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Echoes of Earlier Avant-garde Anti-normative Discourses in Contemporary Drama

In the last decades, increasing numbers of scholarly works have recognized the discursive violence of Dadaist, Surrealist, and Expressionist theatre as an ethically motivated attack meant to question the function, purpose, and cultural value of representational (“traditional”) art in light of what Avant-garde artists saw as its participation in a regime of signs that offered tacit, implicit support to controlling or repressive state structures, culminating in the horror of the first, and then the second World Wars. The same argument has been made concerning a number of experimental dramas produced in the aftermath of the second World War, with many commentators beginning to emphasize substantial similarities between these dramas and earlier Avant-garde works in terms of their use of destabilizing language operations, construction of a subject lacking organicity, and denunciation of the mechanisms of containment and repression that can transform reason into its exploitative-genocidal opposite (nationalism, racism, violent heteronormativity, colonialism, militarism, religious extremism, etc.).
This panel seeks papers that explore connections between earlier Avant-garde anti-normative discourses and late twentieth-century/ contemporary drama, with the purpose of emphasizing the emergence of increasingly intense imaginary investments in equality and the elimination of systemic exploitation and repression over the last 100 years of theatrical production.
Please send 300-500-word proposals to Cristina Ionica (Fanshawe College), cristina_ionica@yahoo.com

Conference Location: Toronto, Canada
Conference Starts: October 17, 2019
Conference Ends: October 20, 2019

CFP Submission Deadline: March 01, 2019

For more information, contact: Cristina Ionica

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