The article 'From the subject of the crisis to the subject in crisis: Middle voice on Greek walls' is now free to download from Ingenta here.
This article revisits the theorizations of the middle voice by Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Hayden White, Dominick LaCapra and others, and explores its potential in fostering alternative accounts of the contemporary Greek subject against the backdrop of popular discourses on the Greek 'crisis'.
For further information on the Journal of Greek Media and Culture pleave visit it's page.
Following the release of our latest book, JARMAN (all this maddening beauty) and other plays, we caught up with Caridad Svich to find out more about her book.
Could you tell us a bit about your new book?
JARMAN (all this maddening beauty) and other plays is a collection of three of my most open texts for performance. Open in terms of the theatrical invitation they make for potential collaborators as well as in regards to form. The title piece JARMAN (all this maddening beauty)centers on the artistic legacy of iconic queer British filmmaker Derek Jarman. The other two piece in the book are Carthage/Cartagena, which focuses on themes of displacement and human trafficking in a mythic-poetic landscape, and The Orphan Sea, which focuses on themes of migration and homecoming, filtered through the lens of the Penelope and Odysseus story. All three pieces emphasise unique textual score that is multivocal, contrapuntal and musical in its design and affect. They are pieces, that for me, anyway, work at the limits of what may be possible in live performance that is grounded in text.
You mention in your own website that you experienced a "strange kind of exile" whilst growing up. How much of this feeling do you think has affected your work and why?
I am a US Latin@ writer of Argentine-Croatian, Cuban-Spanish descent. Ever since I started writing, my work has always explored liminality – the languages and places and feelings of being between things, as it were. I resist otherness, but am interested in how and why individuals mark and name an Other. I lived in about seven US states while I was growing up. I saw a lot of the US via trips by car, which means you end up seeing the backyards of America, as it were, and listening to a range of sounds and voices that are not, shall we say, homogenous in any way. I think the writer’s position is always one of being outside, looking in, and at the same time, looking out. You hopefully reflect something of the cultures in which you live and also point toward aspects of the human condition that transcend this immediate reflection. As a child that grew up between the English and Spanish language, and one that has ended up writing in both, I have always felt in a similar kind of position in relationship to these languages – they are both mine and not mine, part of my identity and I see and shape the world as an artist, but also always in search of a language that is both – not one or the other, but a hybrid fusion of both in terms of cadence, rhythm and meter. This goes beyond translation. One of the things that initially attracted me to Jarman’s films, for instance, was both their inherent, avowed British-ness and defiant queer-ness, but also their search for something beyond frame(s) of reference. We might call this a visionary approach. How does this relate to exile, you may ask? I suppose it has to do with feeling apart from. I sometimes joke with my colleagues that when I am writing it often feels that I am writing from the wilderness or in the wilderness, exiled, in a sense, from the precepts, social conditions, and/or expectations of immediate, local and national culture(s). This means partly that I seek to treat the canvas of the page as a unique text-score every time, while also striving toward a new poetics for the stage. But it also means that the wilderness – the forest, to use another metaphor – may be the place from which to find new potentiality and possibility(ies) for transformation. Exile, then, as a condition that can be freeing.
When did you first become interested in performance art?
I write plays that sometimes “look like plays’” on the page, but often not. I live between theatre and performance as a text-based artist. I still identify as a playwright and theatre-maker, but lately I have been calling myself a “text-builder,” so as to free up what expectations there may be about what a “play” is or can be. I became interested in performance art through the work, initially, of the late Ana Mendieta. I encountered some of her video and photographic work shortly after she passed away. I also started researching her life and work. I think it was the first time I witnessed work that was earth and body-based and feminist, but also very much speaking to her cultural identity as a Cuban artist. I obtained my MFA in Theatre from UCSD. La Jolla Playhouse is the resident professional theatre on campus. Now, although for many in the field, perhaps, LJP’s identity as a theatre company is tied to its Broadway transfers, like “Big River,” it also is a company that presents fairly boundary-blurring work. So, for example, at LJP, is where I first saw the work of performance and music artist Rinde Eckert and the directorial work of Peter Sellars, and the early work of UK’s Improbable Theatre. Seminal queer feminist poet Eileen Myles was teaching at UCSD when I was there, and if you wandered into the English and Comparative Literature Department, you couldn’t help but feel her impact on the kind of writing that was happening there. I trained with Maria Irene Fornes for four consecutive years in New York City after I received my MFA, and writers-makers in the room included performance artist Carmelita Tropicana and on occasion, Holly Hughes would sit in and work. So, this notion that performance art was somehow outside of the world of theatre-making never really occurred to me. To me, writing for the live body in performance is central, which means that you are writing within a durational form that explores sound, space and time, and viscerality. Now, I am well aware that, yes, if you are thinking canonically from a Western drama perspective, then perhaps this notion that the boundaries are blurred does not factor in quite. But I would argue that if you look at the history of masque plays, for instance, there is a direct ontological link to what may be called performance art. I think we are in a great and interesting time in the arts, where, certainly, strict boundaries are fare less so. I mean, how can you write for live performance and not think about the legacy of Forced Entertainment or Matthew Goulish and Lin Hixson’s work with Goat Island, or Chris Goode or Claire MacDonald and Fiona Templeton?
Would you be able to pick a favourite play that you wrote?
Ah, picking favourites is not fair! I have written over forty plays. So, to pull one out and say, this one feels as if I am abandoning the others. I can say, though, that there are plays that changed or signaled how I thought about theatre-making. Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues was the first play where I let myself consider the presence of song-speech. Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart was the first play where I built in a dramaturgical vocabulary for mediated landscapes.The Orphan Sea is the first play where I created spell structure, as opposed to “scenes.”
Do you have any advice for upcoming playwrights on inspiration, writing processes etc?
It is so hard to write anything. That is, it is easy to write, but much harder to actually clear away all of the clutter of life, business, etc. and actually re-locate the pulse of your individual heartbeat. To really listen t yourself and the world. I advise anything and everything that can make this possible. Taking long walks, seeing a lot of art and then depriving yourself of it. Resisting market-driven impulses and expectations. Looking at the page as an infinite canvas that is open to all possibility(ies) of inscription. Trust the work. This is tough to do. Because you may be defying all the odds, but if you don’t, if there isn’t blood on the page as well as joy, then you may not be digging deep enough within yourself. Laugh. Joke. Live. These too are crucial. The ecstasy and joy of life as well as honoring the wounds we carry. All of these lead to the work.
What did you enjoy the most when writing and editing this book?
The collaboration with Kevin Brown, John Moletress, Theron Schmidt and Pedro De Senna was one of the great joys of putting this boo together. You never know how fellow practitioners are going to write about the work and think about its meanings. So, their contributions are truly surprising and joyful.
Do you have any future research projects or plans?
I am currently editing a new book on audience engagement for Theatre Communications Group in New York, which will launch in June 2016; am working on several new works for performance that continue to explore linguistic and cultural hybridity, and am co-editing a book of interviews with playwrights for Methuen UK, which will release in spring 2017, if all goes well. I think I am a little at a cross-roads as an artist – part of me wants to write epic dance-opera-theatre, and another part of me wants to make intimate, sustainable shows that require very little technically.
Have you read any Intellect books? If so, which is your favourite Intellect book at the moment?
I first encountered Intellect books through the work of Liz Tomlin and Point Blank! I still adore their book. More recently, favourites are Claire MacDonald’s Utopia and Jo Longhurst’s On Perfection.
To buy a copy of this book please click here.
‘Morocco is like a sponge. We absorb from Europe, Africa and the Arab world while retaining our own roots. It’s always been like that,’ says journalist Mouna Belgrini, who has been reporting on Casablanca’s fashion scene for a decade. ‘You can choose which culture you identify with and express that through the way you dress.’ Both geographically and spiritually, Morocco has been at the crossroads of trade routes and empires for centuries, giving its creative hub, Casablanca, a unique fashion landscape. Formerly a harbour town, the French Protectorate introduced urbanism to Casablanca in the early twentieth century, including European fashion trends that were adopted by the upper classes. The Nationalist Movement embraced Moroccan attire such as hayk (wrapper) and djellaba (hooded robe) as a sign of resistance. The moderate King Mohammed V led his country to independence in 1956 but was soon succeeded by his son Hassan II whose dictatorship demanded conservative dress. Nevertheless, the first generation of fashion designers emerged in the 1960s with a fresh take on Moroccan style. Casablanca was by now a cosmopolitan city and designers such as Zina Guessous, Zhor Sebti and Tamy Tazi understood that women here were living modern lives so could not wear heavy traditional robes that restricted their movements.
These designers therefore began to offer lighter takes on the caftan using haute couture fabrics. Tazi, who only retired in 2013, became renowned for her exquisite embroideries and textiles. She featured in US Vogue and also acquired the rights to represent Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco. Saint Laurent, who was born in Algeria and had a home in Marrakech, was famously drawn to Morocco during this period along with the A-list hippy set. The likes of The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Cat Stevens and Frank Zappa all visited the country while Moroccan silhouettes influenced global trends. This in turn helped to boost the popularity of Moroccan designers at home and abroad. By the 1980s and 1990s, a second wave of designers came to the fore. Karim Tassi, Zhor Raïs, Albert Oiknine, Simonohamed Lakhdar, Noureddine Amir, Fadila El Gadi and Salima Abdel Wahab all have their own personal takes on contemporary fashion ranging from overtly Moroccan to highly conceptual. Zineb Joundy studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris and worked for Karl Lagerfeld and Lanvin before returning to Casablanca to launch her first collection of cocktail dresses in 1992. In 1996 she was approached by lifestyle magazine Femmes du Maroc to create a look for its debut cover and fashion show, called Caftan, which has become the country’s most significant fashion event. ‘I switched to caftans to cater to the demand. And also because of my wanderlust appreciation of embroideries and handcrafts from different cultures,’ explains Joundy who has since shown in New York, London and Paris and become famed for her luxurious one-piece caftan.‘Today my collections are produced between Morocco and India and combine these two colourful, spicy worlds to create my brand identity that all women can wear.’
Morocco has its own inimitable art of caftan. One garment will pass through many hands and specialised crafts originate from different parts of the country. Tarz (embroidery), aqad (buttons), sfifa (loop braiding) and renda (needle lace) plus beads and sparkles can be used to embellish the robe and various metallic and silk cords including mftal, tarssan, dfeera and qetan are applied to decorate and finish the garment. They are no longer everyday attire but regardless of your religion or status, everyone wears caftan to special occasions such as weddings and Eid celebrations. The likes of Zineb Joundy and Zhor Raïs lead the way in caftan chic, by far the most lucrative and sizable segment of the local fashion market.
Since the current King Mohammed VI’s ascension in 1999 there has been a growing artistic freedom, spurred on by improvements in women’s rights, education, technology and the economy, and is reflected through the work of the new breed of designers. Amina Agueznay works with artisans to make spectacular contemporary jewellery, Said Mahrouf excels at fluid draping and Yassine Morabite makes edgy graphic T-shirts. The creative scene has found its spiritual home at the Boulevard Festival, an annual alternative music event co-founded by Momo Geroni and Hicham Bahou. What started out as a 400-person party in 1999 has blossomed into a ten-day spectacular attracting 100,000. ‘Boulevard is a free space where both artists and the public can come and do what they can’t do the rest of the year because of society and religion,’ says Geroni. ‘It is about rediscovering our roots. Colonialism and a move to city living caused us to disconnect from our heritage. We had a problem with our identity. But now we are using it to create something new,’ adds Bahou.
Fashion Cities Africa is available to buy here:
Intellect is pleased to announce that ISCC 7.1 is now available. This general issue showcases articles on a range of topics from the representation of war in international TV series, to a localised critical discourse analysis of the Occupy Movement in Latvia and Sweden. Articles discussing cultural class on contemporary television viewings among the US young middle classes, audience discourses on immigration in Greek media, and the role of the 'political wife' in sex scandal press conferences are also presented. The issue closes with a methodological study of the interview as media research, through psychoanalytic concept of transference.
To access the whole issue, follow this link
Fashion Now & Then: Men's Fashion as Art
Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion is currently accepting abstracts for a special focus issue on Men’s Fashion as Art.
This special issue will examine how fashion information and art in men’s fashion have evolved through time and how it will continue to evolve in the future.
Contributions are welcome from all disciplines including: fashion studies, anthropology, art, art history, design, business, consumer studies, cultural studies, economics, gender studies, humanities, literature, marketing, psychology, queer studies, religion, sociology, and textiles.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
• Use of fashion information in design
• Use of fashion information in marketing
• Influential designers in menswear
• Influential pop culture icons that influenced men’s fashion
• Transgender influence on men’s fashion
• Forecasting menswear
• Museum exhibitions based on menswear
• Menswear designer archives
• Menswear street style
• Textiles used in menswear
• Abstracts of intended paper due to guest editors 1 August 2016
• Letters of acceptance sent out 15 August 2016
• Articles due 3 January 2017
• Articles reviewed and returned to authors for revisions 30 January 2017
• Revised articles due 6 March 2017
• Issue published Fall 2017
All manuscripts will undergo peer review. Articles will be selected on their content, scholarship, and technical quality. The content must be in line with the vision of the journal in advancing scholarship on men and appearance.
All submissions must follow Intellect’s house style for review. Attached and at: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/MediaManager/File/Intellect%20style%20guide.pdf Manuscripts should be approximately 5,000-7,000 words and use British spelling. It is the author’s responsibility to clear image rights, text, and citation usage if they are included in the manuscript.
Please send submissions and queries to the guest editors Nicole LaMoreaux (email@example.com), Lou Acierno (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Elizabeth Marotta (email@example.com).
Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, in collaboration with The Graphic Design Educators’ Network, invites contributions to ‘Territories of Graphic Design Education’, a special issue exploring the physical, intellectual and existential terrain of graphic design learning and teaching. There is an orchestrated chorus within design education for problems to be discovered, defined and solved based on evidence. How does graphic design educate its prospective practitioners to discover, define and solve problems?
Download the full Call for Papers here.
Intellect caught up with Gail Humphries Mardirosian (GHM) and Yvonne Pelletier Lewis (YPL) of from Arts Integration in Education to find out more about the book and the inspiration behind it.
How would you describe the book in a few words?
YPL: Arts Integration in Education provides a diversity of perspectives on the changed and changing world in which today’s students are learning and the impact that integrating the arts into the process of education – at all levels – can have in response to those changes.
GHM: This book represents a convergence of voices from multiple viewpoints – from psychologists to researchers to practitioners – to present a resounding case for the value and importance of arts education and arts integration
Where do your own personal and academic research interests lie?
YPL: Research interests – both personal and academic – lie in continuing and expanding on the work reflected in this book, e.g University – and classroom- level training in arts-based methodologies; greater involvement of teaching artist in the classroom; and collaborations with arts organization.
GHM: Throughout three decades of work in higher education, I have remained committed to the importance of research that captures and demonstrates the importance and potency of the arts education experience. I intend to continue that research and to demonstrate its value to generate a better world and truly cultivate global citizens.
How do you think this book changes the way we can weave art into education?
YPL: The book provides practiced and practicing successful examples of both the “why” the “how” arts can be woven into education – as arts for arts sake, but also as arts integrated across disciplines. The theories compel the mind-set that is the critical foundation for the practice of arts integration. The book also provides evidence that arts-integrated methodologies can be practiced while adhering to the standards of learning imposed by the educational system.
GHM: It provides concrete evidence of the value of the arts in education and in our lives. It is also a call to action for those of us directly involved in higher education to remain deeply convicted to the power and practice of the arts in education.
Where did you find the inspiration for your book?
YPL: The initial inspiration for this book is an arts-based teaching and learning model, imagination quest (IQ), developed by Gail Humphries-Mardirosian (and described in chapter 5 of this book). The model was used, over a period of 15 years, to train teachers and administrators in arts integration across the country. The success of this model, coupled with the growing national and international dialogue regarding the importance of maintaining the arts in our educational system, compelled us to move arts integration forward with this book.
GHM: This book is truly my life's work. I began working in arts education as a recent college graduate in inner city public schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here I am years later, with a plethora of interactions in different environments-both rural and urban and both internationally and nationally-making the case for the experiences that I lived as a young professional.
What did you enjoy the most when editing this book?
YPL: The most enjoyable aspect of editing this book was experiencing the enthusiasm with which our contributors responded to being invited to be a part of this important work - to say nothing of the quality of the work they submitted.
GHM: Interacting with exceptionally important colleagues in the field and knowing that our collective voice would have a resounding impact.
Do you have any future research projects or plans?
GHM : I am currently working on two different projects for publication:
1. A chapter in a book entitled the courage to fight violence against women.
This chapter investigates a performance project that I developed entitled traces in the wind. It is a docudrama telling the stories of three women who survived the holocaust through the arts. The research explores the possibilities for theatre to generate empathy, compassion and tell difficult stories that compel the audience to action. Audience surveys and interviews are part of the research. The performance has been presented in different venues - an international conference of psychoanalysts, on a college campus, and with a private invitation audience.
2. A chapter in a book entitled creative leadership which explores the values and skillsets cultivated through theatre training in higher education that can articulate to leadership skills.
To find out more about the book and how to buy a copy please click here
Special Issue: Cinemacity
Intellect is delighted to announce the new issue of Journal of Urban Cultural Studies 3.1, which is a special issue on Cinemacity. This special issue takes Deleuze’s conception of cinema as an autonomous thinking machine and the contributions to this issue variously serve to explicate the connections between city and cinema framed by this sense of cinematicity.
"'Hypocritical bullshit performed through gritted teeth'. Authenticity discourse in Nickelback's album reviews in Finnish media" featured on Buzzfeed Canada and Mental_Floss
Metal Music Studies 2.1 has been featured in both Buzzfeed Canada and Mental_Floss this week, links below:
Author of Locating the Audience
We decided to catch up with Kirsty Sedgman, author of our latest release, Locating the Audience: How People Found Value in National Theatre Wales to find out more about her book.
Could you tell us a bit about your new book, Locating the Audience.
Locating the Audience explores the very first season of National Theatre Wales. It studies how people throughout Wales and beyond developed relationships with this brand new national theatre, and asks questions such as: what do people think national theatre is for? How do they see the place of theatre in the nation, as well as within their own lives? As John McGrath (NTW’s founding Artistic Director) points out in his foreword, though, Locating the Audience actually focuses on two specific productions in detail: For Mountain, Sand & Sea, which took audiences on a walking tour of Barmouth, and The Persians, playwright Kaite O’Reilly's modern reworking of Aeschylus’ ancient Greek drama performed on a military range in the Brecon Beacons. My research investigated how different audiences understood and responded to the experience of taking part in these very different site-specific events.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I come from a theatre studies background, where there is a real reluctance to research the experiences of diverse audience members - beyond the responses of professionally implicated commentators, that is. This book grew out of an increasing frustration with the tendency to talkabout audiences rather than to them. This critical myopia frequently leads to the production of big assumptions about ‘the audience’, with academics often resorting to making unqualified claims on behalf of the theatrical experience. Thankfully, I started this research at the same time as a cluster of researchers began to feel similarly dissatisfied. The influential cultural value projects that have come to fruition over the last half-decade or so are a clear sign that the way we think about value is changing. In this book I was keen to question the usefulness of a term like ‘value’ at all: in the sense that value is often positioned as intrinsic to the arts object, fixed and finite. Rather than value, perhaps we might instead think about ‘valuations’: because as I tried to show in this book, individuals drawing on diverse subject positions will necessarily understand and talk about the same arts experience in very different ways. This sounds obvious, perhaps – but I believe by studying howpeople articulate their responses to theatre, listening as they reach for words to describe the indescribable, we can get a sense of these various meaning-making processes in action. And in doing so, I hope we can begin to dismantle the idea that there are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ responses to arts events: a concern I found to be very keenly-felt in the responses of less culturally confident audience members, as you’ll see.
Do you have a favourite chapter and if so, why?
One of the knottiest chapters, yet the one of which I’m probably proudest, is For Mountain, Sand & Sea. I say knotty because it’s admittedly pretty dense, weaving together dozens of questionnaire responses and interview quotations, and drawing out shared key features from a lot of scattered discourse. But I like it because this case study offers the clearest example of a tension I found between two kinds of expertise. In this chapter I show how local expertise, coming from residents’ extensive lived knowledge of Barmouth and its history, rubbed up uncomfortably against their parallel awareness of professional theatrical expertise, as National Theatre Wales sought to perform aspects of the town’s stories in creative, experimental ways. By going deep into audience talk, analysing how people frame their pleasures and disappointments, I’ve worked to uncover the difficulty some audiences face in articulating alternative hopes for what their national theatre might do. This tension was especially acute because the performance was not just a random play, but was specifically inspired by that location (albeit in oblique and artistic ways). I was therefore able to begin to ask what it means for audiences to feel themselves to be located in and through performance, and how this conflicts or coincides with their own understandings of place. But having said all that, I’m also pretty pleased with the Preface, if only because it starts with the immortal quote: “If you close theatres you become the Taliban!”. To me, that sums up just how passionately certain people believe in the importance of theatre – while as I go on to show, others are less invested in this idea…
What is your academic background?
I have a First Class degree in Drama & Theatre Arts from the University of Birmingham, and I then went on to do the Creative Writing MA at Warwick University. Both were great courses, but we spent a lot of time musing about what ‘the audience’ or ‘the reader’ might have thought about different cultural texts. It’s not until I met Prof. Martin Barker at Aberystwyth, my PhD supervisor and one of the most well-known audience researchers in the world, that I realised there was an alternative: the rich cultural studies tradition of using empirical studies to capture discursive information on actual audience response. It was serendipitous, really; right time, right place. I was very lucky.
Do you have plans for future books?
I love writing. It’s that simple; I just can’t imagine doing anything else. Something people ask me a lot is if I’m ever planning on ditching the academic stuff to go back to my creative writing roots, as per my MA. But one of the things this process has taught me is that, academic or creative, it’s all just telling stories. And of course, as an audience researcher I'm keenly aware that I can never truly know anyone else's response. In putting their reactions into words they’re interpreting that experience for me, and I am then in turn applying my own interpretation. But as I explain in the book, I’m most interested in word use; in listening not just to what people say but to how they phrase it, and in considering the implications of any gaps, slippages, hesitations, certainties and uncertainties of expression. It all stems from an enduring fascination with language. So yes, I can’t imagine not writing more books! Plus, there’s so much we still don’t know about our relationship with culture.
Are you attending any conferences or events?
I’ll be speaking at the Understanding Everyday Participation conference, 'Doing Research on Participation’. I’ll also be at Fan Studies 2016, as well as at Regency Theatre 2016, organised by the Society for Theatre Research (of whom I’m a Committee Member), plus the annual Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA) conference.
Have you read any Intellect books? If so, which is your favourite Intellect book at the moment?
Intellect was always my first choice to publish Locating the Audience. The reason for this was primarily my admiration for The Audience Experience, the 2013 collection edited by Jennifer Radbourne, Hilary Glow, and Katya Johanson. This brought together a range of chapters by different authors, exploring varying approaches to audience research and engagement. Its focus is strongly methodological, offering insights into the different ways that audiences' reactions can be captured and understood, while in Locating the Audience I aimed to produce the first full-length study of people’s detailed engagements with one specific theatre company – but still, I was very inspired by the excellent chapters in this book. I’m also pleased to have had the chance to work with the same people who publish Studies in Musical Theatre and Journal of Fandom Studies. Although very different journals, what they share is a real drive to take seriously the pleasures produced by cultural texts. That’s where my work is situated: on the side of audiences, taking seriously their pleasures and disappointments, their investments and their resistance.
To find out more about the book and how you can order yourself a copy please click here.