ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Epoch and the Theatre

A Poetics of Modernity: Indian Theatre Theory, 1850 to the Present edited by Aparna Bhargava Dharwadker, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp cix + 521,  ₹ 2,195.

At a recent conference in Venice, Nivedita Menon began her keynote lecture stating that even though her discussion is about the global South, she hopes that some theoretical insights may be drawn from it. She added, with a little chuckle, that the global South has had to impress upon the academia that it does not merely offer empirical revelations about an erstwhile unknown world, but also dynamic theoretical systems of thought.1 The divide between the Orient as sensorial and the West as reason and philosophy has permeated modern academia, and one finds how rarely chronicles of thought from the global South are acknowledged as systems of theory. Moreover,

orientalist and new-orientalist criticism of theatre in the West has been notoriously disinterested in the category of the ‘modern’ choosing to focus instead on the classical period of Sanskrit theatre, and more recently on numerous premodern genres of religious traditional, ritualistic, folk and intermediary performance. (p xxxiii)

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Updated On : 21st Sep, 2019


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