“Where ‘God is like a Longing’: Theater and Social Vulnerability in Mozambique.”
Tuesday, March 4th — 4:30 pm
Georgian Room, Indiana Memorial Union
The result of research conducted in Maputo, Mozambique between February and December 2010, Professor Luís Madureira’s paper aims to understand how the sustained and diverse performance culture that has thrived in Mozambique since the early 1980s entails a novel and effective mode of exercising citizenship—to gauge the extent to which, for both spectators and theatre workers, drama constituted a powerful form of political participation.
Operating under the assumption that Mozambican theatre opened up spaces for the negotiation and re-articulation of ethnic, class and gender identifications both against and alongside dominant nationalist discourses, in the course of my investigation, I was compelled to rethink my hypotheses. In the paper I will be presenting, I will try to explain why I needed to revise my original hypothesis and will then attempt to broach an interrogation of how (and indeed whether), in the course of Mozambique’s tumultuous recent history, theater has succeeded in catalyzing, or at least symbolizing, social change and political participation in rural and peri-urban zones.
LUÍS MADUREIRA earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at San Diego, and his major areas of specialization include Luso-Brazilian colonial and postcolonial studies, as well as Modernism and Modernity in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. He has written two books, Imaginary Geographies in Portuguese and Lusophone-African Literature: Narratives of Discovery and Empire (Mellen 2007), which studies figurations of empire, nation and revolution in Portuguese and Lusophone African literatures, and Cannibal Modernities: Postcoloniality and the Avant-garde in Caribbean and Brazilian Literature (University of Virginia Press 2005), a reexamination of the Brazilian and Caribbean avant-gardes from a postcolonial perspective. He has published several articles on topics ranging from Luso-Brazilian literature and cinema to early modern travel narratives and postcolonial theory. His current research focuses on Mozambican theatre and the politics of time in contemporary Lusophone fiction.