The Contemporary Theater of Spain in the Age of Diversity (Northeast Modern Language Association Convention)
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association
Event: Northeast Modern Language Association Convention
The revival of right-leaning populism in Europe during recent years individualizes the political developments in the twenty-first century that have impacted populations and communities across Europe. The influence on Spain is considered not only in terms of Spain’s reconciliation with its past and (re)construction of its present, but also in terms of its cultural plurality vis-à-vis participation within the European and global communities that have modernized, if not erased, Spain's former national distinctiveness. Perhaps most sweeping, and unique to world history, is the present-day use of media and technology to re-fashion international and national identities, even as it collapses seemingly immeasurable geographical distances in an instant. The resulting instabilities have challenged expectations that seemed at least somewhat realistic at the turn of the century. At the same time, however, these same instabilities have stimulated investigation and reevaluation of coinciding and conflicting cultural belief systems, political volatilities, and social praxis.The contemporary theatre of Spain explores not only the transcendent urgencies of the human passions and frailties common to us all, but also it investigates the civil problems that resonate within Spain's immediate history. Our panel examines a genre singular for its duality as both literature and performance. We are studying plays whose themes of shifting traditions and conflicts embrace current crises in the various forms they inhabit. As chroniclers of the human condition, contemporary playwrights of Spain interrogate our own ability and willingness to understand that what is traditional is not fixed, but offers opportunities for reassessment, something that is part of the ordinary and essential work of the academic community.
Candyce Crew Leonard