The Irish Past and Present: A performative perspective
This presentation will focus on the interface between literary studies and Foreign Language methodology (EFL/GFL). Initially reference will be made to Theatre in Education (TiE) projects, initiated by the presenter when he took up his first lecturing position at University College Cork (UCC), back in the early 1980s. These TiE-projects aimed at introducing German secondary school and university students to aspects of Ireland's past and present through the medium of theatre. They were based on the premise, that "literature can contribute to the goal of intercultural learning in the EFL classroom" (quoted from CfP for this symposium).
In the first project, The Hidden Journey, performances were based on extracts from the following well-known Irish plays: George Bernard Shaw: John Bull's Other Island; Brian Friel: Translations; Brian Friel: Philadelphia, Here I come; Thomas Murphy: Famine. The presenter will revisit and critically analyse these projects and also make reference to other drama-based examples from his 30 year pedagogical practice at University College Cork; in doing so he will illustrate that performative approaches to language, literature and culture can facilitate deep learning about Ireland's past and present. He will conclude by presenting his theoretical framework of a Performative Fremdsprachendidaktik (Performative Foreign Language Didactics) and by inviting the symposium participants to enter into a discussion about going performative not only in the field of modern languages, but also in other disciplines, including history.