11 / THEATRUM MUNDI IX


Space: An Interdisciplinary Approach

10 – 15 September 2018   print this page

Course directors:

Snežana Kalinić, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Sibila Petlevski, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Tihomir Cipek, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Goran Gretić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Olga Markič, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Gray Kochar-Lindgren, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Freddie Rokem, University of Tel Aviv, Israel


Course description:

Traditionally, philosophy and science were concerned with the physical space. In attempts to understand it, two main opposing theories were presented: the absolute and the relational theory. The first, proposed by Newton and defended by Clark in the famous Leibniz - Clark letters, takes space as a giant container, containing all things in the universe. According to it, motion is absolute. In contrast, the relational theorists (e.g. Leibniz, Mach), who claim that motion is relative, argue that space is to be understood as the spatial relation between things and that it would not exist independently of the things it connects. Later, Einstein's special and general theory of relativity showed that motion in our world was relative. However, as Nick Huggett in Standford Encyclopedia suggests, that “does not automatically settle the traditional relationist/absolutist debate” and many philosophers would argue that “we should understand our spacetime as real thing”. Beside the space that can be measured by geometers or scientists and thinking about it in abstract terms, there is also a perceived space, the space as we experience. Philosopher Merlau-Ponty put the lived body, the body of experience, particularly the moving body, at the center of his philosophy. He developed the concept of the body schema which emerged in the activity of the body, in the crossing of the body and the world. The embodied perspective and the importance of the interplay with the space – social and natural opens further investigations in the lived space; understood as the intimate places like a child's first house, drawers, nests and corners (Bachelard in The Poetics of Space), social and political space (Lefebvre), or new virtual spaces developed by information technologies. Throughout its history, literature has depicted various spaces – real and imaginary, public and private, rural and urban, utopian and dystopian – and created innovative ways to connect space with time. Performance studies (as defined by McAuley) explore how theater buildings function to frame the performance event, the organization of audience and practitioner spaces within the building, the nature of the stage and the modes of representation it facilitates, and the relationship between the real space of the theater and the fictional places that are evoked. However - as Schechner points out - what sets performance studies apart, is not necessarily what is defined as performance but the framework surrounding the interaction of behavior and the public space in which the performance is enacted. That is why we suggest exploring spaces of identity in performance: social relational spaces, temporal relational spaces, discursive relational spaces, cyberspaces, transhuman performing spaces produced by bodies on interface. In this seminar – we are particularly interested in the politics of space and place, as well as in the geography of social relations, gender and »feminist geographies«. We would like to know more about the links between the sense of space and other kinds of cognition, for example the relationship between space and memory. We would be intrigued to know how our brain processes spatial information – how it detects the configuration of our own bodies and how it uses the spatial position of neurons within the brain to organize information about the spatial position of stimuli in the world. We are interested in space as a fundamental aspect of human cognition and action. We would like to explore its relation to language and culture. We are open to contributions on the relationship between technology based artwork exploring virtual spaces, performance art, literature, and theatrical art.

We kindly invite philosophers, particularly performance philosophers, cognitive scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, philologists, artists, and physicists to join us in Dubrovnik, a special place to discuss space.

Our course offers 2 ECTS credits for active participation, i.e. oral presentation of original and new material during the course.

COURSE DIRECTORS:

Sibila Petlevski, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Tihomir Cipek, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Goran Gretić, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Snežana Kalinić, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Gray Kochar-Lindgren, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Olga Markič, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Freddie Rokem, University of Tel Aviv, Israel


Course lecturers:

Snežana Kalinić, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Franjo Sokolić, University of Split, Croatia
Goran Pavlić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Sibila Petlevski, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Josipa Bubaš, University of Zadar, Croatia
Olga Markič, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nikolina Rafaj, Academy of Dramatic Art, Croatia
Katharina Wloszczynska, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany