Acting Like a Robot

This project demonstrates and puts into practice the potential of collaborations between theatre and robotics for the development of the interaction with, behaviour of and reflection on social robots. The project builds on observations by international experts, bringing together their suggestions and expanding these into a direction indicated by them as promising for further development, namely that of object and puppet theatre. This approach is developed in collaboration with renowned puppet and object theatre-maker Ulrike Quade and her company, and in interaction with a selection of robot projects-in-progress. My PhD project will be developed within this framework.

The representation of trauma in the oeuvre of Marcel Möring

Nienke van Leverink

The representation of trauma in the oeuvre of Marcel Möring

Universiteit Leiden 2019-2023 | Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Yra van Dijk en Dr. Esther Op de Beek

This research will provide a textual analysis of the oeuvre of second generation writer Marcel Möring, with a focus on the representation of trauma in the context of the Shoah. Through the years, Möring’s fiction has become more experimental and transgressive. His texts circle around a void that just can’t seem to be expressed in words. Through close reading, I will examine how this ‘unrepresentability’ tries to find its way out and expresses itself through different layers of the text, like the disruption of time, intertextuality and magic realism. It is my aim to position this oeuvre in the broader spectrum of Shoah literature and postmemory.

The sense of place in site-specific performances (with a focus on Pahlavi II architecture)

The never-ending conflict between tradition and modernity has a determinative place in Iranians’ memory. Therefore, the problem of identity and the sense of suspension are the two shared themes in Iranian architectural studies and Iranian cinema (since the forties). Since architecture has always been one of the main footmarks of modernity in Iran, it has always played a crucial role in Iranian cinema as well. Tehran, with its history of different conflicting modernization plans, has hosted the majority of Iranian cinema, as the representative of modernity in Iran. The lack of a cohesive plan to preserve the contemporary architectural heritage in different political periods has created an identity crisis in Tehran’s architectural memory. On the other hand, Iranian contemporary architecture has a significant role in Iranian contemporary theatre, especially in site-specific performances. This project will focus on the role of the audience’s cinematic memory of Iranian contemporary architecture in perceiving the sense of place in site-specific case studies. This project will also focus on the performances’ agency in the process of amplifying and stimulating the spectator’s cinematic memory.

The End of Days: The Doomsday Clock, chronology, and scale

Ian Kenny

The End of Days: The Doomsday Clock, chronology, and scale
Amsterdam 2020-2024 | Supervisors: Niall Martin and Boris Noordenbos

This thesis asks how far “mythological thinking” can assist in the peculiar challenges presented in the Anthropocene. Can myths provide a conceptual and imaginative resource in understanding phenomena to which factual discourse appears inadequate? How might we comprehend the scales and timelines involved in anthropogenic climate change, and how might mythological thinking help translate those problematics to a recognizable scale? Mythological thinking provides the framework necessary to make the mediation of the Anthropocene understandable. I will develop mythological thinking in regard to various timely objects that bid us to engage with the Anthropocene to a variety of ends as a sort of “bricolage”, including a contemporary video game, indigenous art, parasocial interactions, and speculative fiction.