. Indeed, both The Pickwick Papers (April 1836–November 1837) and Oliver Twist (February 1837–March–1838) underwent such adaptations before the serial run of either had come to an end, and the latter was staged in one form or another no fewer than forty times before 1850! Just over half a century later, “The Death of Poor Joe,” a silent film from 1901 initiated a long series of adaptations of his works for cinema, and in 1959, BBC television broadcast adaptations of Great Expectations and Bleak House that proved how well suited his works were to either type of screen. Over four hundred adaptations later, there is no sign that the public’s enthusiasm for adapting Dickens is on the wane. Quite the contrary, audio versions of his works, a mode that can be traced directly to Dickens’s own dramatizations and his celebrated (and much imitated) readings can now be downloaded in a matter of minutes in MP3 format from a large number of internet sources. By the 1840s, his novels had been translated in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Russian, influencing a host of European writers over the following three decades. If we add the visual arts, musicals, graphic novels, video games, and a multitude of objects from Christmas decorations to cigarette cards and figurines, there seems to be no limits to the adaptability of Dickens’s works.

Papers (deliverable in twenty minutes) related to adaptation as well as proposals on all aspects of Dickens and his works are welcome.

Potential subjects related to the symposium theme include:

  • Dickens and translation
  • Dickens and film
  • Dickens and performance
  • Dickens and the theatre
  • Dickens and television
  • Dickens and audio
  • Dickens and the visual arts
  • Dickens and adaptation theory
For more information, visit the Dickens Society Website.