Section 6 1975-Present
- Rutgers University - New Brunswick/Piscataway
- Theater And Dance
- Theater And Dance 211
- Section 6 1975-Present
Last Modified: 2011-07-18
Related Textbooks:The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theater: A Global Perspective, Compact Edition
- Modernism: Different categories; Postmodernism: NO categories
- Modernism: Art can give meaning; Postmodernism: there is no meaning
- Instead of “Grand Narratives”: Humor, irony, and parody
- Pastiche(mixing diff. styles), collage, fragmentation
- Reflexive - draws attention to how it’s made
- Mix of “high” and “low” brow
- Disorder over order = radical over conservative
- Cubists- challenged the way humans could look at the world
- Empiricists (David Hume)- showed limits of reason by challenging principle of cause and effect
- Naturalists- social problem are caused by the environment
- Nietzsche- absolute truths do not exist
Who was Nietzsche and what did he argue?
- He is called the first philosopher with a truly postmodern view
- Absolute truth does not exist
- A fixed interpretation of literary works cannot exist; one's subjective reasonable is as truthful as another’s.
What other factor has altered contemporary thought other than philosophical writings
World events; old absolutes no longer applied; i.e. the Holocaust, depression, nuclear warfare
People began to challenge language, gender, race, theater (the way it is written and performed)
- No single correct way to interpret script
- Deconstructionism: take apart the text and look for unintended and contradictory meanings
- Writer’s intention? WHO CARES?!
- Re-interpretation of classics
- Everyone’s an author
- Liberal: work within system
- Radical: the whole system is corrupt, women should separate from men/replace male values with female ones
- Neo-Marxist: Look for material conditions that promote gender/class oppression
What did postmodernism evolve from?
- Architects that rebelled against stark and purely functional designs of modernism
- They preferred messy vitality over obvious unity
- Fused pop culture with traditional styles
- Liked contrasts of styles (neoclassic building w/ a silhouette of an African hut)
What were the postmodernist seeking to change in the world?
Wanted a truly democratic world; universal freedom, creativity, and elimination of cruelty –Richard Rorty
What were the two approaches to post modernism?
Skeptical postmodernism and affirmative postmodernism
- Inspired by Nietzsche
- Generally Europeans who are scarred by WWII
What is affirmative postmodernism?
- Seeks harmonious world where traditional views on gender, race, nations, and cultural biases are dismissed
- Mostly in Anglo-North American culture
Gay theater; dressed in drag
- Influenced by modernist avant-garde
- “Theater” = bourgeois conventionalism
- Performer over text
- Personal story/one-person show
- Provocative & confrontational
Why did postmodernist distrust technology
- Argued it gave the world the atomic age
- Gave a threat of annihilation, pollution, and widening the divide between the “haves” and “have nots”
- It challenges the old systems
- People can do anything and c all it art
What is deconstructionist criticism?
- “constructs” new meanings by “deconstructing” old ones
- The old means were thought to be based on erroneous perception and language (misinterpretation)
What two legacies has deconstructionism left?
- Made it possible for the interpreter to argue with the text and its traditional or historical meaning
- “openness to the other” acceptance of other perspectives
What are the other types of criticism besides deconstructionism?
- Female- critiques gender bias among male writers
- Gender- more concerned with gender as a political system and social construct rather than with the distinction b/w m and f
- Gay and Lesbian- (Queer Theory) concerned with literature sympathetic to homosexual lifestyle
Why do some culture groups get offended why people outside of the group portray their lifestyles?
- rarely linear
- separated into scene often separated by contrasting moods or styles
- forces audiences to assign meanings of their own
- by emphasizing the visual aspects of performance, theater has been reestablished as the seeing place
- box sets and the realistic style are left to tv and film
- no longer "less is more"
- force change
- accuse and attack
- kill any god except for common sense
police would frequently raid the bar just to assault gays, but then they fought back
Gender: The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences)
and homosexuals, or members of ethnic groups, have intrinsically different and characteristic natures or dispositions.
- The characters are victims; the audience members are victims themselves and brothers of victims
- Real life and give them the understanding of what the world really is
- Cops- try to close it
- Producers- say it is filth
- Directors- say the white men are too cowardly
rebellion against white
people to pull away from "high art"
- language was faulty and imprecise
- meanings were particular to time and place
- each person can define their own reality
- perceptions became reality
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