Robert Heller (Robert.Heller.firstname.lastname@example.org)
The aim of this one-day workshop is to bring together postgraduate students interested in taking a multidisciplinary approach to the relationship between ritual music and female hysteria. The starting point of the debate is the analysis of the long-standing traditional rituals of Pizzica, the Apulian version of Tarantella from southern Italy, and the Southern Iranian version of Zaar. These two rituals, which will be enacted during the workshop, aim at the liberation of a possessed soul through music and dance. They are performed by male musicians and mainly involve the participation of women dancing. In these ritual practices, the boundaries between the divine and the human world is deliberately blurred, bringing about the possibility of imitating, representing and playing the theatre of possession to heal the body. The audience of both musical performances are integral to the cathartic process, as they bear witness to the affected women’s contact with healing divinity.
The symbolic nature of Tarantella and Zaar raises questions about female oppression, music therapy, hysteria, body performances and cathartic rituals.We invite contributions which address these issues from an interdisciplinary approach. The objective of the workshop is to explore the interconnections between ritual traditionsand scholarly debates. Contributors should either focus on Tarantella and Zaar or present other case studies that can open the debate on the following topics.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
·Psychoanalytic cases of female oppression/repression in specific social and cultural contexts;
·Ethnographic examples of therapeutic dance and music;
·Gendered perspectives on mimetic forms of hysteria;
·The significance of female body in theatre, music and dance;
·The role of religion in the performance of rituals both in the ancient and contemporary worlds;
·Cognitive approaches to the response of collective/individual audiences to ritual music;
·The cathartic function of performances both on the ancient and modern stages;
·The role of community in the reception of ethnic rituals;
·The dialogue between spectators and performers in therapeutic dance and music.
If you are interested in contributing, we invite you to present for 15/20 minutes on any topic relevant to ritual music and female hysteria, and in any format (e.g. film, audio, installation, performance, traditional presentation). The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday30th September. Please send your abstract (no longer than 300 words) by this date email@example.com.
For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.Please forward this message to those of your colleagues who might be interested in joining us at the workshop.