Working group I had a rather limited point of departure: European drama and theatre in the 1990s. It proved to be very fruitful, and not restricting or reducing the view on the matter. Instead of a wider concept to begin with, we wanted to open to different perspectives on theatre and drama of the near past. In our call for papers we launched some perspectives that we wished to include in the program of this section: contextual vs. autonomous art, body and representation, regional and global aspects, gender and politics. These perspectives were not only presented by the different papers, but also emerged in a variety of combinations throughout the talks and discussions. Our intention concerning the including of different areas of research was also met, creating an interesting and promising interface between theory and practice, from the viewpoint of theatre studies, literary studies, philology, theatre practice, and the visual arts.
The main concept of the working group as a whole, as it turned out, can best be put into the word MAPPING. Not only did the contributors come from nearly all corners of Europe, particularly East, West, and North, but the talks were both informative and getting into perspective postmodern and post-mainstream theories and practices - in a regional and in a global context. The bilingual structure of the working group - both German and English served as working languages - was indeed part of this mapping as well. The need to continuously re-map the landscape of European theatre and drama became evident during the three days of presentations and discussions. Our hope is that this conference has contributed to this important process.
Since we had so many contributors, which we definitely appreciated, we sometimes had to put on hold discussions that we hope will go on, both in formal and informal meetings between the participants. We also hope that the publication of the papers in TRANS, and later on print, will accelerate this dialogue.
In 1995 we arranged, in cooperation with Jura Soyfer Society, a conference in Bergen with the title "Tendencies in poetic and political drama from the 1920s to the present". This year's conference to some extent developed on that of 1995, and sharpened the focus. The last, unannounced contribution in working group I was on aesthetics and ethics in performance. Perhaps this might indicate a new point of departure for another conference?
And finally, a heartily thank you to all participants for making a successful and productive conference.
Elin Nesje Vestli
table of contents: No.9
last change 22.11.2000