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Faculty Seminar Series concludes with 'Performance and the Text'

January 02, 2013

In the final installment of the Institute for Humanities Research's 2012-2013 Faculty Seminar Series, Gitta Honegger, professor, School of Theatre and Film, and Stephen West, professor, School of International Letters and Cultures, will present on “Performance and the Text”on Jan. 29.

RSVP for "Performance and the Text"

This year’s Faculty Seminar Series is centered on “The Humanities and the Value of Performance.” From notions of mediated performance within literary, filmic, musical and dramatic discourse, to ideas about the ethics, politics and the rhetoric of performance, and the cultural, historical, and religious impact and implication of performance, the humanities contributes important and compelling research for understanding one of the root endeavors that makes us human.

Translation in Performance/Translation as Performance - Gitta Honegger

Gayatri Spivak compares the translator’s method to the actor’s performance and the director’s staging of a play. She emphasizes the often overlooked need for the translator to listen to the rhetoric and silences of a text – and demands a profound, experiential knowledge of the source language as spoken (performed) by native speakers. More often than not, this aspect is ignored by “academic” translators with a reading knowledge of the source language, just as translators and translation theorists are still fighting an uphill battle for the validation of the field as a legitimate scholarly (i.e. tenure worthy) pursuit. This talk will focus on the widely neglected issues of translations for the theatre, and especially of post-structuralist, “post-dramatic” performance texts. As the translator of the 2004 Nobel Laureate for literature, the Austrian novelist and playwright Elfriede Jelinek, Honegger will discuss her approach to Jelinek’s innovative linguistic strategies.

Eating Scripts: Imperial Feasts and the Staging of Ritual in 12th Century China - Stephen West

China has been called a cultural of "orthopraxis" rather than orthodoxy and the boundary between ritual and drama is difficult to delineate with any sense of stability. This is true from the meanest village, the cultures of which were constructed on the three legs of food, drama, and ritual, to the heavily scripted Imperial banquets held in the capital on festival days, birthdays and tribute occasions. This talk will look closely at how performance, food and ritual are intertwined in birthday ceremonies held for the Emperor in the early 12th century, a seamless event that included hundreds of participants and hundreds of guests.

Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact the IHR at 480-965-3000 or