KiSSiT: Shakespeare and Anachronism
Disclosing the potential for revolutionary transformation latent in divisive and oppressive realities by travelling imaginatively forwards in time and adopting a universal human standpoint is a fundamental strategy of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry. (Kiernan Ryan, Shakespeare’s Universality: Here’s Fine Revolution)
Performance and criticism of Shakespeare’s plays, and even the plays themselves, have always been anachronistic on a fundamental level. Since performance is always in the present, its creation of an impression of past events, or even of events in general, “as if for the first time,” can only be an illusion. Criticism, in contrast, by default after the event, and predominantly from an audience point of view, is a rationalisation of this illusion. Perhaps the arch-anachronist can be said to be Shakespeare himself – not only through his cheerful bending of history to his purposes but, more importantly, through using time in its many guises, as historical setting, internal structure and rhythm, to bend our perceptions to proposing counterintuitive possibilities.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Professor Tiffany Stern, Royal Holloway, University of London, renowned for having researched and written widely about the theatrical documents relating to Shakespeare and his contemporaries (and the 18th century), such as actors’ parts and plots, acting methods and playhouse architecture.
- Dr Erik Roraback, Charles University in Prague, whose main interests include Shakespeare, critical theory (Spinoza/Leibniz/Benjamin/Adorno), theoretical psychoanalysis (Freud/Lacan/Zizek), Modernity and the philosophical aspects of the Baroque.
- Theorisation: Presentism vs ‘the levers of form’ (Kiernan Ryan)
- ‘The Globe phenomenon’: aspects of anachronism of Elizabethan/Jacobean working theatre reconstructions and their use – their cultural, institutional, artistic, etc.
- Theatre production: ‘updating’ vs ‘meshing’ of time periods (modernising today vs the Elizabethan use of ‘modern dress’); costume, set and possible performance/interpretative effects
- Thematic: purposeful anachronism as creative tool of playwrights’ composition
- Methodologies of reflection and analysis: ad hoc vs post hoc – practice-as-research in performance (PaR) vs discursive forms of criticism
- The relationship of the plays to their historical time as e.g. political interventions/anachronistic theatricalisation of politics and culture in Early Modern times (such as HenryVIII’s jousting)
Please submit abstracts and brief CVs by emailing the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org before January 30, 2017.
Organised by Ildiko Solti, Paul Hamilton, and Timo Uotinen.