Conference 2018

The Structural Approach to Art

 (Otakar Zich and the Prague Linguistic Circle Re-Considered)

8th–10th June 2018 

Department of Theatre Studies

Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic

This International Symposium The BRNO THEATRALIA CONFERENCE 2018, hosted by the Department of Theatre Studies, Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic), is dedicated to theatre theory and the continuing legacy of the founding figure of theatre structuralism, Otakar Zich, and of the Prague Linguistic Circle. 

Czech music aesthetician, musicologist, theatre and literary theorist, composer and critic Otakar Zich (1879–1934) is considered to be a founding figure of modern theatre theory, and a great number of theorists have related their work to him and his concepts. As part of a 3-year research project on Otakar Zich (Czech Grant Agency, 2016–2018), our research team are working on an English critical edition of Zich’s seminal work The Aesthetics of Dramatic Art (1931), as well as on the exploration of its contexts, reception and its critical heritage. Internationally, in the fields of theatre theory and musicology, only limited attention has been given to Zich and his influential work. Such is the starting point of the dialogue we seek to open at the conference. 

Since Otakar Zich was a personality of various interests and capacities, we propose to structure the conference at the intersection of three distinctive, though interconnected fields: theatre theory (and history), history and theory of music, and general aesthetics. 

Scholars from various fields as well as theatre practitioners, translators, and theatre critics are warmly invited to join and participate in the event either as speakers or as audience members. 

A concert featuring selected parts of Zich’s mature operatic work Vina / The Guilt (1915), an oeuvre unperformed for almost 90 years, will be produced and performed in co-production of the Ensemble Opera Diversa and the National Theatre in Brno, bespoke on the occasion of the conference. 

This conference is the second of a series of conferences connected to the journal THEATRALIA and explores further issues addressed at two previous Prague Semiotics Stage Revisited conferences (2011 and 2013). Proceedings of these two conferences have been published in the THEATRALIA and are available here: Theatralia 2012/2Theatralia 2014/2 

Keynote speakers

Prof. Veronika Ambros (University of Toronto)

Prof. Yana Merzoon (Universisity of Ottawa)

Dr Brian Locke (Western Illinois University) 

Selected proceedings from the conference will be published in a special issue of THEATRALIA (vol. 2020/1; the paper submission deadline is April 30, 2019). 


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