Re-/Un-working Tragedy: Perspectives from the Global South

6 December 2019 - 7 December 2019

SG1/2, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

Further details about this conference will be made available in the near future. 

Please email conferences@crassh.cam.ac.uk if you would like to be kept informed about the event, or have any other questions. 

 

Lead Convenor

Ekin Bodur (University of Cambridge)

The conference is also supported by members of the Re- Interdisciplinary Network

 

Summary

Building on ideas explored in the Re- Interdisciplinary Network's CRASSH events, the conference aims to examine ideas of repetition within canonical traditions of tragedy from the perspective of the Global South, in the process raising questions about the problems of those categories as they are changing. The conference aims to scrutinize the literary, political, and philosophical relevance of re-/un-working tragedy in cross-cultural contexts. Taking up the concept of ‘tragedy’ in a world shaken by global conflicts, deterritorialization, and migration crises, the conference asks:

  • How do people in various zones of crisis embrace, interpret and adapt canonical traditions of tragedy to make sense of their suffering and express their resistance?
  • How do authors, playwrights, performers, philosophers, and critics respond to the questions raised by the reworking of tragedies?
  • How does the reworking of tragedies in the Global South transform the idea of the canon and/or decolonise the literary curricula? 

We often employ the prefix ‘re-’, as in ‘re-working’, ‘re-writing’, ‘re-thinking’, ‘re-imagining’, ‘re-appropriating’, ‘re-presenting’ as if to situate the modern work in a historical line, or dialectical movement, of repetitions. The creation of the new cannot but come with reference to the prior. But how does recognisable repetition operate as a unique kind of site for invention, and for speech? Besides, how might we rethink the tragic canon as a destabilizing gesture – an un-working, rather than re-working - through perspectives from the Global South? In reference to ‘unworking’, or désoevrement as a concept that interrupts, suspends, and counteracts the work in the moment of its unfolding, the conference will look for ways to put the authoritative position of the ‘original work’ at stake. Unworking this notion of ‘the original’ reveals the work of tragedy as that which opens itself to reinvention and becomes self-consciously meaningful in the moment of its re-presentation.

The conference wll bring together artists and authors who adapt classical tragedies together with academics from various disciplines. The programme will comprise roundtable discussions, panels and creative workshops.

 

Call for Papers

Key topics under consideration at the conference will include: 

  • Re/Un-working 'tragedy' in zones/times of crisis
  • Global South perspectives on the authority and authenticity of the text
  • Canonicity within tragic traditions
  • The politics of adaptation and translation in the Global South
  • Decolonising the tragedy curriculum

We welcome abstracts (of 200-300 words, plus brief biographies) for 15 minute papers on these and related topics. Abstracts and enquiries should be sent to reunworkingtragedy@gmail.com.

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 October 2019.

We anticipate that proceedings from the conference will be published as an edited volume. 

 

Sponsors

       

Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and the Judith E Wilson Fund, Faculty of English.