Cultural Indigestion (colon) Exploring the Complexities of Interculturalism in Theatre and Performance

ART@IU Cultural Indigestion Conference

ART@IU Cultural Indigestion Conference


The 3rd Annual Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance Graduate Symposium on Theatre & Performance Studies:

Cultural Indigestion (colon) Exploring the Complexities of Interculturalism in Theatre and Performance

“Tupi or not Tupi: that is the question.” -Oswald de Andrade

In 1928, Oswald de Andrade published his Cannibalist Manifesto, asserting Brazilians’ right to cannibalize other cultures and break free from post-colonial European dominance. In the next decade he would write the play The Candle King to try and put those ideas to work on stage. It was not performed until the Tropicalist movement found it and put it on in the 1960s. Such cultural tends to be linked with imperialism since those with the power are the ones appropriating the performance techniques and culture of others. This raises certain questions that do not sit easy on the stomach: Can cultural appropriation function in the way Andrade proposes? Is the metaphor of cannibalism or digestion appropriate for interculturalism? What are the stakes for the participants in intercultural performance?

In our increasingly global culture, the blurring of boundaries both forces cultures to mix and opens up more people to a desire to understand other cultures. In our third annual graduate symposium on theatre and performance studies, we hope to host a diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars whose research ruminates on this mixed platter of performance and theory at the intersection of cultures. We seek proposals for papers, presentations, and performances that actively interrogate cultural cannibalism and intercultural performance.

Proposals might address topics relevant to the following areas:
• Cultural cannibalism
• Intercultural vs. Multicultural vs. Cross-cultural
• Borders and Margins
• Postcolonial performance
• Translation
• Diversity and difference
• Post-migrant theatre and immigration
• Syncretic theatre
• Adaptation and appropriation
• Bilingualism on the stage
• Diaspora studies

Conference dates: DECEMBER 12-13, 2014

Neal Utterback Defends Dissertation: “Stagehands: Gestures and the Embodied Actor”

Dr. Neal Utterback

Dr. Neal Utterback

Many congratulations to Dr. Neal Allen Utterback who today earned his Ph.D. from the Indiana University Department of Theatre & Drama upon defending his dissertation titled “Stagehands: Gestures and the Embodied Actor,” an exploration of how cognitive science can explains actors’ use of gestures to memorize lines, disambiguate language, and expand meaning.

Before coming to IU, Neal received his B.A. in Theatre from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, and his M.F.A. in acting from University of Florida in Gainesville. A playwright and theatre-maker, Neal’s play second is published in NYTE’s Plays and Playwrights 2005. His newest play, American Western, has been invited to premiere at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in 2013 where Neal was previously nominated for both Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Writing for his 2009 adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture (of Dorian Gray).

In 2012, Neal accepted a tenure-track position at Juniata College in Huntington, Pennsylvania where he serves as Associate Professor of Theatre.