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More in this section 2010/11

Why Theatre History?

18/06/2010 (10:30-18:30)

Chris Dymkowski and David Wiles

Department of Drama and Theatre

Royal Holloway, University of London

Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX


We are pleased to announce a one-day symposium to be held at Royal Holloway, University of London on Friday June 18th, 10.30-6.30

The focus of this symposium will be the need for historical research within our discipline. Since history does not exist in any straightforward objective sense, why should we make and remake it, and for whose benefit? We live in a presentist age which tends, particularly within our discipline, to be preoccupied by the diversity of contemporary experience rather than by the past. In a multicultural and global environment, received histories all too easily become vehicles of control or cultural inertia. We need to consider how theatre history will best serve us in the future, whoever ‘us’ may be.

The day will be organized around four themes: 

  1. When: periodization,
  2. Where: global versus local perspectives,
  3. What: the proper fields of theatre history,
  4. How: the implications of different methodologies.

The contributors to the symposium will be Chris Baugh (Hull), Jacky Bratton ( RHUL), Gilli Bush-Bailey (RHUL), Sudipto Chatterjee (Loughborough), Zachary Dunbar (CSSD), Erika Fischer-Lichte (Berlin), Marius Kwint (Portsmouth), Hans-Thies Lehmann (Frankfurt), Fiona Macintosh (Oxford), Ros Merkin (Liverpool JMU), Tom Postlewait (Washington), Willmar Sauter (Stockholm), David Wiles (RHUL), Steve Wilmer (TCD).

The symposium has been convened in connection with a forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Theatre History, to be edited by David Wiles and Christine Dymkowski. The event will take place in the Boilerhouse Theatre at RHUL and has been supported by the Royal Holloway Arts Faculty and the Society of Theatre Research..

Registration costs £25 (£15 concession). The price includes refreshments and a sandwich lunch. Places are limited, and booking should be done online at http://tinyurl.com/y9co6wj. We look forward to welcoming you to Royal Holloway, which can be easily reached by trains from Waterloo or Reading. Please e-mail emer.o’toole@rhul.ac.uk with any further questions or queries.






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