Posted on 24/03/2014
Practice-based PhD Seminar
26 March 5.00pm-7.00pm at
The Centre for Creative Collaboration
16 Acton Street, London WC1X 9NG
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Dalston Theatre: progress report on a demolished theatre
In 2007 Dalston Theatre was demolished to make way for Dalston Square, a large residential and shopping complex, as part of the area’s ongoing regeneration. Through a playful combination of site research, photographs and first-person narratives, this presentation seeks to find ways to access a theatre that is, in fact, nowhere to be found.
How might we enter an auditorium that is no longer standing? Might the invisible shapes and structures of the old Victorian building be still lingering on the site, in the air, in the new Starbucks café, in the residential gyms?
Augusto Corrieri (UK/Italy) is a performance artist and writer, presenting new choreographic works for theatres and galleries in the UK and Europe. His works playfully deconstruct theatrical presentation and invite audience members to reflect critically on the role of spectacle in our lives. He recently completed a doctorate project at London’s Roehampton University, in collaboration with the AHRC-funded research project Performance Matters. He is currently preparing In place of a show, a series of texts and lecture-works on empty and abandoned theatres.
Ice Queen? Emotional Wreck? Perpetrator? Victim? : Magda Goebbels in Fiction
‘We have only one goal left: loyalty to the Führer unto death, and that we may end our lives with him, is a blessing from fate that we would never have dared to expect.’
– Magda Goebbels in a letter to her eldest son, Harald Quandt, April 1945. (1)
Magda Goebbels, wife of Nazi Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, is primarily remembered for killing her six children as Berlin fell to the Russians in 1945. In recent years, several novels about, or at least including, Magda Goebbels have been published. How do fiction writers deal with the moral complexities associated with representing one of the Third Reich’s most notorious figures? In particular, how do writers represent the woman who was lauded as the ideal German wife and mother in Nazi propaganda and, therefore, can be seen as an unreconstructed perpetrator unlike other women involved with the Nazi elite, such as Eva Braun (Hitler’s wife) and Traudl Junge (Hitler’s secretary)?
Most representations of Magda Goebbels sensationalize an already dramatic history, dabbling in rumours and hearsay. Others shy away from presenting Magda’s point of view, preferring to narrate from the perspective of Magda’s eldest daughter, Helga, whose status as a victim of the Third Reich cannot be denied, which coyly allows the writer to explore Magda as someone who was human, loved by her children and an entire nation. Drawing on my own practice, and published works by authors Jane Thynne, Emma Craigie, Tracey S. Rosenberg, and Meike Vierzogel, I will examine the ethical minefield involved in writing fiction about a figure such as Magda Goebbels.
Emma Venables, originally from Staffordshire, studied for her BA and MA at Bangor University in North Wales, before starting her Creative Writing PhD at Royal Holloway. Her PhD examines fictional representations of women in Nazi Germany and the ways in which they aid/impede our understanding of the differing, and somewhat contradictory, roles of women under Nazi rule. She is currently writing a novel.
(1) Quote taken from: Klabunde, Anja, Magda Goebbels, trans. by Shaun Whiteside (London: Little, Brown, 2001), p.322.
N.B. This Seminar will be preceded by a practice-based PhD Skills Workshop running from 2.00pm – 4.00pm, hosted by Dr. Kristen Kreider (English). The workshop, entitled ‘Modes of Critical Writing Practice’, will explore different modes of critical writing practice. We will examine the role and formal conventions of the critical exegesis. We will also look at other kinds of writing practice including performance-writing, art-writing and site-writing. Participants will be invited to think about critical writing as, itself, an element of practice.