London Theatre Seminar, 1 December 2016, PG Panel with Faisal Adel Hamadah (QMUL) and Ella Parry-Davies (Kings)

Please join us for our final London Theatre Seminar of 2016 on Thursday, 1 December, in the University of London Senate House (Room 104 Torrington Room). This seminar will feature a postgraduate panel with Faisal Hamadah (QMUL) and Ella Parry-Davies (Kings). It starts at 6.30 PM and will close at 8.30, to reconvene in a local pub. 

We hope to see you there!

Broderick, Louise, & Bryce

Faisal Adel Hamadah

This paper will offer a comparative reading of two plays from Kuwait. The first, titled Kuwait in the Year 2000 (1966), imagines society in the far-flung future as a utopia of non-productivity resulting from the country’s newfound oil wealth. The second, titled The Hour Has Arrived (1984) is ostensibly a restaging of the first but makes no pretensions of prophecy, choosing instead to ground its image of society squarely in the present. Strikingly, this restaging does not mention the oil at all. By viewing these plays in their social, cultural and economic milieus, the paper will trace a development of Kuwait’s imbrication in global capitalism and how this imbrication alters the way theatre goes about theatricalizing social and political concerns. Methodologically, the paper will draw insight from the emergent field of the energy humanities and from the theory of combined and uneven development, a theory that has been central to rethinking the paradigms of international relations, and that has recently made a controversial entry into the field of cultural and literary analysis. 

Faisal Adel Hamadah is a PhD candidate in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary, University of London

Ella Parry-Davies: ‘Connexionism’ and the beach: ecologies of remembrance and the performance of leisure in postwar Beirut

This paper is an attempt to renegotiate the critical stance incited by what Boltanski and Chiapello have identified as the paradigm of ‘connexionism.’ The paper examines representations of leisure in Beirut’s post civil war moment, a period shaped by neoliberal economic resurgence and the extensive redevelopment and gentrification of urban space. In this climate, critics have often sought in collective memory a ballast against postwar commodity consumerism. Yet through optics afforded by intercultural feminist thought, I attempt to understand the ways in which leisure practices in the postwar might re-route, distort, obstruct, magnify or recuperate connexionist or neoliberal logic, confounding familiar oppositions of resistance versus complicity. In reading such practices as enacted through and amidst dynamic ecologies of remembrance, I attempt to develop a non-binary understanding of the imbrications of transnational connexionism, mnemonic practices and nostalgia.

Ella Parry-Davies is a PhD candidate supported by King’s College London and the National University of Singapore. She is a founding member of the research collective After Performance, which is exploring collaborative scholarship as a response to geopolitical fragmentation. She was co-convenor of Beirut: Bodies in Public, a three-day programme of scholarship and performances in public spaces in Beirut, and of Research with Reach, which supports training for postgraduate researchers at King’s. She has published in Performance Research and Performance Philosophy and is part of the editorial team for Interventions (Contemporary Theatre Review). She teaches across Theatre, Comparative Literature and Liberal Arts at King’s, NUS and the University of Roehampton. In 2016 Ella received a Dwight Conquergood Award at PSi#22, Melbourne, for the paper ‘Mazboot: Precarious Performance and the Life of Lines’.

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