Project info

Project title: Identity Politics and Croatian Drama from 1990 to 2016 (PoIHDrama)
Project leader: Zlatko Kramarić, PhD, full. prof., Department of Cultural Studies, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek
Project duration: 48 months (01/04/2017 – 31/03/2021)
Research project IP-2016-06-4316 is financed by Croatian Science Foundation.

Since the Croatian drama produced from 1990 to 2016 has been approached partially and mostly from a perspective of a singular researcher persona, the project proposal Identity Politics and Croatian Drama from 1990 to 2016 will encompass a comprehensive dramatic corpus of the adduced period, and the research topic will be expanded by an analysis of the text produced while working on a show or at a performance itself within the individual auctorial or collective theatrical performances. Theoretically and methodologically, the project proposal relies on the gender studies and anti-essentialist nation theories, while the term of identity politics is assumed from the recent studies in identity based on a derivation of a notion of difference in poststructuralism and deconstruction of an essentialist approach to the term, in which identity is represented as inseparable, unproblematic, and natural. The research starts from a hypothesis that the theatrical, literary, theatrical-historical and historico-literary representations and other narrative constructions of the aforementioned dramatic corpus exert significant implications in a self-recognition and formation of a proper national identity, wherefore the relationships between a gender-based and national identity, as well as between other collective identities, are in the center of interest.

One of the primary contributions of the research will be an amendment to the pre-existent lists of the Croatian drama and a compilation of an Internet-accessible database on the Croatian drama editions from 1990 to 2016 in journals and books in the Croatian and foreign languages, as well as the premières in the Croatian theatres and abroad. A relation of the theatre toward recent dramatic production, theatre répertoire politics, and broader culturological impact of the theatre as a complex communicational network involving individual dramatic authors and the not-so-strictly-separated theatrical professions (playwright, actor, director, dramaturgist), the institutional and subsidized, i.e., the independent and private theatres, and a correlation between a fixed, printed dramatic text that precedes a performance and a text produced while working on a show or at a performance itself, will also be examined. A connection between the thematic, genre-based, stylistic, and formal characteristics of a dramatic text and the problems of performance will be analytically investigated. The research will also explore a broader institutional framework of the investigated dramatic corpus (awarding systems, subsidizing the authors’ work, drama publication and performance, activity of cultural councils); a share of literary and theatre criticism and theatre studies; domestic and foreign publishers and publishing entities; literary and theatre journals open to the dramatic writing in an original language; translation of Croatian texts in foreign languages; and institutions, e.g., Croatian Radio or a Study Program in Dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Art. A research segment will collaterally analyze the existent historico-literary, literary-theoretical, and theatre studies production, the domestic and foreign selections and anthologies, to (de)construct the processes of (re)interpretation of a literary and theatre history, i.e., to examine the methodological, ideological, and media influences on a prevalent literary-historiographic and theatrical-historiographic discourse. Due to an increase in the number of foreign performances of the dramatic corpus investigated and the activity of Croatian dramatists outside Croatia, a significant part of the research will also be comprised of a study in the international reception of the Croatian drama. In addition to the exhaustive data on the venues and times of performances, the research will also collaterally deal with the imagological issues of how we have been self-formatted in the foreign countries by the presented identity politics in the Croatian drama, or how the other have seen us. Partially, the research also deals with a media representation of the select corpus (newspapers, weeklies, magazines, television, radio, the Internet) and its impact on the changes in the very dramatic genre, as well as on the changes of an intuitional status of the Croatian drama.

Thereby, a complete but decentralized perspective from the weltanschauung of multiple auctorial voices who are the experts in their disciplines and have different competences and knowledge that may be mutually complemented and transmitted would be offered. Such an approach could facilitate a reconstruction of excogitations heretofore and an observation of recent dramatic-literary and theatre history from a perspective of a single discipline or a singular auctorial personage while maximally reducing its unilaterality.