Fabula agitur ! Theatrical and artistic practices, oracy, andthe learning of Ancient Languages and Cultures (History, Aesthetics, Didactics)
Call for papers
International symposium, within the context of
ARC 5 – Cultures, Sciences, Sociétés et Médiations
Rhône-Alpes Region (France)
Operation Fabula agitur !
Fabula agitur !
Theatrical and artistic practices, oracy, and the learning of Ancient Languages and Cultures
History, Aesthetics, Didactics
Grenoble University (France), January 28-30, 2015
In recent years, specialists in language instruction have paid much attention to the contribution of theatrical practices – and, more broadly speaking, of artistic practices – to the learning of modern languages. This symposium intends to look into a body of work that hasso far been neglected: artistic practices used as a way to teach Ancient Languages, whether at school, college, or in local associations, in France and abroad.
For a long time now, however, there have been many examples of such practices. The Educational Theatre of Jesuit colleges, used from the sixteenth century onwards, is one of the most famous examples. Indeed, this type of practice is remarkable because of its wide audience as well as its ‘holistic’educational approach. Nowadays, Ancient Language teachers may organize Olympiades, tiny drama workshops, unpolished performances or even erudite pageants to provide their pupils with a different approach to Ancient Languages and Cultures. Thanks to the stage, acting and oracy, this approach may be more physical and more emotional than those they are used to encountering in the classroom, in terms of what the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) calls “knowledge”, “skills” and “existential competences”(three macro-categories that apply to each form of learning).
So far, these many and varied practices have not been taken into account in any theoretical analysis or synthesis; at most, we are presented with field reports. This symposium is intended to address this lack of scientific background.
By using an approach inspired by research into language instruction, it will be asked how performing a song in Latin, Greek or Old Irish,or how producing a play in Latin, Ancient Greek or Sanskrit may be helpful in the process of learning these difficult languages, or in the process of discovering very distant cultures and literary traditions. Moreover, this kind of learning is not just directed towards oral fluency, but towards the reading of texts, situated in their proper context.So what kinds of specific problems are caused by the teaching of these languages, and how can the stage helpto solve them, if at all? How can teachers find time toadopttheatre activities in Ancient Languages in school curricula? Which specific aspects of Ancient Language learning can be made easier through artistic practices? Are there any exercises that match specific grammar points, vocabulary development, poetic meter or even cultural studies? Which other cross-disciplinary skills may be developed? Is the opening up to other apprenticeships made easier? To what extent does the educational institution encourage such an approach? What supportand training can voluntary teachersbe eligible for? And finally, how do pupils, students and parents respond to these approaches?
The performances created by these practices will also be considered in an aesthetic perspective, inspired by studies on the performing arts. Do they focus mainly on texts and plays belonging to the Ancient era or to a later repertoire (Medieval and Renaissance texts as far as Latin and Greek are concerned), or instead on re-writings, literary patchworks, or even ex nihilo creations? If so, how and by whom are these new texts created? Does the staging of Ancient plays take into account recent research into Ancient Drama? Do these productions offer archeological reconstructions or contemporary interpretations? How is Latin and Greek pronunciation dealt with? Is poetic meter addressed at all? How is acting exactly defined? And what about the chorus, dance, music and singing?
The symposium will be held at Stendhal University – Grenoble III (France) from January 28 to January 30, 2015. Conference participants will be offered short training sessions on Ancient Language theatre as well as two theatrical performances which will clearly display the benefits of artistic practices for the learning of Ancient Languages and Cultures.
Communication and workshop proposals should be sent to Malika Bastin-Hammou (Malika.Bastin@u-grenoble3.fr) and Filippo Fonio (Filippo.Fonio@u-grenoble3.fr) before July 01, 2014. They should be written as a presentation, and not exceed 1,500 characters. Scientific committee decisions will be made available on October 01, 2014 at the latest.
The proceedings of this symposium will be published as a collective book in ELLUG’s Didaskein Series.