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)
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
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
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
Collections of Japanese theatrical memorabilia
in the theatre museums of Europe
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
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
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.
||Co-Curator, The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum;
Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
||Professor, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences,
||Professor, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences,
||Professor, School of Education, Waseda University
||Associate Professor, School of Law, Waseda University
||Professor, School of Political Science and Economics,
||Associate Professor, School of Letters, Arts
and Sciences, Waseda University
||Professor, School of Law, Waseda University
||Professor, International College, Waseda University
||Associate Professor, School of Political Science
and Economics, Waseda University
<Visiting Research Associate>
||Visiting Research Associate, Institute for Theatre
Research of the 21st Century COE, Waseda University