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Linguistic Displacement in Contemporary Theatre and Performance (OZRSAB4)

Multilingualism concerns the plurality of distinct national languages as well as the ‘polysemantic clutteredness’ (Carlson 2006) that results from processes of linguistic transfer and translation. Differences and shifts between written and oral language, between verbal and corporeal language, or between literal and metaphorical ways of speaking add to the multilayered semantics of language and its volatile dynamics of ‘displacement’ (language getting ‘out of place’). Theatre, understood here as the stage for the performance of language, is particularly suited to explore the aporia and possibilities of the linguistic displacement in the ‘postmonolingual condition’ (Yildiz 2012). In contemporary performance, this theatrical exploration often gains a reflexive quality, as it not only renders the topic in a thematic way, but also probes the very material and corporeal conditions of the linguistic performance itself.
In my project I want to analyse performances that explicitly investigate the dynamics of linguistic displacement, not so much in a plot-based way – that is, not necessarily or not exclusively linked to, for example, concrete stories of migration and exile –, but rather in a theoretical and reflexive way: as an investigation into the material and corporeal conditions of learning, speaking, translating, understanding, playing with a language that is not one’s own, that is not owned by the person speaking.
Date:1 Oct 2020 →  30 Sep 2023
Keywords:Performance Studies
Disciplines:Theatre and performance not elsewhere classified