Institute for Theatre Research, The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University21st Century Centre Of Excellence ProgrammeDevelopment of Research and Study Methodologies in Theatre
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Theoretical Studies of Theatre (Western/Comparative Theatre Studies)

Course Overview
Course Overview

The Theoretical Studies of Theatre (Western & Comparative Studies) course consists of a vigorous program including lectures by famous theatrical researchers, a special course in German theatres taught by Professor Michiko Tanigawa of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and lectures and workshops featuring guest speakers from Japan and overseas. Students share knowledge and deepen their understanding of the state of the theatre in Europe and America, as well as the very latest in theatrical theory, and are encouraged to take part in lively dialogue and research.
Faculty members conduct a wide variety of projects based on their individual research themes. An array of research activities are undertaken, including areas that have hitherto remained untouched in theatrical studies, with the cooperation of experienced stage artists. Students writing their doctoral thesis are offered support in the form of progress meetings and the provision of various opportunities for special research students to announce their research findings. English seminars are also held, and assistance is given to those presenting research at international meetings or preparing their doctoral thesis in a language other than Japanese.

Theoretical Studies of Theatre (Western & Comparative Studies) 2005

1. COE Seminar: Looking at how to write a doctoral thesis and the methodology of theatrical research
Special researchers and those helping with research take turns to report on the progress of their work and doctoral theses. Using discussions that go beyond the regional or linguistic bounds of the research themes they follow or the graduate school they belong to, the seminar seeks to provide students with intellectual stimulation, support for their research and help in completing their theses. It is also hoped that sifting through the common themes and issues raised during the discussions will give students an opportunity to deepen and widen their debate of the subject and further their exploration of methodology in theatrical research.

2. COE Lectures on theatrical theory: The frontline of theatrical research across the world
(Four lectures a year are planned; the time and the name of the lecturer will be announced when decided.)
Famous lecturers from Japan and overseas will be invited to speak mainly about theatrical research in Europe and America. Students will look at the history and the current state of the performing arts, study the latest in theatrical theory, and investigate the potential of the fledgling research area of theatrical studies.

3. COE Special lectures: The structure of contemporary German theatre
(Lectures will be given by Professor Michiko Tanigawa of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, from 16:20-18:00 on Fridays.)
Professor Tanigawa, a figure at the forefront of research into contemporary German theatre, is welcomed back again this year in a series of lectures being offered as a course of the Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Course outline: While theatrical notions exemplified by the current vogue for ‘performance’ continue to send ripples through the world, theatre in the German-speaking world continues to focus on the twin facets of drama and theatre, and its international influence is unique in the fields of plays, performances, theory, and research and international influence. Drawing mainly upon the 20th century German playwrights Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Mueller, the lectures will examine the fundamental aspects of the transformation in German language theatre, and look at the three aspects of their work, how it is performed, and the theatrical theory surrounding it, in order to examine the possibilities for theatre in the present century, from post-Brechtian to post-drama theatre. It is hoped that the course, which uses videos and other visual teaching aids, will provide a mesh of viewpoints and also be of interest to students with no specialized knowledge of German theatre.

4. English language seminar
(The lecturers will be Associate Professor Anthony Martin of the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Associate Professor Anthony Newell of the Faculty of Political Science and Economics. Professor Martin’s lectures are planned for the morning of the first Saturday each month, and Professor Newell’s for the evening of the first Thursday of each month.)
Professor Martin’s lectures seek to provide students with the skills needed to present research papers in English. Students bring brief essays they have written, and are given instruction in writing and making presentations at international academic meetings. Professor Newell’s lectures offer and opportunity for students to learn about academic writing and basic literary skills.

5. Special lectures and workshops
A number of high-profile researchers, playwrights and figures from the theatrical world in Japan and overseas are scheduled to be invited to speak.

6. Thematic research courses
(The lecturer’s name is shown in parentheses.)
Comparative theatre studies (Hirokazu Akiba)
The course takes a look at how Bertholt Brecht was received and what sort of impact he made in various different cultures, countries, eras and societies. Students will review and analyze the available literature, with particular attention being given again to Brecht’s reception in Japan. There will also be interviews with people who have played apart in spreading Brecht’s work in Japan.

Beckett studies (Minako Okamuro)
In the lead-up to the symposium celebrating 100 years since the birth of Beckett, scheduled to be held as a CEO project in 2006, the course hopes to improve the quality of Beckett research in Japan. There will be a monthly study group, and research reports will be given. As there will be a call for papers for the symposium during 2005, the course will also involve the preparation of papers for the event in English and French, and mutual appraisals of this work.

Performance and other aspects of contemporary Western theatre (Koshi Odashima)
Looking at the translation, adaptation, performance and audience of Western plays in Japan, and conducting research in line with actual performances of specific plays, the course seeks to examine how exactly how the concept of performance can be tied in with theatrical research. (The course will not be held in 2005 as the teacher is taking a sabbatical.)

Post-colonial theatrical research (Keiji Sawada)
The course investigates the theatre of indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand through the published literature and actual performances. Literature is collected on post-colonial theatre in Japan and the rest of the world, and all the works are analyzed. The course also undertakes an evaluation of the preceding post-colonial theatrical theory research.

Collections of Japanese theatrical memorabilia in the theatre museums of Europe
(Guenter Zobel)
This course examines and investigates European museums of theatre and ethnology, and the memorabilia in their collections, particularly Japanese items such as masks, costumes and scenery paintings. An emphasis is placed on East Germany and Eastern European nations whose significance in this field has started to become recognised following the end of the Cold War.

Contemporary theatrical research in the French-speaking world (Shintaro Fujii)
The course attempts to make a multifaceted analysis of theatrical and stage performance aspects, performances, texts, systems and history in the French-speaking world, mainly France, Belgium and Canada. With the cooperation of external research bodies and arts groups such as the Société Franco-Japonaise de Théâtre, leading researchers and performers from Japan and overseas are invited to study groups and lectures periodically held as a part of the project. Research students from the faculty of performing arts at Université Paris X are scheduled to be invited in September.

Shakespeare studies (Hiromi Fuyuki)
Approaching Shakespeare and other playwrights of his era through the latest modern criticism and a close reading of the texts, the course hopes to raise the standards of Shakespearian research. Leading Shakespeare researchers will be invited to speak at study groups held around once a month, and reports by special researchers and co-researchers are also scheduled.

Theatrical studies of opera and musicals (Takashi Marumoto)
This course sees the often overlooked areas of opera and musicals as a vital part of theatrical research, and tries to apply a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to their study. Having hitherto focused on the 17th and 18th centuries and a consideration of the relationship between the performing arts and music, 2005 will see the course concentrating on fundamental and wide-ranging research into opera and musicals, and the establishment of operatic studies in Japan. A study group is expected to be held a couple of times a month, with papers presented by extramural lecturers and special researchers.

The collection and analysis of theatrical archives (Hiroko Mikami)
In an effort to bring the concept of performance into perspective and enrich theatrical research, the course brings together and analyses overseas theatrical archives, principally those of Ireland.

Faculty Profile

Name Qualifications
Yuichi Akiba Co-Curator, The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum; Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Minako Okamuro Professor, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University
Koshi Odasima Professor, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University
Takashi Kuwano Professor, School of Education, Waseda University
Keiji Sawada Associate Professor, School of Law, Waseda University
Guenter Zobel Professor, School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University
Shintaro Fujii Associate Professor, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University
Takashi Marumoto Professor, School of Law, Waseda University
Hiroko Mikami Professor, International College, Waseda University
Naoko Yagi Associate Professor, School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University

<Visiting Research Associate>
Name Qualifications
Takeshi Kawashima Visiting Research Associate, Institute for Theatre Research of the 21st Century COE, Waseda University

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