This international doctoral and post-doctoral seminar held at Inter University Centre Dubrovnik covers wide variety of topics dealing with theatrical, philosophical, cultural, political issues, as well as issues in the field of cognitive studies.
We organize Theatrum Mundi seminars on a yearly basis.
We are exploring:
- identity politics and political consciousness,
- topics connected to performing gender
- dynamics of self identity and cultural identity
- the politics of self-determination and self-determination disputes of political groups
- identity and political participation
- political discourse genres, their structure and their performative dynamics
- interdisciplinary approaches to consciousness and the self,
- cognitive psychology in political science,
- autopoetic performance, identity and cross-cultural stiorytelling
- self and first-person phenomenology
- performance, phenomenology, and the cognitive turn
- cognitive studies in cultural history
- perfomance strategies, communication networks
- actor-training and cognition
THEATRUM MUNDI IX
SPACE: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH
10 – 15 September 2018
In this year’s Theatrum Mundi we will explore the concept of space.
Together with the concept of time (which was the topic of the previous Theatrum mundi), the concept of space is one of the basic concepts humans employ in order to understand the world around themselves, their own bodies, and their inner worlds.
Traditionally, philosophy and science were concerned with the physical space. In attempts to understand it, two main opposing theories were presented: the absolute and the relational theory. The first, proposed by Newton and defended by Clark in the famous Leibniz – Clark letters, takes space as a giant container, containing all things in the universe. According to it, motion is absolute. In contrast, the relational theorists (e.g. Leibniz, Mach), who claim that motion is relative, argue that space is to be understood as the spatial relation between things and that it would not exist independently of the things it connects. Later, Einstein’s special and general theory of relativity showed that motion in our world was relative. However, as Nick Huggett in Standford Encyclopedia suggests, that “does not automatically settle the traditional relationist/absolutist debate” and many philosophers would argue that “we should understand our spacetime as real thing”.
Beside the space that can be measured by geometers or scientists and thinking about it in abstract terms, there is also a perceived space, the space as we experience. Philosopher Merlau-Ponty put the lived body, the body of experience, particularly the moving body, at the center of his philosophy. He developed the concept of the body schema which emerged in the activity of the body, in the crossing of the body and the world. The embodied perspective and the importance of the interplay with the space – social and natural opens further investigations in the lived space; understood as the intimate places like a child’s first house, drawers, nests and corners (Bachelard in The Poetics of Space), social and political space (Lefebvre), or new virtual spaces developed by information technologies.Throughout its history, literature has depicted various spaces – real and imaginary, public and private, rural and urban, utopian and dystopian – and created innovative ways to connect space with time.
Performance studies (as defined by McAuley) explore how theater buildings function to frame the performance event, the organization of audience and practitioner spaces within the building, the nature of the stage and the modes of representation it facilitates, and the relationship between the real space of the theater and the fictional places that are evoked. However – as Schechner points out – what sets performance studies apart, is not necessarily what is defined as performance but the framework surrounding the interaction of behavior and the public space in which the performance is enacted. That is why we suggest exploring spaces of identity in performance: social relational spaces, temporal relational spaces, discursive relational spaces, cyberspaces, transhuman performing spaces produced by bodies on interface.
Nigel Thrift approaches the concept of space as »the fundamental stuff of human geography« identifying four different kinds of constructed spaces: empirical, block, image and place. Empirical space refers to the process whereby the mundane fabric of daily life is constructed. Block space refers to the process whereby routine pathways of interaction are set up around which boundaries are often drawn. Image space refers to the process whereby the proliferation of images has produced new apprehensions of space. Place refers to the process whereby spaces are ordered in ways that open up affective and other embodied potentials.
In this seminar – we are particularly interested in the politics of space and place, as well as in the geography of social relations, gender and »feminist geographies« (McDowell).
We would like to know more about the links between the sense of space and other kinds of cognition, for example the relationship between space and memory.
We would be intrigued to know how our brain processes spatial information – how it detects the configuration of our own bodies and how it uses the spatial position of neurons within the brain to organize information about the spatial position of stimuli in the world.
We are interested in space as a fundamental aspect of human cognition and action. We would like to explore its relation to language and culture. We are open to contributions on the relationship between technology based artwork exploring virtual spaces, performance art, literature, and theatrical art.
We kindly invite philosophers, particularly performance philosophers, cognitive scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, philologists, artists, and physicists to join us in Dubrovnik, a special place to discuss space.
THEATRUM MUNDI VIII
TIME: An Interdisciplinary Approach
- 09. – 16. 09. 2017
Dubrovnik, Inter-University Center
The course Theatrum Mundi covers wide variety of topics dealing with theatrical, philosophical and political issues, as well as issues in the field of cognitive studies (for example, the potential impact of cognitive science on performance theory; general cognition for theatre audience, social cognition in spectating and cultural cognition in history). We are particularly interested in exploring some of the relations between political discourse and political cognition, as well as in analyzing political discourse genres, their structure and their performative dynamics.
THEMATIC FOCUS FOR THEATRUM MUNDI VIII:
In this year’s Theatrum Mundi we are open to discussions on the concept of time.
Originally, time was defined as a peculiar relationship between deity, nature, and man and his human activities. After Galileo, the concept of “physical time” was established, and nature became an autonomous region of the universe, and a concept independent of human world with its own mechanical laws. Within this frame, a new concept of time gradually took on its own meaning, namely, the “social time”, human time. As a result, time began to be perceived as something subjective and opposed to physical time.
Within the concept of “subjective time”, an important insight of modern history has emerged – the realization of historicity of all that is human. As a finite and mortal being, the modern age man began to perceive all his socio-political institutions as historical. In this context, and in the context of the modern man’s self-understanding, the notion of experienced time – a controversial unity of past, present, and future (Bergson, Heidegger) – gained additional meaning related to the “search of lost time”. This is particularly evident in the constitution of the term “lifeworld”, and in the new definitions of (inter)subjectivity and of individual existence in relation to community.
We are intrigued to know how time is related to mind. Different interpretations of subjective time and the corresponding models of consciousness confront us with the problem of defining the Whereand When of Consciousness in the Brain.
We are interested in time as a fundamental aspect of human cognition and action. We would like to explore its relation to language and culture, the development of temporal concepts, the storage and retrieval of temporal information in autobiographical memory, the neural and cognitive representations of time, etc.
We are open to contributions on the relationship between «time-based art» (video and sound artworks, film or slide-based installations, software art and other forms of technology-based artworks, some of them regarded as installation art), performance art, and theatrical performance.
We kindly ask philosophers of time, philologists, artists and physicists to join us in Dubrovnik and renew the old debate about the «event».
THEATRUM MUNDI VII:
Performing Others in the Self.
Sub-topic: Performing (Europe’s) Others In/Between Different Fields of Artistic and Scientific Research
Dubrovnik, Inter-University Center
“Stiff shudderings shook the heav’nly thrones! France, Spain, and Italy
In terror view’d the bands of Albion, and the ancient Guardians,
Fainting upon the elements, smitten with their own plagues!”
William Blake: America: The Prophecy (1793)
“Shadows of men in fleeting bands upon the winds
Divide the heavens of Europe;
Till Albion’s Angel, smitten with his own plagues, fled with his bands.
The cloud bears hard on Albion’s shore,
Fill’d with immortal Demons of futurity”
William Blake: Europe: The Prophecy (1794)
This inter-disciplinary course covers wide variety of topics dealing with theatrical, philosophical and political issues, as well as issues in the field of cognitive studies (for example, the potential impact of cognitive science on performance theory; general cognition for theatre audience, social cognition in spectating and cultural cognition in history). We are particularly interested in exploring some of the relations between political discourse and political cognition, as well as in analyzing political discourse genres, their structure and their performative dynamics.
The very concept of Europe contains the idea of the Other as its constitutive element. The motto of this year’s is taken from two umbiguously «prophetic» texts of William Blake, «America: A Prophecy» and «Europe: A Prophecy». Blake uses the “principle of rhetorical indeterminacy”, forcing the contemporary reader into an active role of having to interpret the complementarity of these two poems beyond the canonized cultural, historical and political interpretative (and valuing) contexts of Blake’s time, and even beyond the interpretative logic inscribed into and read out of Blake’s poetic “visionary anarchism” and rebellion against the abuse of class power.
Postmodern ethics once again allows that “Other” as the next door neighbor, to enter into the very heart of the moral self to come back from the desert of “calculated interests” where the Other was living in exile. The Other is defined as the “crucial character” in the process through which the moral self has to go to find itself. But is it still possible – in view of the increasingly aggravating refugee crisis – to share Zygmont Bauman’s optimism from the early 90s? Is it still possible to see in the post-modern the opportunity to move out of the blind alleys into which the radical ambitions of modernity led the moral self?
Theatrum Mundi VI : Theatre and Politics (2010)
Theatrum Mundi V: Theatre and Politics II. (2011)
Theatrum Mundi IV: Theatre and Ritual (2012)
Theatrum Mund iIII: Europe’s Eros – Art and Politics (2013)
Theatrum Mundi II: Theatre of the Political Mind (2014)
Theatrum Mundi I: The performing mind: the politics of the self and the other (2015)