Publication Date

2013-05-07

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-05-07

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Modern Languages and Literatures (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2013-04-02

First Committee Member

Lillian Manzor

Second Committee Member

George Yudice

Third Committee Member

Eduardo Elena

Fourth Committee Member

Beatriz Trastoy

Fifth Committee Member

Elena Grau-Lleveria

Abstract

Globalization is fundamentally an economic process that influences all levels of everyday life transforming ways of production, thought, creation and experience. As such, globalization offers a compelling analytical polyphony that has been approached theoretically from historical, geographical, sociological and anthropological points of view. Although the notion of a globalized world is not a new concept, to study globalization from the perspective of a city offers an interesting set of perspectives. Nonetheless, there are very few studies, and none in relation to Latin America, that address the issue of the globalized city taking the theater scene as the starting point of analysis. Paisajes escénicos studies the urban transformations Buenos Aires has experienced in the last two decades and the impact these processes have had on theater practice. Taking Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a case study, it argues that just as economic globalization entails the creation of new social and political landscapes, it also involves the reconfiguration of a new “theatrical landscape.” Shifts in urban space, generated by changing economic and political circumstances, change the experience of the city, including that of doing theater. A series of basic questions constitute the starting point for this research: What are the implications of urban transformation and the effects of globalization in Buenos Aires? Who benefits and who is adversely affected by this process? What role does the state play in processes of social exclusion and gentrification? In relation to theater, this dissertation explores the reasons for the disappearance of conventional theater venues, the appearance of non-conventional ones, the configuration of new theatrical circuits in areas not traditionally associated with theater, and the emergence of new trends in theatrical practices and writing within the global city. Paisajes escénicos consists of three sections: a history, urban studies and theater. Chapter 1 contextualizes the 1988-2010 period, paying particular attention to the socio-economic variables of this period. Chapter 2 studies the process of urban transformation, taking as a case study three neighborhoods: San Telmo, el Abasto and Palermo. Chapter 3 analyzes the alternative theater scene of Buenos Aires, focusing on three issues: geography, subsidies and aesthetics. Finally, Chapter 4 approaches the study of theater in Buenos Aires from the perspective of the “theater field” and the theater market and analyzes the notion of “artistic parricide”. In terms of methodology, Paisajes escénicos uses statistical data in relation to economic growth and urban development and combines it with the most recent studies in urbanism, geography and urban historiography. Furthermore, a series of interviews with theater artists (performers, directors, playwrights, teachers), architects and urban researchers, alongside numerous newspaper articles, provide valuable insights and analysis of the impact of globalization on the shaping of urban subjects and their representational practices.

Keywords

Theater in Latin America; Teatro en Buenos Aires; Urban studies, Gentrification, Gentrificacion, Performing arts

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