[Msa-discuss] Performance beyond the Pleasure Principle: ACLA, 2018

Martin Harries martin.harries at uci.edu
Thu Sep 14 17:25:25 EDT 2017


Performance Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Seminar, ACLA, 2018

Co-Organizers: Martin Harries and Julia Jarcho

There would seem to be many compelling reasons for scholars concerned 
with performance and theater to engage Freud’s /Beyond the Pleasure 
Principle/ (1920). For one, the text rethinks the concept of repetition, 
a central term in the theory of performance. For another, it contains 
the germ of a theory of tragedy, reinflecting Freud’s earlier meditation 
on “Psychopathic Characters on the Stage” (1904). Yet despite its 
obvious importance to modern cultural studies and literary scholarship 
more broadly, /Beyond the Pleasure Principle/ does not now play a large 
role in theories of theater and performance.  Should it? How might it 
illuminate problems and structures specific to these fields, and/or 
particular performances, plays, or films? Conversely, how might these 
shed light on Freud’s essay?

We seek papers that combine attention to /Beyond the Pleasure Principle/ 
with the analysis of performance(s) or theater texts, as well as those 
that focus on questions of performance in Freud’s text. While arguments 
developed within a psychoanalytic framework are welcome, we also 
encourage papers that turn to Freud’s text as a resource, provocation, 
or foil outside the parameters of a theoretical commitment to 
psychoanalysis. Topics might include psychic repetition and theatrical 
repetition; the death drive and performance; /Beyond the Pleasure 
Principle/ as a text about (or “indebted to”) theater; Freud and 
theories of tragedy; or dialectics of eros and unpleasure. This list is 
partial, and we invite all proposals that think about scripted and 
embodied performance in light (and dark) of this curious text.

_______________________

To submit a paper proposal:

https://www.acla.org/seminar/performance-beyond-pleasure-principle

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