Theatricality and the Political

Maria José de Abreu

This seminar tracks an intimate but changing relationship between theatricality and the political. From the ancient amphitheater, to traditions of gesture, to the anatomical theater, to state dramaturgy, to modern mass media, we will be exploring historically and cross-culturally how the political and theater interrelate. What is the relation between theatrical traditions and colonialism? What structures and dispositions have been mobilized under such articulation? How do old and new media technologies shape stage-form among technologically-mediated publics? What is the meaning of sovereign “acting” in contemporary governance, globally, across regimes? And what does “the gut”—as in “gut instinct” or “gut player”—have anything to do with it?