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Picture of Authenticity and Legitimacy in Minority Theatre

Authenticity and Legitimacy in Minority Theatre

Constructing Identity

Editor(s): Madelena Gonzalez and Patrice Brasseur
Contributors: Barthovil Elena, Finet Helene, Dumousseau Lesquer Magali, Paola Puccini, Paola Ranzini, Roger Parent,

Book Description

Contemporary theatre is one of the best ways for ethno-cultural minorities to express themselves, whether they be of indigenous origin or immigrants. It is often used to denounce social injustice and discrimination and, more generally, it helps to air questions debated in the wider community. It may also express itself thanks to the staging of collective memory, for it constitutes a privileged space for the exploration of the trauma of the past (colonial, for example), as well as providing a means of effecting the reconfiguration of a new identity, or of articulating an uneasiness about that identity.

Should minority theatre increase its visibility in relation to the mainstream, or, on the contrary, remain on the margins and assert its specificity? This question is at the centre of French-Canadian experience, for example, but also applies to other postcolonial societies, in Europe and elsewhere. In order to maintain its cultural authenticity, should this type of theatre distinguish itself from a multiculturalism that runs the risk of political and social recuperation? If it is unable to resist the model proposed by globalization and widespread cultural dissemination, will it lose its legitimacy? Can, and should there be, a form of popular art at the service of the community?

The term “minority” raises questions that will be examined by the articles collected in this volume. What is the definition of a minority? Does this term refer to experimental and avant-garde art forms as well as to ethno-cultural drama? Contemporary theatre is characterized by an aesthetics of hybridity—in what measure is this the case for theatre outside the mainstream? The exploration of this kind of theatre necessitates an examination of the very concept of theatre per se. Since the development of the electronic media as the privileged vector of culture, has not the theatrical genre itself become a minority art form? These are some of the pressing questions that this volume will try to address, thanks to a cross-cultural, multidisciplinary approach that aims to reveal the rich diversity of the field under study.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2120-9
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2120-9
Date of Publication: 01/06/2010
Pages / Size: 380 / A5
Price: £44.99


Patrice Brasseur has been Professor of French Linguistics at the University of Avignon since 1995. His research mainly deals with French dialects in France (Normandy) and in North America (Newfoundland, St. Peter and Miquelon) in their lexical as well as grammatical aspects. As the former director of the research group “Cultural Identity, Texts and Theatricality,” he was responsible for organizing two international conferences on Minority Theatre (2006 and 2008), in cooperation with Madelena Gonzalez. The papers from the first conference were published by L’Harmattan (Paris) in 2008.

Madelena Gonzalez is Professor of Anglophone Literature at the University of Avignon. Her recent publications include: Fiction after the Fatwa: Salman Rushdie and the Charm of Catastrophe (2005), Translating Identity and the Identity of Translation (2006), Théâtre des minorités: Mises en scène de la marge à l’époque contemporaine (2008) and Generic Instability and Identity in the Contemporary Novel (2010). She has published widely on contemporary literature and culture and is currently head of the Avignon-based, interdisciplinary research group, “Cultural Identity, Texts and Theatricality” (Identité culturelle, textes et théâtralité).