International Samuel Beckett Symposium in Tokyo 2006


Date: Friday, Septermber 29
10:30 - 11:20

Mary Bryden (Cardiff University): Clowning with Beckett

Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall

Date: Friday, Septermber 29
16:10 - 17:00
Stanley Gontarski (Florida State University): The Future of Performance

Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall

Date: Saturday, Septermber 30
11:10 - 12:00
Evelyne Grossman (Université Paris VII): A la limite.
. .

Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall

Date: Sunday, October 1
11:10 - 12:00
Steven Connor (University of London): "On Such and Such a Day. . . in Such a World"
- Beckett's Radical Finitude

Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall


Date: Saturday, Septermber 30
14:20 - 15:10
Terence Brown (The Trinity College, Dublin): Yeats, Beckett and the Ghosts in the Machines
(supported by the Embassy of Ireland in Japan)

Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall


Date: Saturday, Septermber 30
15:30 - 16:50
"Beckett and the Art of His Century"
Enoch Brater (University of Michigan)

Angela Moorjani (Emerita, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Linda Ben-Zvi (University of Tel Aviv; Emerita, Colorado State University)
Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall

Date: Saturday, Septermber 30
admission: 17:00
lecture: 17:20 -18: 50
J. M. Coetzee(The Nobel laureate of 2003)

(with Japanese translation)
Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall

Date: Sunday, October 1
15:00 - 16:20
"Dialogue entre Bruno Clément et de jeunes chercheurs"
Bruno Clément (Université Paris 8)
Agnieszka Tworek (Yale University, Ph. D candidate)
Manako Ono (Gakushuin University)
Venue: Ibuka Masaru Hall

The year 2006 marks not only the one-hundredth anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s birth but also the fiftieth anniversary of the Japanese public’s very first encounter with his work. In 1953, a Japanese student named Ando Shin’ya watched the world premiere of En attendant Godot at the Théâtre de Babylone in Paris and was enchanted by this “unprecedented” play. The Hakusuisha Publishing Company published Ando’s Japanese translation of the play in 1956. Ando himself directed Godot’s Japanese premiere for the major Shingeki (“modern theatre”) company Bungakuza in 1960, making a decisive impact on such playwrights as Betsuyaku Minoru, Suzuki Tadashi, Sato Makoto, and Kara Juro. The production triggered the avant-garde movement called the “Underground Theatre”, which developed into “Shogekijo-Undou” (the “Little-Theatre Movement”), the new wave of Japanese theatre. Godot has been performed repeatedly in Japan since the 60s, leaving a deep impression upon spectator and practitioner alike. Such theatre artists as Ninagawa Yukio, Kushida Kazuyoshi, Tsuka Kohei and Miyazawa Akio demonstrate the influence that Beckett’s play continues to have in contemporary Japanese theatre.

Japan’s first international Beckett Symposium will be held at the International Convention Centre at Waseda University for three days, from 29 September to 1 October, 2006. The Symposium will be co-hosted by Waseda University’s 21st Century COE Institute for Theatre Research and the Samuel Beckett Research Circle of Japan. The symposium theme will be “Borderless Beckett”. The late Takahashi Yasunari, who initiated Beckett studies in Japan, described affinities between Beckett’s drama and classical Noh theatre. Noh crosses borders between reality and dream, between life and death. Beckett’s art too undermines dualistic thinking and transgresses various borders: traditional distinctions in genre, linguistic differences between English and French, geographical and political differences, and conventional frameworks of philosophy and aesthetics. Beckett’s writing, which seems on the one hand to be art reduced to bare essentials, is in fact paradoxically excessive, eluding conventional views of literature, media and culture. The symposium will aim to create a free critical and creative space, where diverse critical approaches and methodologies may reach toward and celebrate Beckett’s transgressive, borderless art.


International Samuel Beckett Symposium in Tokyo
September 29 – October 1, 2006

The 21st Century COE (Center of Excellence) Institute for Theatre Research, Waseda University
The Samuel Beckett Research Circle of Japan

Venue: Waseda University International Convention Centre

Public Transportation

Waseda University

Theatre Museum

Japan Society

Embassy of France in Japan

Embassy of Ireland in Japan

Gakushuin University

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