Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe (Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts, University of Lincoln) – Towards a Theatre of the Heart

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Programul de Studii Religioase – Texte şi Tradiţii al Facultăţii de Limbi şi Literaturi Străine şi Institutul de Cercetări al Universităţii din Bucureşti organizează prelegerea Towards a Theatre of the Heart, susţinută de Prof. dr. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts, University of Lincoln, joi, 17 noiembrie 2016, ora 17.00, la Sala de Consiliu a Facultăţii de Limbi şi Literaturi Străine (Str. Pitar Moş, nr. 7-13, et. I).

Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe studied English and Philosophy at the Universität Düsseldorf. In 1994 he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of London.  From 1994 to 2007, he was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, University of Wales Aberystwyth. Since October 2007 he has been Professor of Drama at the Lincoln School of Performing Arts, University of Lincoln. He has numerous publications on the topic of Theatre and Consciousness to his credit, and is founding editor of the peer-reviewed web-journal Consciousness, Literature and the Arts and the book series of the same title with Brill | Rodopi.

“The relatively recent cognitive turn in theatre and performance studies highlights an existing emphasis on ratio, on reason, on the biochemical and electro-physiological processes in the brains of theatre and performance makers and their audiences. Emotions, hitherto the major domain of the theatre, have been subsumed under the cognitive regime, and, in line with the materialistic paradigm characteristic of the scientific approach of cognitive science, have been reduced to brain activities. Apparently in contrast to this emphasis on the brain is the endeavour to foreground the heart as much more than merely an organic pump, and to understand it in terms of the seat of the soul, and a core centre for human spiritual contexts (where spirituality is understood as relating to human nature in both religious and non-religious terms). In this talk I want to explore the heart in relation to spirituality in general terms, and then consider the relevance of the insights of that exploration for theatre and performance practice. The purpose of this consideration is to re-assess the nature of the experiences of creating theatre and of watching a performance in a way that does not seek to reduce it to brain activities, but allows a wider perspective that in turn can be shown not to rule out the dimension of brain activity as mutually exclusive.” (Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe)