New publication by Professor Yana Meerzon

Posted on Friday, August 14, 2020

Performance, Subjectivity, Cosmopolitanism

By Meerzon, Yana (2020)

This book looks at the connection between contemporary theatre practices and cosmopolitanism, a philosophical condition of social behaviour based on our responsibility, respect, and healthy curiosity to the other. Advocating for cosmopolitanism has become a necessity in a world defined by global wars, mass migration, and rise of nationalism. Using empathy, affect, and telling personal stories of displacement through embodied encounter between the actor and their audience, performance arts can serve as a training ground for this social behavior. In the centre of this encounter is a new cosmopolitan: a person of divided origins and cultural heritage, someone who speaks many languages and claims different countries as their place of belonging. The book examines how European and North American theatres stage this divided subjectivity: both from within, the way we tell stories about ourselves to others, and from without, through the stories the others tell about us.

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