CfP: Theatre and Dictatorship in the Luso-Hispanic World
Theatre is a living cultural artifact in which groups of people form in particular places in order to participate with performers in the creation of symbolic structures. Collectiveness and immediacy are thus essential attributes of theatrical communication which are absent from other cultural phenomena. These exclusive features endow theatre with the potential for great political impact. This can be observed especially clearly in dictatorial contexts, where the links between theatre and power are bidirectional. On the one hand, dictatorships have traditionally tried to maintain control over theatre as a tool to impose its hegemonic ideology and create an obedient society. On the other hand, theatre has also proved a useful place for resistance against such regimes.
Political brutality spans the whole 20th-century. Indeed, during what Hobsbawm calls the Age of Extremes (1914-1991), Fascism and Communism gave form to dictatorial regimes across the world. A series of coups and wars enforced such regimes in Spain, Portugal and Latin America from the 1930s to the 1990s. Despite the diversity of the Luso-Hispanic countries, there are common trends in their dictatorial regimes, which have been addressed comparatively within the fields of Latin American and Iberian Studies. The role played by theatre in these contexts has been mostly addressed from a national perspective. However, a transnational dialogue will shed light on analogies and/or differences in this vast cultural domain. Establishing trends in the way theatre and dictatorship react to one another across the region will help to go beyond national boundaries and understand the relations between theatre and politics more broadly. Further to contributing to the Cultural History of the region, this will foster the understanding of the Luso-Hispanic world as subject of academic discussion.
This seminar aims to foster dialogue among specialists of theatre and dictatorship in the Luso-Hispanic world during the 20th century. Papers on the entanglements between theatre and dictatorship in Portugal and Spain as well as in Brazil and Hispanic America will be welcomed. Case studies on Catalan, Basque, Galician, Amerindian and other African/Asian Luso-Hispanic theatres are particularly encouraged. A non-exhaustive list of proposed topics includes:
• Discourses of Obedience: Orthodoxy and Theatre
• Discourses of Resistance: Heterodoxy and Theatre
• Theatrical Poetics and Dictatorship: Political, Agit-Prop, Guerrilla, Documentary and Mass Theatre
• Theatre and the State: National Theatres, Censorship, Official Press Reviews, Teaching of Theatre, Publishers, Prizes, Festivals, Funding
• Fleeing Dictatorship: Theatre and Exile
• Theatre and (State) Violence
• Theatre, Memory and Trauma: Post-Dictatorial Accounts of Dictatorship