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ERIC Number: EJ920847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Utopian Performatives and the Social Imaginary: Toward a New Philosophy of Drama/Theater Education
Prendergast, Monica
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v45 n1 p58-73 Spr 2011
Drama/theater education lives in the tension of being a discipline rooted in the fine arts and humanities that has been transplanted into the social science of education. This paper suggests that a more aesthetic and philosophical reflection on what drama/theater does and can do in educational settings frees us from the scientized and instrumental concerns of more traditional social science research approaches in education. In this regard, and in moving toward the articulation of a new philosophy for drama/theater education (and its sister field of applied drama/theater), the recent work of performance theorist Jill Dolan and philosopher Charles Taylor is presented. Dolan's notion of the utopian performative suggests that in certain performance contexts, spectators experience fleeting yet powerful "glimpse[s] of utopia" based on feelings of deep empathy and "lucid intersubjective understanding." Taylor's philosophy of the social imaginary suggests that society itself is created and sustained by collective acts of the imagination that are constantly in flux and flow and are possible to harness in the cause of social justice and change. Drawing on the work of these thinkers, and selected others, a new philosophical way of seeing drama/theater education as the collective creation of socially imagined performative utopias is offered for further consideration and development. (Contains 60 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A