UR Scènes du monde (Research Unit: Stages of the World)

The choice of the Unit’s new title — Stages of the World —for the 2014-2018 period reflects a desire to strengthen and develop international research on contemporary, modern and traditional performing arts by blending the French and French-language research methodologies of our Research Unit with those of international universities. The aim is to deepen the involvement of professors (and doctoral students) active in the performing arts. They will be invited to give special classes, to direct productions based on shared thought processes and lead shared research projects (intensive seminars, study days). However, this shared area of interest for the Unit also aims, through the idea of World Stages, to incorporate contemporary approaches adopted in new spaces of artistic creation. These may refer to virtual spaces generated by new technologies or non-artistic spaces found in different environments, such as hospitals, prisons or activist theatres exploring the question of marginalised theatrical spaces (street theatres).

In addition to this particular focus on the inter/transcultural dimensions of the performing arts, the unique characteristic of EA 1573 is the importance it gives to inter-artistic creation and its close collaboration with artists and very young researchers. The Unit works closely with students of Paris 8 University’s master’s degree in performing arts, from both its theoretical/practical theatre programme and the more vocational international artistic cooperation programme, as well as with Erasmus Mundus master’s studying Etudes du spectacle vivant (Performing Arts Studies). The Research Unit also helps to train future professionals in the arts and culture sector by organising study days, as well as theory-based and practical seminars based on live performances in partnership with different institutions (ESAD Remins, CNSAD Paris). The inter-artistic dimension that defines the work of this Unit spans the historiography of different types of contemporary performance in relation to their socio-cultural context and the amalgamation of live performance, writing, design and new technologies. It also explores the field of aesthetics, particularly focusing on the influences of poetry in spaces aimed at representation (theatre/physical theatre, dance/sculpture, circus acts) and/or interventions (installations/performances, visual performances, sound/music, interactive audiovisual performances).

The third theme explored in this Research Unit, namely critical knowledge, identifies the innovative interactions between specialised knowledge and its necessary transdisciplinarity. The aim is to bring the fields of performing arts research and the human sciences, particularly anthropology and sociology, together with the fields of neuroscience and cognitive science (theses written on applied behaviourism, the importance of technologies from the 19th century onwards). Our Research Unit also deals with the intersection between contemporary writing based on oral tradition, the body language of practitioners and multilingualism. This is accompanied by a focus on literary disciplines responding to Francophone and Anglophone postcolonial studies and critical approaches to current processes of heritage designation. The shifting of the boundaries between stage/audience, actor/spectator, researcher/artist involves the creation of a critical discourse, the result of an analysis produced jointly by artists from their own art practice and researchers belonging to a very wide range of disciplines.

There is currently no other theatre studies research unit of this type in France that enjoys such a seamless fusion of artistic creation with history, aesthetics, and theatre ethnology, inspiring a new critical discourse between the French school and international practice.

Research themes:

  • Aesthetics and poetry
  • History
  • Theatre ethnology

UFR Arts, philosophie, esthétique
ED 159 : Esthétique, sciences et technologies des Arts

2 rue de la Liberté
93526 SAINT-DENIS, France

Website: https://scenes-monde.univ-paris8.fr/