Performance and Interculturalism Now: New Directions? A Symposium at NUI Galway, April 10-11, 2015.

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Performance and Interculturalism Now: New Directions? A Symposium

NUI Galway, April 10-11, 2015.

Interculturalism has long been one of the most vigorously debated theoretical keywords in the field of theatre and performance studies. Intercultural performance depends on the hybrid mixture of performance forms from different cultures (typically East and West), but in whose interest, to whose ends and on what terms?  Is intercultural performance a utopic ideal or coercive construct as it has most stereotypically been associated with ‘Western’ appropriations of ‘Eastern’ forms? Is it irreparably weighted down by histories of colonialism, cultural imperialism, and structural inequality that have often set its production conditions? Or can conscious and politically engaged work by artists/activists exceed and/or transform this history without negating the power of its living memory by manipulating the ideals and flows of intercultural performance in new ways?

“Performance and Interculturalism Now: New Directions?” brings together international leaders in the field to respond to a recent resurgence of critical activity around this term that has multiplied rather than limited its contemporary resonances. This symposium will explore historical approaches to intercultural performance, Asian and other oppositional models of interculturalism that challenge (and/or reify) Western hegemonies, the use of interculturalism within migrant performance cultures, and interculturalism as aesthetic practice and social policy in the European Union and Canada among other themes.  Why return to interculturalism and what can it mean for how we study performance now?

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Interculturalism, Performance, and Migration in Contemporary Ireland

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Interculturalism, Migration and Performance in Contemporary Ireland

This project analyses the role of interculturalism in Irish theatre and performance from 1994-2013, hypothesising that Irish interculturalism is unique internationally. Between 1996 and 2011, the non-Irish born population of Ireland grew from less than 5% to 17%. This project assesses Irish strategies of interculturalism as a response to rapid inward-migration.

This project aims to make a major intervention in the field of theatre and performance studies by investigating Irish interculturalism as a social process as well as a technique of aesthetic innovation. It is the first research project to consider the intersection of aesthetic and social theories of interculturalism in both an Irish and European context.

This project will consider the consequences that arise when the arts are used to further state-sponsored intercultural goals. It will examine the work of Irish theatre artists, public festivals and community arts or social organisations that focus on intercultural themes.

This project assesses the limits and possibilities of Irish interculturalism by considering the relationship between its social and aesthetic goals. It will facilitate greater understanding of the relationship between the state, migration, national identities and the arts. This case study poses urgent international consequences amid continuing debates about migration, diversity and social cohesion in the European Union and other national contexts.