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The other Antigone[s]: spotting the différance in contemporary tragedy

(2016)
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Abstract
The increase in the number of performances based on material from ancient Greek tragedy on contemporary stages all over the world is very apparent. The relevance of these performances has resulted in a lively discourse that exceeds the field of Theatre Studies and seems to have intensified since the turn of the millennium. What are the reasons for this heightened interest in ancient Greek tragedy and in the tragedy Antigone in particular? The current socio-political challenges posed by globalization, migration and cultural clashes have amplified the threat of radicalization and the withdrawal into isolationist politics. Recent political developments point out the reality of the ethical dimensions of tragedy, and the urgency to critically investigate the structures that underlie tragic conflict. Theatrical and philosophical reflection is today – more than ever – a potential means of effective and affective negotiation, with tragedy being one of their most crucial meetingpoints. Focusing on the particular example of Antigone this dissertation begins from the rise in innovative approaches to it apparent in academia since the 1950s, and in contemporary performance practice since at least the turn of the millennium. The multitude of innovations evident in many performances of the ancient Greek play demands a thorough examination of their complex form-principles, while the very many examples of research on Antigone in academia requires a comprehensive overview and contextualization. The analysis offered here accounts for recent developments in contemporary theatre’s treatment of tragedy, paying special attention to its philosophical implications and the political potential of its aesthetic developments. It is driven by a fascination for the complex relationships created and cultivated around Antigone over the last decades; interweaving socio-political contexts, performing arts, public discourse and academic research. While the analysis of exemplary performances is situated against the theoretical background of Theatre and Performance Studies, the case-studies are also embedded in a broader theoretical framework drawing on a variety of references to Antigone from throughout the humanities. This dissertation demonstrates that there is an exceptionally effective ethical dimension in the approaches to Antigone analyzed here, and the reasons why this tragedy in particular nurtures this dimension are also explored and explained. This makes it necessary to reflect on recent relations between ethics and the theatre, and the influence of certain philosophical concepts on this. In this regard, hegemonic structures and their deconstruction, and the constitutive exclusion of difference are issues central to Antigone, to contemporary aesthetics, to recent academic discourse and to the socio-political reality of a globalized world.

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MLA
Gruber, Charlotte. “The Other Antigone[s]: Spotting the Différance in Contemporary Tragedy.” 2016 : n. pag. Print.
APA
Gruber, C. (2016). The other Antigone[s]: spotting the différance in contemporary tragedy. Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
Gruber, Charlotte. 2016. “The Other Antigone[s]: Spotting the Différance in Contemporary Tragedy”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Gruber, Charlotte. 2016. “The Other Antigone[s]: Spotting the Différance in Contemporary Tragedy”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy.
Vancouver
1.
Gruber C. The other Antigone[s]: spotting the différance in contemporary tragedy. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy; 2016.
IEEE
[1]
C. Gruber, “The other Antigone[s]: spotting the différance in contemporary tragedy,” Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent, Belgium, 2016.
@phdthesis{8123182,
  abstract     = {The increase in the number of performances based on material from ancient Greek tragedy on contemporary stages all over the world is very apparent. The relevance of these performances has resulted in a lively discourse that exceeds the field of Theatre Studies and seems to have intensified since the turn of the millennium. What are the reasons for this heightened interest in ancient Greek tragedy and in the tragedy Antigone in particular? The current socio-political challenges posed by globalization, migration and cultural clashes have amplified the threat of radicalization and the withdrawal into isolationist politics. Recent political developments point out the reality of the ethical dimensions of tragedy, and the urgency to critically investigate the structures that underlie tragic conflict. Theatrical and philosophical reflection is today – more than ever – a potential means of effective and affective negotiation, with tragedy being one of their most crucial meetingpoints.  Focusing on the particular example of Antigone this dissertation begins from the rise in innovative approaches to it apparent in academia since the 1950s, and in contemporary performance practice since at least the turn of the millennium. The multitude of innovations evident in many performances of the ancient Greek play demands a thorough examination of their complex form-principles, while the very many examples of research on Antigone in academia requires a comprehensive overview and contextualization.  The analysis offered here accounts for recent developments in contemporary theatre’s treatment of tragedy, paying special attention to its philosophical implications and the political potential of its aesthetic developments. It is driven by a fascination for the complex relationships created and cultivated around Antigone over the last decades; interweaving socio-political contexts, performing arts, public discourse and academic research. While the analysis of exemplary performances is situated against the theoretical background of Theatre and Performance Studies, the case-studies are also embedded in a broader theoretical framework drawing on a variety of references to Antigone from throughout the humanities.  This dissertation demonstrates that there is an exceptionally effective ethical dimension in the approaches to Antigone analyzed here, and the reasons why this tragedy in particular nurtures this dimension are also explored and explained. This makes it necessary to reflect on recent relations between ethics and the theatre, and the influence of certain philosophical concepts on this. In this regard,  hegemonic structures and their deconstruction, and the constitutive exclusion of difference are issues central to Antigone, to contemporary aesthetics, to recent academic discourse and to the socio-political reality of a globalized world.},
  author       = {Gruber, Charlotte},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {271},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {The other Antigone[s]: spotting the différance in contemporary tragedy},
  year         = {2016},
}