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Centre for Asian Theatre and Dance Annual Symposium: DisOrienting Bodies / Corps DésOriental.e.s

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Centre for Asian Theatre and Dance Annual Symposium

  • Date 24 May 2019
  • Time 09:30-18:00
  • Category Conference

DisOrienting Bodies / Corps DésOriental.e.s

DisOrienting Bodies / CorpsDésOriental.e.s is a one-day symposium organised by scholars from Royal Holloway, University of London’s Centre for Asian Theatre and Dance, Centre de Recherches Historiques (Paris) and Université Paris Descartes. This UK-France collaboration links researchers and artists from a variety of disciplines including history, literature, linguistics, dance, theatre and performance studies to study the historical and contemporary modalities and effects by which the notion of a gendered and racialised 'Oriental' body is produced and represented both in artistic practices (visual and performing arts), linguistic practices (feminist, nationalist, orientalist discourses, etc.) and the sciences that study the body and its environment (history, anthropology, biology, medicine, botany, etc.). The project promotes active dialogue with contemporary performing artists whose work challenges this orientalist heritage.

Taking inspiration from the Kenyan philosopher, novelist and director Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Ngũgĩ, 1986) who invites us to 'decolonize the mind', the gathering explores the notion of a 'dis-Oriental body' while paying particular attention to the colonial histories involved in the construction of the Orient. Through a deliberate use of the verb 'disorienting' as a productive, generative and mobilising strategy, the symposium will provide the occasion to confront and dialogue with contrasting viewpoints and methodological approaches currently being developed by artist-researchers working on dance and performance forms from Lebanon, Iran, India, Japan, France and Britain.

Invited speakers and artists include Ida Meftahi (University of Maryland, USA), Shane Shambhu (independent British-South Asian dance practitioner), Mariem Guellouz (Université Paris Descartes), Alexandre Paulikevitch (independent Lebanese dance practitioner), Saâdia Souyah (independent dance practitioner, Paris), Felicia McCarren (Tulane University, USA), Ashley Thorpe (Royal Holloway, University of London), Elizabeth Claire (EHESS, Paris) and Prarthana Purkayastha (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Funded by the Centre for Asian Theatre and Dance (Royal Holloway), HARI (Royal Holloway), CERLIS (Paris), & CNRS+CRH (Paris).


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