Date of Degree

6-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Theatre

Advisor

Jean Graham-Jones

Committee Members

Marvin Carlson

David Savran

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | European Languages and Societies | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Performance Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies | Theatre History | Translation Studies

Keywords

contemporary Greek theatre, Greek crisis, Modern Greek, historiography, intercultural performance, theatre translation

Abstract

This project focuses on theatre translation from Modern Greek into English through the examination of three plays translated in the early years of the ongoing Greek crisis (2012-2014). Currently Greek culture is received internationally through two important frames of reference: Hellenism, the admiration for the ancient Greek spirit, and the more recent negative associations with modern Greece provoked by the Eurozone crisis. The three translations I examine challenge these dual external projections onto Greek culture by promoting a more nuanced image that recontextualizes the Greek past. In their capacity to travel between cultures, often in bilingual iterations, these theatrical translations selectively elucidate obscure aspects of Greek history in a process of cultural self-representation as they attempt to renegotiate the preconceptions implicit in forming Greece’s image abroad. In this sense, translation serves as a historiography that contributes to a cultural politics within and beyond national borders. The three plays I analyze, Alexandrovodas the Unscrupulous, Abandon the Citizens, and Sons and Daughters, especially by way of their translation, propose new ways of seeing these histories and invite foreign audiences to reconsider their presumptions about Greek culture, whether they stem from an admiration for the country’s classical past or from contempt and pity for its current economic fate. I argue that translation functions here as historiography: without turning its back on Europe, Greek theatre in English seeks to update its affiliations and to re-negotiate its Ottoman and Balkan influences by highlighting historical differences and reframing them under current cultural tensions.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Sunday, June 02, 2019

Graduate Center users:
To read this work, log in to your GC ILL account and place a thesis request.

Non-GC Users:
See the GC’s lending policies to learn more.

Share

COinS