Title: Space and Place in Greek Tragedy
Title: Democracy and Theatricality in the English and French Revolutions
The English (and Scottish) revolution of the 1640s was driven by puritanism which, as in the case of US independence, fostered the ideal that each individual should live according to their conscience, and that all forms of hierarchy are unacceptable. Protestant political orators had to believe or maintain that they spoke as the spirit led them - a legacy that fed into US versions of Stanislavsky. Most of the French revolutionaries were educated in Catholic schools, and therefore had a very different take on the ethics of giving a planned and rehearsed political speech and mounting a political show. For them theatricality was not inherently a bad thing. The modern Academy tends to pride itself on its secular Enlightenment values, and for this reason the importance of religious traditions is often underplayed. I thought this would be an interesting topic to air in a Maltese context.
Title: Language, Gesture, and the Mind-Body Problem
The relationship between mind and body is one of the oldest and most inescapable philosophical problems. In premodern times the concept of mind was bound up with that of the ‘soul’ but today we have abandoned the ‘soul’ and preoccupied ourselves with the ‘self’. I will explore this problem in relation to the phenomenon of gesture, the process by which all we human beings create shapes and patterns with our hands at the same time as we create words in what we normally take to be our heads. Different ways in which philosophy formulates the mind/body relationship correlate with different ways in which techniques of acting have channelled and controlled this biological impulse.