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Unstable Ground: Performance and the Politics of Place (Dramaturgies #20) (Paperback)
Theorists in the humanities and social sciences are increasingly aware of the need to account for the dynamic role played by spatial factors in nearly every domain of human experience. Theatre, as an art form that is utterly dependent on its own spatiality, has a major contribution to make to contemporary debates about space and place. In this book, academics from Australian departments of theatre and performance studies are joined by others from anthropology, cultural and environmental studies as well as site-based performance makers, in order to explore the nexus between place and performance in practices ranging from mainstream theatre and site-specific performance to political demonstrations, rituals of commemoration and social display. While the places and performances they describe are necessarily local, the issues raised are not peculiar to Australia and will resonate with people in many countries where incoming settlers have displaced indigenous populations, where large-scale migration has unsettled resident populations, where atrocities have been committed (in peacetime as well as war) and people have somehow to find ways to live in places marked by the memory of trauma. The book ends with a theoretical afterword by anthropologist Lowell Lewis, proposing some important refinements to ongoing critical discourse about space and place.
About the Author
The Editor: Gay McAuley taught in the French Department at the University of Sydney before establishing the interdisciplinary Centre for Performance Studies. Her book Space in Performance: Making Meaning in the Theatre (1999) has made an important contribution to performance theory and, in convening the Place and Performance Seminar, she has sought to extend this exploration of spatial semiotics into the broader social and political domains opened by an engagement with place.