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On Methodology: Benjamin and Method

Event information

START DATE 15 May 2014
START TIME 12:00am

Thursday 15 May - Room C206, College Building, Hendon campus

Friday 16th May, Room C212, College Building, Hendon campus

END DATE 15 May 2014
END TIME 12:00am

Two sessions investigating research methodologies as part of an ongoing series of events by Dance and Performance Studies Professor, Mark Franko (Temple University, USA and Middlesex University, UK).

We are delighted to present two sessions investigating research methodologies. These two seminars are part of an ongoing series of events by Dance and Performance Studies Professor, Mark Franko (Temple University, USA and Middlesex University, UK).

Places are limited, but you are invited to attend one or both sessions.

The seminars will be of interest to performance and dance researchers and PG/PhD candidates.

Benjamin and Method

What can Walter Benjamin’s The Origin of German Tragic Drama offer us in terms of method for the study of dance in the early modern, and for the notion of the baroque? A close reading of the “Epistemo-Critical Prologue” and the last chapter, “Allegory and Trauerspiel,” with a philological focus on the original German text reveals a train of thought that is less than evident in the English translation.  With Benjamin, thinking and reflection take place with and through a certain kind of movement and this movement is both described in and demonstrated by the text.

Those attending should prepare by making themselves familiar with the related reading as listed:

Mark Franko, “Fragment of the Sovereign as Hermaphrodite: Time, History and the Exception in Le Ballet de Madame,” Dance Research 25/3 (Edinburgh University Press, 2007): 119-133.

Walter Benjamin, “Epistemo-Critical Prologue” and “Allegory and Trauerspiel” in The Origin of German Tragic Drama, translated by John Osborne (London: Verso, 1977).


Mark Franko is Professor of Dance and Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, and Professor in Performance and Visual Studies, School of Performing Arts and Media, Middlesex University. Franko received the Congress on Research in Dance award for Outstanding Scholarly Research in Dance for 2011. He is editor of Dance Research Journal (Cambridge University Press) and founding editor of the Oxford Studies in Dance Theory book series. His monograph Martha Graham in Love and War: the life in the work (Oxford University Press) is now in paperback. His books have been translated into French, Italian, and Slovenian; they include Dance as Text: Ideologies of the Baroque Body, Dancing Modernism/Performing Politics and The Work of Dance: Labor, Movement, and Identity in the 1930s. He edited Ritual and Event: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, and co-edited Acting on the Past: Historical Performance Across the Disciplines. His choreography has been produced at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Berlin Werkstatt Festival, Getty Center, Montpellier Opera, Toulon Art Museum, Haggerty Art Museum (Milwaukee), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Mozarteum (Salzburg), and in New York City and San Francisco.

Sessions are free but please book to reserve a space, contact: Nicholas Nikeforou,

Indicate which sessions (Thursday 15 and/or Friday 16 May) you wish to attend and confirm both your email and mailing address.

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