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Spiritual Vacuity and Corporeal Disobedience: Contemporary Plays on Organ Transplants

Sita Maria Kattanek, Carl Hanser, Munich

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Abstract

This study will look at dramatic representations of organ transplants because contemporary plays address the more subterranean fears surrounding the medical endeavor called transplantation. The conflicts of the dramas have their origin in debates that took place among bioethicists. The theater, however, “becomes the domain where the debate is acted out before a live audience” (Belli 2008: xiv), thus rendering the involved questions visible in a public setting. Dea Loher’s Hände (2002) and Tomio Tada’s The Well of Ignorance (1991)use the dialogical quality of drama to reveal the absurdities and grotesqueness of modern medical technologies. With emotional discomfort these plays question what it means to receive a donated body part and whether it is justified to endlessly repair the human body.

Semiotic Encryption of Women, Violence and Hysteria in Indian Women Dramaturgy

Praggnaparamita Biswas,  Banaras Hindu University, India

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Abstract

The juxtaposing depiction of women, violence and hysteria as semiotic elements in women-centric play-texts attempts to translate the theatrical meanings because of its demonstrable approach to unearth the textual meanings and its relational politics of representation. From semiological aspect, the interplay of women, violence and hysteria generates a kind of semiotic femaleness in order to prognosticate the feminist route of cultural politics imbedded in the narratives of female composed drama. The present paper intends to analyze the semiotic transformation of Indian women dramaturgy in the plays of Padmanabhan, Mehta and Sengupta. Each of their plays tries to interpret new meanings hidden under the semiotic signs used by these playwrights and also attempt to project the gender politics visualized in the realm of feminist theatre.  

Editorial, Volume V, Number 1

It should not be out of place for us here to think of giving an outline to a kind of project, which was on our minds till a certain time but which could not be either discussed or implemented for the lack of appropriate opportunities. Could it be possible to think of a center or academy devoted to neuroscience, evolutionary studies, aesthetics, environment and medicine. Perhaps there is no one single institution in which information from such disciplines could be studied with a general redressive purpose. An institute which shall contain interdisciplinary course work intending to develop modules of analysis regarding behavioral functions, or components of human social existence is the call of the day. This call is driven by the very simple notion that what men and women need are scientific insights into the roots of their own existence and being, and a study of the conditions that would be conducive to free, uninhibited livelihood. Perhaps such insights lead to amelioration of health. The connection between neurophysiological realities of the brain and any form of physical exercise, athletics or sports seemed to have been already grasped by ancient systems of religion. Economists are studying the effects of microlevel redressal measures in the context of attempts made in order to bring about radical changes on macroeconomic level. Answer to such questions as how the arts emerge in human societies can explain the nature of aesthetically motivated actions. It is indeed time for us to conceive of the formation of a society that could discuss issues related to our lives and its environment, our culture and the arts that we perform. Please send us your suggestions or proposals for the formation of such a society. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tirtha Prasad  Mukhopadhyay, Editor-in-Chief

Kittens in the Oven: Race Relations, Traumatic Memory, and the Search for Identity in Julia Alvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

Natalie Carter

George Washington University, USA

Volume 2, Number 3, 2010Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n3.10

Abstract

The search for an ever-elusive home is a thread that runs throughout much literature by authors who have immigrated to the United States.  Dominican authors are particularly susceptible to this search for a home because “for many Dominicans, home is synonymous with political and/or economic repression and is all too often a point of departure on a journey of survival” (Bonilla 200).  This “journey of survival” is a direct reference to the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, who controlled the Dominican Republic from 1930-1961. The pain and trauma that Trujillo inflicted upon virtually everyone associated with the Dominican Republic during this era is still heartbreakingly apparent, and perhaps nowhere is that trauma more thoroughly illustrated than in the literature of Julia Alvarez.  Alvarez is a prime example of an author who utilizes narrative in a clear attempt to come to grips with lingering traumatic memories.  After her father’s role in an attempt to overthrow the dictator is revealed, Alvarez’s family is forced to flee the Dominican Republic as political exiles, and a sense of displacement has haunted her since.  Because both the Dominican Republic and the United States are extraordinary racially charged, concepts of home and identity are inextricably bound to race relations in much of Alvarez’s art.  Using theoretical concepts drawn from the fields of trauma studies and Black cultural studies, this essay examines Alvarez’s debut novel in order to illustrate the myriad ways in which culture, politics, and race converge and speak through each other, largely in the form of traumas that can irreparably alter one’s sense of home, voice, and identity.

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