SCULPT! (Our Argument)

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Our argument/thesis statement in a few sentences:

The genesis of a culturally specific Scandinavian theatre began with the founding of the Gronnegrade Teatret (Green Street Theatre) in 1722 and the commission of writer Ludvid Holberg as playwright. Previous to this time, Scandinavian culture was stifled and largely steeped in foreign influence. The success of this genesis, exemplified by The Danish Comedy, was caused by the sheer will of Holberg. However, the true cultural awakening, which was Holberg's goal, was unable to take place being driven by a one man revolution, without the support of the people who were repressed under an absolute Monarch.

One of the articles which I read dubs Holberg the "Nordic Molière." While that particular article did not make such claims, some argue that Holberg was not in fact creating an original Scandinavian artistic culture, but rather a direct descendent of the larger European, and most commonly French, culture that he wished to separate their art from. We intend to incorporate this opposing viewpoint into our presentation and address its merits and weaknesses.

1. We've decided to divide sections of the information among each other, allowing for each person roughly a 4 minute time slot. At least, that is the idea currently. As we establish, for example how much historical background is truly needed/there is time for, we will allocate that time accordingly. Furthermore, each of us, has sort of naturally fallen into particular areas of research and we hope to divvy up the spoken sections accordingly, so that each person is speaking about the topic with which they are most comfortable and informed. Our presentation will now be structured into a lecture format, and we've organized our argument through an outline with multiple sections. First the argument is introduced, historical context, theatrical context, and biographical context. In this way, by positioning ourselves to speak on the topics that we are the most familiar with, we should be able to highlight the work and research of each member of our group.

2. (As discussed more articulately above) The main idea we're trying to present is that the rise and fall of Danish theatre at this point in history is indicative of an attempt to create a distinct cultural/artistic identity by Holberg. However, though the seed was planted, his efforts eventually dissolved due to the nature of an absolute monarchy and a relative disinterest from the populace at large. By choosing this specific subset of history to address we hope to provide our classmates with an interesting snapshot of a, relatively short, period of time that was not only crucial to the history of Scandinavian theatre, but also the cultural development of the region at large. By keeping the time frame which we are addressing short in terms of years, and adding performative elements where possible to keep their interest, our goal is strike a balance.

3. As has been hinted at in the two previous questions, we have decided to change our format, at least somewhat. We've decided to shape our presentation into a lecture format. This decision was reached today for a number of reasons, the most primary of which being that our research had led us in such a direction that, given the time constraints of the presentation, as well as its goals, it seemed to be the best choice. Now, that having been said, we still hope to keep some of the performance aspects that we had previously intended to encompass the whole of our presentation. For example, we may still have one group member read quotations as Holberg and we will almost certainly, for the sake of illustration, perform snippets from "The Political Tinker." Our hope is that the slightly more traditional structure will allow us clarity in the discussion of our topic, while remaining succinct and retaining part of our want for an embodiment of this era in the space provided.

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Wow! Lots of terrific analysis here. I'm especially pleased that you've delved into this question of whether Holberg was presenting an authentically Scandinavian theatre, or whether he was simply attempting to copy other European aesthetics. This is an interesting historiographic dilemma and might be fun to remark on if you have time - if not, though, consider finding ways to talk through this more in your reflections.

Everything seems very organized, and I'm glad that you've made the choice to abandon the performance - this would have been nice to see (and I do hope some snippets of the scenes might still make their way in), but it is also very challenging to integrate a performance with a lecture in a way that is still intellectually stimulating. Be sure to decide as quickly as possible if yuou will do anything theatrical in your presentation so that you have time to map this out thoroughly and time yourselves to keep within time limits. Other than that, I think you're in great shape!

Also, one brief note that does not really matter but is just a minor pet peeve of mine: "Performative" does not mean what you think that it means. It is a very specific term that indicates when something written or oral "performs" a certain action. For example, if a priest says "I now pronounce you husband and wife," it is not just a statement, it also actually creates a husband and a wife. It's a bit confusing. But anyway, I think what you're really indicating is that you're going to have "theatrical" elements in your presentation, or that you will "perform," which is different than being "performative". Not a big deal (and I know I'm being a bit hoity-toity in bringing it up), but I'm on a bit of a quest with this word since it's frequently misused (often because grad students throw it around willy-nilly).

Great work overall!

Grade: 100%

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This page contains a single entry by dose0017 published on November 20, 2012 10:32 PM.

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