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TLRH | School of Creative Arts Research Forum

Monday, 22 March 2021, 10 – 11am

TLRH | School of Creative Arts Research Forum

Research presentations by Dr Salomé Paul (Department of Drama) and Chaomei Chen (Department of Drama) as part of the School of Creative Arts Research Forum, hosted by Trinity Long Room Hub.

Dr Salomé Paul (Postdoctoral Fellow, Drama) will present "Redeeming Monstrous Women: Marina Carr and the myth of Clytemnestra, Hecuba, Medea and Phaedra". Chaomei Chen (PhD Candidate, Drama) will present "From Interculturalism to Intraculturalism: Performing the Multiple Faces of Chineseness". The discussion will be moderated by Céline Thobois (Department of Drama).

Redeeming Monstrous Women: Marina Carr and the myth of Clytemnestra, Hecuba, Medea and Phaedra
Presenter: Dr Salomé Paul, Postdoctoral Fellow, Drama
This paper discusses Marina Carr’s deconstruction of the “monstrous” figures that are Clytemnestra, Hecuba, Medea and Phaedra in By the Bog of Cats… (1998), Ariel (2002), Phaedra Backwards (2011) and Hecuba (2015). In Greek tragedy, the goodness or the badness of a female character is dependent on her endeavour towards patriarchy. The primacy of men over women is regarded not only as a political system but also as a metaphysical frame maintaining the order in the human world. In this regard, Clytemnestra, Hecuba, Medea and Phaedra are considered as monstrous women because their defiance towards male domination over women endangers the existence of humanity. Through their monstrosity, patriarchy is asserted as the only viable organization to sustain human society. Carr has transposed those tragic myths in several plays. Yet, her dramatic concern drastically differs from Greek tragedy. Indeed, Carr’s drama focuses on women’s experience and subjectivity in a world dominated by men. In her theatre, the female protagonists’s lack of fulfilment is correlated with the patriarchal organization of the society. In this regard, Carr reverses the political implication of Greek tragedy by exposing the destructive power of patriarchy. And in doing so, she sheds a new light on the traditional stories that are the myths of Clytemnestra, Hecuba, Medea and Phaedra, turning them in to feminist narratives.

Dr Salomé Paul completed her PhD in May 2020. Her thesis, “Contemporary Variations upon the Greek Tragic. The Myth in Sartre, Anouilh, Camus, Paulin, Kennelly and Heaney’s theatre”, which was jointly prepared at Sorbonne University and University College Dublin, explores the political use of Greek tragedy during the twentieth-century war and warlike periods. She is a recipient of the 2020 Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship. She currently works on a monograph examining the feminist transposition of Greek tragedy in Marina Carr’s theatre at Trinity College Dublin under the mentorship of Dr Melissa Sihra.
From Interculturalism to Intraculturalism: Performing the Multiple Faces of Chineseness
Presenter: Chaomei Chen, PhD Candidate, Drama
Tracing its lineage back to Orientalism, modernism, postmodernism, and globalism, theatrical interculturalism has developed into new interculturalism that also incorporates intraculturalism. Both modernist theatrical precursors’ attempts shape the prototype of intercultural theatre and postmodern avant-garde’s universalist and essentialist reassembling threaten to deprive the Orient of its own “essence”. To counteract this tendency, new interculturalism advocates “more globally syncretic and historically grounded understandings of intercultural performance” (Farfan and Knowles 2011, 3) that is driven from below by subaltern voices. Departing from new interculturalism’s historiographical-, minoritarian-, and processual-turn, this research argues that there are multiple heterogenous Chineseness in the intercultural and intracultural cross-sections of Chinese theatres.
I will first delineate the history of theatrical interculturalism both in the West and in China, and then define Chineseness in terms of its ethnic complexities and historical-cultural-political nuances. Finally, I will illustrate how xiqu (traditional Chinese theatre) and spoken drama (modern Chinese theatre) have been manipulated to stage manifold Chinese identities by different parties, including the governments, the Chinese diasporas, and the Chinese ethnic minorities in relation to the major Han ethnicity.

Chaomei Chen is a PhD student funded by China Scholarship Council-TCD Joint Scholarship in the Department of Drama at Trinity College Dublin. She has obtained an M.A. in English Literature in Shanghai International Studies University (China). Supervised by Prof. Brian Singleton, her current research is looking at Chinese intercultural and intracultural theatre.

The School of Creative Arts Research Forum meets fortnightly at 10am on Mondays during term and is led by the School's doctoral students. The aim of the Forum is to give a space for School researchers, both staff and postgraduate students, to share their ideas in a supportive environment. It is also an opportunity for the School to hear about the research of colleagues both from within TCD and outside who share our research interests. In line with the research agenda of the School, talks will encompass traditional research and practice-based research and will be followed by Q&A.

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Campus Location: Online
Accessibility: N/A
Room: Online
Research Theme: Creative Arts Practice
Event Category: Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free but registration is required

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