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Ann  Enström,  Umeå  University,  Department  of  Culture  and  Media  Studies  and   Umeå  Center  for  gender  Studies  (UCGS)  Sweden.       Report  for  SWEA  North.  SWEA.    2014-­‐03-­‐27.    

 

 

 

DUKE  UNIVERSITY,  Guest  Scholar  Visit  2013/2014,  Durham,  North  Carolina     Ann  Enström  PhD-­‐Candidate  in  Drama,  Theatre  and  Film  Studies,  specializing  in   literary  studies.  Report  on  travel  and  stay  at  Duke  University,  Department  of   Literature  and  Department  of  Cultural  Anthropology.         Introduction       On  February  the  second  2013,  I  left  on  a  first  initial  visit  to  North  Carolina  (in  which  I   actually  stayed  already  as  an  Au  pair  back  in  1995,  in  Greensborough  for  a  total  of  6   months!),  Durham  at  Duke  University  to  meet  with  literature  professor  Katherine   Hayles.  She  is  an  extraordinary  researcher  and  has  her  profession  in  the  humanities   (and  social  sciences),  serving  as  a  distinguish  professor  at  Duke  University  since  more   than  a  decade.  To  have  this  opportunity  to  share  knowledge  and  experience  from  a  first-­‐ class  professor  such  as  Hayles  is  an  academic  blessing.  Her  deep  understanding  of   philosophical  ideas,  liminal  theory  and  epistemological  breaking  ground  shows  that  the   target  of  literature-­‐studies  as  a  subject  is  moving  forward,  constantly  on  the  move.           The  purpose  with  my  “in  advance”  visit  was  to  have  a  seminar  with   Professor  Katherine  Hayles  to  discuss  digital  humanity  and  in  which  ways  these  sorts  of   analysis  in  my  own  research  can  be  a  synergetic  and  fruitful  part.  After  having  lunch  at   the  docks  building  at  the  Department  of  Performance  Studies  on  the  6th  of  February,  we   sat  down  and  went  on  to  go  through  my  upcoming  thesis  and  to  study  especially  my   pictures,  the  illustrations  that  is  suppose  to  be  a  major  part  in  the  book.  We  agreed  that   the  pictures  made  a  difference  and  a  semi-­‐meta  contribution  to  the  thesis  scientific  part   and  that  as  such  they  will  make  a  semiotic  and  a  hermaneutic  difference  over  time.   However,  we  both  came  to  a  conclusion  regarding  the  illustrations  (that  explicitly  shows   a  fictive  character  of  a  fairy  –  tail  princess  in  HC  Andersons  dramas,  AKA  the  “Theatre-­‐ Princess”)  playing  a  strong  mark  and  important  part  in  the  upcoming  thesis.    

 

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A  noteworthy  thing  of  these  kind  of  new  posthuman  ideas  in  the  social   sciences  and  the  humanities  is  thus  that  regardless  of  how  either  academia  or  outside   research  in  NGO:s,  companies,  etc.  can  learn  from  how  we  choos  to  interpret  ideas,   ideologies,  discourses,  moral  and  ethical  opinions  and  further.       Talks  and  discussions     The  next  day  I  had  a  brownbag  lunch  and  seminar  with  Anthropology,  distinguished   Professor  Orin  Starn  at  the  Department  of  Cultural  Anthropology,  in  downtown  Durham.   This  time  we  discussed  my  project  seen  from  a  phenomenological  perspective,  where   theatre  and  literature  analysis  can  be  empowered  by  such  a  theoretical  impact.  Also,  at   this  joint  meeting  with  staff  faculty,  were  two  other  persons  attending  the  meeting,   namely  Staff  director  and  grad-­‐students  responsible  Rebecca  Stein  and  Dr.  Katia   Weselowski.     The  long  term  purpose  with  this  meeting  was  to  discuss  how  performative   action  on  stage,  or  a  performance  in  everyday  life  or  and  a  performativity  of  speech  can   be  mixed  in  a  melting  pot  through  a  theoretical  lens  and  if  possible  what  is  the  outcome   for  my  thesis  results?  We  came  to  a  point  in  our  debriefing  and  discussions  that   regardless  of  old  academic  posture  towards  theatre  studies  and  performance  studies,   my  thesis  work  can  help  in  getting  a  brief  history  mapping  over  the  project  and       We  all  agreed  that  performativity  as  a  theoretical  instrument  clashed  with  a   (post)  phenomenological  stance  can  be  a  turning  point  in  how  researchers  can  make  use   of  a  perspective  that  see  those  sorts  of  collisions  as  an  important  issue  in  society.   Furthermore,  it  is  in  these  ways  that  both  philosophical  and  intellectual  talks  on  the   posthuman  new  research  debate  is  growing  and  giving  new  insights  to  humanity.     LECTURE  AND  TALK   On  the  return  in  the  fall  of  2013  I  held  a  speech  at  the  department  of  literature.  Here  I   stressed  the  opportunity  that  theatre,  performance  and  literature  studies  can  pay  a   central  role  in  how  we  view  future  textual  and  political  ideas  in  different  areas,  outside   of  societal  demands.  This  means  in  academic  perspective  that  we  as  researchers  need  to   engage  in  the  community  debate  and  not  only  stand  besides  holding  our  thoughts  to   ourselves  without  interfering  in  social  and  cultural  activities.    

 

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Analysis  and  further  insights   As  professions  of  a  certain  area  and  subject  there  has  to  be  a  belief  in  that  we  as  scientist   can  make  a  performative  change  on  the  whole,  not  only  in  the  books  and  in  text  thereby   causing  a  moment  22,  where  nothing  really  happen.  I  want  to  emphasize  that  literature   in  books  and  in  our  contemporary  society  play  a  dynamic  role  today  in  mundane  life.   Intertextual  knowledge  and  to  interpret  literary  works  throughout  history  thus  make   sense  as  it  provide  us  with  deep  understanding  and  knowledge  of  what  we  regard  as   “the  other”.    Things  that  is  considered  being  different  from  our  own  relativistic  point  of   view  is  often  projected  onto  other  beings  as  being  “etnocentrism”.       The  same  goes  for  theatre  and  drama  plays  that  take  these  kind  of  societal   dilemmas  up  to  broad  light  and  thus  tries  to  confront  the  social  issues  that  they  carry   within.    Ontological  speaking,  a  phenomenological  posture  against  the  academic   epistemological  milieu  is  needed  to  better  get  a  grip  of  how  we  translate  the  reality  into   literary  text.  Grasping  the  autobiological  ideas  from  many  writers,  screens,  plays  from   the  film,  theatre,  opera,  in  books,  literature  and  more  from  a  cosmological  perspective,   shows  that  the  academic  “reality”  has  in  some  ways  failed  to  recognize  how  to  solve  the   split  in  between  the  two.       Conclusion   What  we  need  to  do,  is  to  start  make  way  for  new  perspectives  were  we  count  for   different  and  new  post-­‐materialistic  approaches  to  (for  example)  performative  agency   and  actor  network  theory  involving  human  agency  taking  place  authentically.  This   means  that  earlier  research  focusing  at  solely  discourse  or  poststructuralism  theory  is   not  enough  to  scrutinize  i.e.  a  dramatic  play  on  stage  (like  a  classic  Shakespeare  play),  a   performance  taking  place  on  the  street  or  an  object  (a  statue)  being  subjected  with   agency  performativity.  As  part  of  being  a  scholar  in  between  drama,  practice,  theatre   and  literature  studies,  I  claim  that  these  sorts  of  scientific  knowledge  that  tries  to  grasp   how  we  regard  social  and  cultural  affection  in  our  society  is  in  need  of  more  open  access   research  from  within  the  academy  and  as  such  from  a  joint  collaboration  with  the   outside  community.  Further  research  aims  to  understand  how  we  can  start  deal  with   these  more  new  so  to  speak  open  places,  inter-­‐subjected  between,  text,  practice,   academy  and  so  fourth.    

 

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Best  regards  and  many  thanks   Ann  with  family  in  Durham  North  Carolina.          

  Exploring  Duke  campus  together  with  my  youngest  daughter    

 

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Trying  out  the  local  food  at  Elmos  in  Downtown  Durham.                       Ann  Enstrom  Duke  University  North  Carolina,  USA  and  Sweden.  US:  Social  security   number  516297100.   Durham/  Umea  2014-­‐04-­‐02            

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Report for swea north from duke university in north carolina