Graduate Seminar in Theatre Studies at Keio University


This year, with the support of a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS, we have launched the four-year JSPS project “Junctures of Theatrocracy and Democracy: Interdisciplinary Research on Theatricality and the Political” to investigate the relationship between theatre and democracy.
The project will include discussions with researchers in theatre studies and political science, both domestically and internationally. Through intensive discussions, we would like to think about how theatre studies can address the crisis of democracy in many regions of the world.
The outline of our research is as follows:


In the last two decades, some studies of political thought in Europe and the United States have discussed an aspect of theatricality, such as "pretending without definitive grounds” and “fiction", as intrinsic characteristics of democracy. While these characteristics have been exclusively evaluated negatively in democracy theories influenced by Plato and Rousseau, recent political studies have tried to reexamine a wide range of theatrical characteristics in democracy. By doing so, they try to expand the validities of democratic ideas so that those who tend to be peripheralized such as LGBTQ people and immigrants can be more integrated in a society. Our research members, mainly based on theatre studies, will join those attempts in the political thought, trying to develop more valuable ideas of theatre-politics-theories through interdisciplinary and international discussions with political scientists and theatre researchers. Our aim is to bring about a sort of “theatre knowledge” which will provide a new perspective toward more expanded values of democracy.
2021/05 Hirata