CSULA Department of English | Events

On October 3, Cal State LA will host
a three-way videoconference that will allow
students and professors at Cal State LA, Royal Holloway University of London, and the
University of Glasgow to explore the National Theatre of
Scotland's production of Black Watch in terms of
national trauma and
identity. Faculty
and students from the three countries will dissect the
Anglo-American literary response to current and past
conflicts, including the relationship between history,
fiction and performance. 

The videoconference will be held from 9am to 12pm in
the videoconference suite in King Hall, and is part of an
exciting program of events surrounding 

Image from Black Watch

photo
credit: National Theatre 
of Scotland

the US premiere of Black
Watch
, the critically-acclaimed theater
production that examines the war in Iraq as described by
soldiers in Scotland’s legendary Black Watch regiment.
These events are sponsored by the British Council, the UK’s
international organization for cultural relations. The
videoconference at Cal State LA is sponsored by the
British Council, the Center for Contemporary Poetry and
Poetics
, and the Department of English. Click
here to go to the British Council web page describing this
event.

 

Image from Black Watch

photo
credit: National Theatre 
of Scotland

While the war in
Iraq dominates the media, there has been remarkably little
literary writing that engages with it directly: an
exception, if tangential, is Ian McEwan’s Saturday. In contrast, there has been some successful
reportage-based drama (Gregory Burke’s The Black
Watch
, Jonathan Holmes’s Fallujah, David
Hare’s Stuff Happens), as well as several
notable, if short-lived blogs.

However,
unlike, for example, the Vietnam war, there has not yet
been a clear literary response to the War.
Moreover, while there are an array of critical
tools that engage with issues of politics, the
representation of trauma, 

the relationship between
history, fiction and performance, to list only a few
relevant issues, there have been few attempts to theorise
the representation of the War.

The
aim of this three-way video-conference is to assess and
analyse the current complexities surrounding writing,
performance and the Iraq War in an Anglo-American context.

Black
Watch
, which is based on recent interviews conducted
by acclaimed Scottish playwright Gregory Burke with former
soldiers who served in Iraq, serves as the centerpiece of British
Council Conversations
, a month-long series of
events discussing UK and US attitudes toward war and the
military, the benefits of intercultural dialogue and the
role of contemporary arts in discussing divisive social
issues.

 

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