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'Who do we think we are: Representing the Human' Postgraduate Symposium

Posted on 07/03/2011

Saturday 19th March 2011SYMPOSIUM

A postgraduate symposium hosted by the Drama and Theatre Department at Royal Holloway, University of London

Venue: 16 Acton Street, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 9NG

We live in a time that is characterised by ‘posts’: we are postmodern, poststructuralist, postcolonial, postfeminist; people are becoming posthuman; and theatre, responding to cultural changes is, in certain quarters, postdramatic. What do all these ‘posts’ mean for the human subject? When the borders of human beings and the world we know shift, what new identities and forms are negotiated? And what are the implications of such negotiations politically, philosophically, culturally, and dramaturgically?

The act of critically exploring the representation of different kinds of people, ways of being, and modes of representation functions to open up stories about who we think we are, who we might have been, and who we might become. The aims of this symposium are to identify patterns, trends, clusters, and paradigms in representations of human beings in contemporary drama and theatre and to observe the ways in which contemporary modes of thinking about humans revise past representations.

It is with regret that we announce that registration for the symposium is now closed as the symposium is fully subscribed. If you would like to contact the conference organisers for any reason, please email them at drama.conferencerhul.ac.uk. Thank you.
The symposium will open with Dan Rebellato interviewing the fabulous director Katie Mitchell. Not only is Dan a brilliant and entertaining interviewer but Katie is always fascinating to listen to, so this section of the day will undoubtedly be one of the highlights. The day will be ending at 8.00pm (the last section lasting 6.30-8.00pm): over glasses of wine, while being entertained and provoked by some remarkable performances, and with time built in to socialise, we hope to provide delegates with the opportunity to reflect on the day and also to engage with each other in a casual setting. And in the interim period, we have Dan Rebellato's keynote paper entitled, 'Inhuman, All Too Inhuman', which, I predict, will be entirely and wonderfully brilliant and provocative; a workshop held by the cutting-edge artistic director and academic Julia Barclay; and a range of fascinating papers, provocations, workshops, and performances by postgraduates and early-career academics from all across the world tackling a wide range of ideas, theories, and arguments relating to what it means to represent the human in drama, theatre, dance, and performance today.



The symposium is taking place at the Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, Kings Cross, WC1X 9NG. The nearest tube is Kings Cross and the venue is a short walk from the station. Buses are close by. For more detailed information about how to get there and a map, please click on the following link: http://www.creativecollaboration.org.uk/where.php. Please be aware that the entrance is somewhat unprepossessing and you will need to press the buzzer to gain entry. 

The Centre itself is a wonderful, valuable, and free resource and we are grateful for its support of our project. The venue describes itself as 'A neutral place where people from many different backgrounds - universities, large corporates, SMEs, freelancers - can work together on new things in the belief that real innovation happens at the edge and in the gaps between disciplines'. In short, it is a place that seeks to bring together people from different interests and backgrounds to think and to work beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines and methodologies and thence to find creative and unconventional answers to their questions and problems. I very much hope that our own symposium, in bringing together a range of people from a range of interests who are themselves cross-fertilizing traditionally discrete disciplines, can move some way towards posing and attempting to answer some of the key questions that face us today in relation to this most crucial of contemporary questions: who do we think we are?


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