Irish Studies Würzburg

Inaugural John Millington Synge Lecture - Prof. Patrick Lonergan, MRIA (National University of Ireland, Galway) "Re-Reading JM Synge in an Era of Climate Crisis" April 28, 2022 18-20 pm c.t. (CET)

Datum: 28.04.2022, 18:00 - 20:00 Uhr
Vortragende:r: Prof. Patrick Lonergan, MRIA (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland)

The starting point of this lecture is that dramatic writing from the past can help us to come to terms with our current era of climate crisis – that writers such as JM Synge can offer surprising perspectives on the natural world and our responsibilities for it. 

Another way of expressing that idea is to suggest that today’s weather was caused, if only in a small way, by theatre from the past. We know that theatre-makers (including the directors of the early Abbey Theatre) burned fossil fuels when they illuminated stages or transported productions from place to place – but we also know that theatre has always mirrored and shaped attitudes towards the environment, the climate, other living beings, and indeed fossil fuels too. It has also shaped audiences’ understanding of the real, including the relationship of the human to the (rest of) the natural world. The onset of the climate crisis therefore requires new approaches to literary and dramatic history: approaches that will encourage scholars, readers, theatre-makers, and audiences to consider how old plays can generate new knowledge. 

This lecture considers the new knowledge that can be found in the plays, poems, and prose of Synge, with special focus on his Aran Islands and Riders to the Sea

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Patrick Lonergan is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway, and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He was the director of the Synge Summer School from 2008 to 2013, and his edited collection Synge and His Influences gathers together some of the papers that were delivered during those years. He has written or edited many other books about Irish theatre, including Theatre and Globalization (2009), The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh (2012), and Irish Drama and Theatre Since 1950 (2019). He has lectured on Irish drama in many international locations including Princeton, Tokyo, Florianopolis, Wroclaw, Singapore, and Cambridge. He was one of the keynote speakers of the 2021 conference of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, where he lectured about Lady Gregory, Druid Theatre and the Anthropocene.



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Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ)

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