Speak to your peers, discuss your thoughts, and share your discoveries. Through this, ideas can and will grow.
Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Di Ponio (Assistant Professor, Department of English & Cultural Studies) on the recent publication of her book The Early Modern Theatre of Cruelty and Its Doubles: Artaud and Influence (Routledge, 2018).
This book explores the influential thought of Antonin Artaud, and particularly his concept of the Theatre of Cruelty published in The Theatre and Its Double in 1938, examining the origins of Artaud’s ideas and the impact of these ideas on how we understand theatre today.
Dr. Di Ponio plays on the notion of ‘doubling’ in her approach, discussing the traditional sense of the double—as comparative action, moving between two different contexts and time frames—while simultaneously reflecting critically on accepted understandings of theatrical history and practice. In doing so, she develops a new discourse of anti-establishment and counter-tradition based on an Artaudian reading of the synthesis between theatre and culture. The book also makes an original contribution by discussing the influence of Shakespeare and his contemporaries on Artaud, and the reciprocal influence of Artaud on contemporary interpretations of early modern drama.
At the recent Huron Ideas event, a campus celebration of faculty publications, Dr. Di Ponio credited her classroom experiences—both as a student and, since 2014, as a professor at Huron—with fostering the ideas behind the book. She explained, “while my role as a professor is to help students’ ideas take shape, I am grateful to them for letting me test some of my ideas in the classroom, thus allowing my students and me to grow alongside those ideas.” Dr. Di Ponio offered as key advice to students: “speak to your peers, discuss your thoughts, and share your discoveries. Through this, ideas can and will grow.”