In Martin Puchner’s Seminar, “What Gets Performed” we delved into the shadowy figures and processes taking place where the interests of financial and cultural capital intersect. There we found the figure of the curator, who represented to us new trends in the theater world, moving away from institutions and toward globalized cultural diplomacy, toward one-time events and “tastemaking.”... Read more about Time and Space
Here at the Mellon School we are unanimously abandoning our field specializations to focus on Chinese theater after Clare Conceison’s contagiously enthusiastic manifesto for the subject.
Last evening Clare introduced us to the canon of contemporary theater in China and spoke of challenges in the field. As it turns out, government control of theatrical producfion is not a major problem — key playwrights who write subversive works (such as Clare’s favorite, Meng Jinghui) manage not to displease officials. In general, China seems eager to share its contemporary culture with the...
Day 2 brought still more rain and cloudiness but in our seminars we tried to clear away some of the fog. Martin’s seminar, “What Gets Performed,” compared how canons are formed in the theater system as opposed to the literary system. Drawing on John Guillory’s 1991 article, “Canon, Syllabus, List” we identified canonizing factors in theater.... Read more about Standards of Comparison
This year’s Mellon school has gathered intrepid defenders and reformers of the canon on that famed battlefield, the dramatic repertoire. Lest the cheery smiles and (soaked) summer wear fool you, we are here to take apart and build back up our most dearly held notions about what should be performed.... Read more about "The Biggest Factor was You"