Dr Jessica Goodman (Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow in French) is hosting a conference on ‘Last Scene of All’: Death, Dying, and the Dead on Stage'.
This conference will bring together researchers working on death, dying and the dead on stage, across different countries, genres and time periods, in order to explore the many ways in which the ‘last scene of all’; common to all cultures and individuals, is depicted, negotiated and exploited by writers and practitioners in that very human, bodily form that is theatrical performance.
The topics to be explored range from the theoretical, to the literary, to the intensely practical. They include: the visual rhetoric of onstage death, the function of the ghost in different theatrical contexts, death and theatrical celebrity, suicide in fin de siècle England, corpses in early modern France, operatic deaths, the (un)performability of death, and theatre’s own capacity to bring the dead back, night after night.
This conference builds on an event run in the French sub-faculty in 2017, entitled ‘Whither Death?’
TORCH Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building
9.30-10.40 Cecilia Feilla, English and World Literatures, Marymount Manhattan College
Crypts, Corpses, and the Living Dead in Revolutionary Melodrama
10.40-11.40 Panel 1: Death and (Real) Life
Sarah Burdett, English, Warwick
‘’Tis Gallia’s hopeless Queen!’: Resurrecting the Dead in John Philip Kemble’s Macbeth (1794)
James Harriman-Smith, English, Newcastle
Feasting upon Fame: Garrick’s Deaths
11.55-12.55 Panel 2: Women, Dying
Sophie Duncan, English, Magdalen College, Oxford
‘The child mustn’t lie here for a show’: suicidal women on the fin-de-siècle stage
Alexandra Wilson, Music, Oxford Brookes
Performing death in Puccini’s La bohème
13.50-14.50 Panel 3: Death and Theatrical Creation
Nicholas Ridout, Theatre Studies, Queen Mary University of London
Dominic Glynn, French/Comparative Literature, IMLR
(Un)performable deaths: how do you die without dying?
14.50-16.20 Panel 4: Seeing and Not Seeing Tragic Death
Emanuela Tandello, Italian, Oxford
‘So you believe yourself to be still alive?’ The tale of the dead poet, the ghostly Army, and ritual death in Pirandello’s The
Jonathan Patterson, French, St Hilda’s College, Oxford
Killing Coligny: The Stages of the Admiral’s Death
Joseph Harris, French, Royal Holloway
Witnessing death in Corneille’s L’Illusion comique
16.35-17.45 Fiona Macintosh, Classics, St Hilda's, Oxford
‘The whole point of living is preparing to die’: Dying into death in tragic drama
17.45-18.15 Walk to St Catherine’s College
19.15-19.45 Drinks reception
20.00 Conference dinner (for speakers and chairs)