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The Play’s the Thing: A Journey through the Drama of South Africa

The Wertheim Lecture in Comparative Drama

Thursday, October 3, 2013, 4:30pm

The Lilly Library

Please join the Comparative Literature Department for the first

Wertheim Lecture in Comparative Drama

October 3, 2013
4:30 p.m.
Lilly Library

The Play’s the Thing: A Journey through the Drama of South Africa

by Dennis Walder

Prof. Dennis Walder will reflect on personal encounters with playmaking during the turbulent final years of South African apartheid and beyond. Focusing on the country’s most prolific and well-known dramatist, Athol Fugard, and with reference to Hans-Georg Gadamer, Shakespeare and Brecht, Prof. Walder will explore how playmaking, politics, and history are inextricably entwined. How did popular and elite theatre interact under oppression? What are the lasting effects of challenging a dominant colonialist culture? What kind of theatre can capture the conscience of the king?

Dennis Walder is Emeritus Professor of Literature at the UK’s revolutionary Open University. He is the former director of the Open University’s Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, as well as the founding director of the Post-Colonial Literatures Research Group. His first book on South Africa’s best-known playwright, Athol Fugard, appeared in 1984, and he has since edited three volumes of Fugard’s plays for Oxford University Press. Walder has contextualized his research on South African drama further in Post-Colonial Literatures: History, Language, Theory (Blackwell, 1998) and Postcolonial Nostalgias: Writing, Memory and Representation (Routledge, 2010).

Light refreshments will follow the lecture.

The Department of Comparative Literature thanks Ted Widlanski, Martha Jacobs, Judy Wertheim, and the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance for their support for this lecture.