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Identity, heritage and creative research practice in Basilicata, southern Italy

Sonic ethnography explores the role of sound-making and listening practices in the formation of local identities in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The book uses a combination of text, photography and sound recording to investigate soundful cultural performances such as tree rituals, carnivals, pilgrimages, events promoting cultural heritage and more informal musical performances. Its approach demonstrates how in the acoustic domain tradition is made and disrupted, power struggles take place and acoustic communities are momentarily brought together in shared temporality and space. This book underlines how an attention to sound-making, recording and listening practices can bring innovative contributions to the ethnography of an area that has been studied by Italian and foreign scholars since the 1950s. The approaches of the classic anthropological scholarship on the region have become one of the forces at play in a complex field where discourses on a traditional past, politics of heritage and transnational diasporic communities interact. The book’s argument is carried forward not just by textual means, but also through the inclusion of six ‘sound-chapters’, that is, compositions of sound recordings themed so as to interact with the topic of the corresponding textual chapter, and through a large number of colour photographs. Two methodological chapters, respectively about doing research in sound and on photo-ethnography, explain the authors’ approach to field research and to the making of the book.

Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Open Access (free)
Lorenzo Ferrarini and Nicola Scaldaferri

In this work, we focus our attention on the role of sound in the formation of local identities in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. Through a combination of text, photographs and sound recordings, we will concentrate on soundful cultural performances, including religious festivals and collective events meant to promote cultural heritage, as well as more informal musical performances. Throughout the book we will listen to tree rituals, carnivals, pilgrimages and archival sound recordings, to understand how in the acoustic dimension people mark space

in Sonic ethnography
The revival of Lucanian wheat festivals
Lorenzo Ferrarini

the Madonna del Piano. The festival in Chiaromonte is a striking example of heritagisation. In 2018, its structure brought together offerings made for different saints or Madonnas in different villages, mixing the religious occasion of the festival of St John with a celebration of the offerings as cultural heritage. The way in Chiaromonte the two elements of devotion and cultural performance are kept together is remarkable and especially meaningful of the broader situation of the region. The prize-giving ceremony, sponsored by groups of emigrants settled in

in Sonic ethnography
Open Access (free)
Convergence, emergence and divergence
Simon Parry

performance resulting in the sequencing of specific rare disease genes by the CEPH and treatment-focussed research and development; and the cultural performance of the annual ‘téléthon’ fundraising event run by the AFM that underwrote the research efforts. Rabinow identifies the significance of this case in the emergence of a particular form of political subjectivity through the patient groups. He also argues that the ‘mystical benevolence’ of these groups presents an implicit challenge to technoscience and shifts the dominant conception of life itself. Mysticism, myth

in Science in performance
Struggles for power over a festival soundscape
Lorenzo Ferrarini

’s role as soundscape manager makes it clear that the monopoly of the festival belongs to the Church. As the performers enter a pact of mutual non-aggression that avoids duels similar to that between the zampogna players at the Pollino sanctuary, their sounds become institutionalised. It is not by chance that in Episcopia forms of sonic devotion are present side by side with the heritagisation of cultural performances, evident for example in the ‘peasant’ uniforms of folkloric dancers with wooden sickles – an aspect totally absent in the Madonna del Pollino pilgrimage

in Sonic ethnography
Between theatre as cultural form and true media theatre
Wolfgang Ernst

s and 1960s, while at the same time refusing to extend the terminology of literary genres to the analysis of magnetic voice recording. Anthropocentric discourse analyses oriented to cultural performance, however, tend to metaphorise human ‘memory’ in terms of specific storage technologies, describing the dramatisations of electronic recording such as Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape simply as discursive symptoms of technical ‘affordances’. Media archaeology more radically breaks out of the hermeneutic circle in favour of an analysis of the non-discursive techno

in Beckett and media
Open Access (free)
The art of performance and her work in film
Katharine Cockin

10 Ellen Terry The art of performance and her work in film Katharine Cockin The reputation of Ellen Terry (1847–1928) as an actor is associated with her stage performances at the Lyceum Theatre, London from 1878 to 1902, and in Shakespearean roles, notably Beatrice, Portia and Lady Macbeth. However, in 1916 she ventured into popular cultural performances in film and music hall. It is her film acting at the time of the rise of the film industry in the 1920s in particular which is considered here as a new dimension to the historiography of Terry’s career. Nina

in Stage women, 1900–50
Open Access (free)
Reading practices and participation in digital and medieval media
Heather Blatt

). 23 See Brantley, Reading in the wilderness, and Robert L. A. Clark and Pamela Sheingorn, ‘Performative reading: experiencing through the poet’s body in Guillaume de Digulleville’s Pelerinage de Jhesucrist’, in Cultural performances in medieval France: essays in honor of Nancy Freeman Regalado, ed. Eglal Doss-Quinby, Roberta L. Krueger, and E. Jane Burns (Rochester: Brewer, 2007), 135–51; also Robert L. A. Clark and Pamela Sheingorn, ‘Performative reading: The illustrated manuscripts of Arnoul Greban’s Mystere de la Passion’, European medieval drama 6 (2002), 129

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
Open Access (free)
Adam Fox and Daniel Woolf

: the Ingredients of Language (New York: Basic Books, 1999); Rosalind Horowitz and S. Jay Samuels (eds), Comprehending Oral and Written Language (San Diego: Academic Press, 1987), for developmental aspects of language. 6 See the helpful introductory essays on topics such as dress, gesture, humour, dance and other types of non-verbal communication in Richard Bauman (ed.), Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular Entertainments (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), xiii–xxi. 7 For a review of the history of the field, which emphasizes philosophical

in The spoken word