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The Author


Anna Furse (Goldsmith College, London, UK)
Art of A.R.T.

     Anna Furse is an award-winning director, writer and movement researcher who teaches full time in the Drama Department of Goldsmiths where she runs the MA in Performance. Training includes the Royal Ballet Schools, Grotowski in Poland, Brook in Paris and she was a founder member of Chisenhale and on the editorial collective of New Dance Magazine. She has been artistic director of several companies including Paines Plough and her own new company Athletes of the Heart with whom she produced YERMA'S EGGS in 2003. Her practice based research into training and productions has focused - though not exclusively - on women's bodies: hysteria, eating disorders and body image, prostitution, disability and infertility. Two of her plays AUGUSTINE (BIG HYSTERIA) and GORGEOUS have been published and produced in the USA, Canada, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

"I have sought ways since to write and create dialogues and debates, images and performance poetics that reflect the interior landscape of the involuntarily childless. Such a voice as mine, that of a sub-fertile woman's perspective, tends to appear last, if it appears at all, in media reportage of any hotly topical IVF related case. These are too often sensationalised so as to feed into the popular notion of fertility experts 'playing God' whilst the sub-fertile are portrayed as selfish heathens or pathetic victims.[...] Aptly, I think, the acronym for Assisted Reproduction Tech-nologies is A.R.T.[...]. My play Yerma's Eggs, though not a didactic work, aimed to bring the audience close-up to the infertile experience and bio-ethics in an immediate, emotional and interactive way as only live theatre can do. I wanted to explore how to get under the skin of the infertile subject, represent different cultural and sexual-choice perspectives and bring the bio-ethical debate on A.R.T. into a theatrical space, emotionally and deliberately in-conclusively."

Andrea Gutenberg (University of Cologne, Germany)
"Know that I do not suffer, unlike you..." - Visual and Verbal Codings of Pain in Body and Performance Art"

     Andrea Gutenberg teaches English literature at the University of Cologne and is currently working on a research project on English modernism and the degeneration debate. She has written a PhD thesis on possible worlds theory and female-centered plot patterns in the British novel and is preparing her habilitation on narcissism as a scientific and poetological concept (c. 1850-1950).

"This paper sets out to analyse the status of pain and its visual and verbal representations in body art with regard to gender difference. Apart from potentially gender-related intertextual/ intermedial references to cultural codes such as religion (Christian iconography, sacrifice, rituals of initiation), references to pathological spectacles such as hysteria and cultural practices such as cosmetic surgery, the analysis will include: subject-object relations during the performance itself, the scenarios of narcissism and voyeurism implied by it, gender-specific forms of pain-processing and programmatic statements or manifestoes formulated by the artists themselves."

Samantha Hume (University of Cologne, Germany)
The narrative of male violence on women's bodies

     Sam Hume lectures in English language and literature at the University of Cologne with a focus on German/English translation. She studied in Canterbury and Nottingham and is also a professional translator. Her research interests are feminist theory and especially contemporary women's writing. She is currently working on a PhD on feminist interpretations of contemporary British detective fiction.

"The term narrative, according to the New Oxford English Dictionary means a 'written account of connected events.' With reference to male violence against women's bodies, it seems to me to be clear that women's bodies are the surface upon which male violence writes its narrative. While this is not an entirely new concept in the realms of feminist studies, it appears to have lost some of its force in the abstraction of much theoretical work and the notion that women allegedly have gained the equality second wave feminism focussed on. In order to deconstruct the many instances of violence against women's bodies, one needs to survey both the superficial level i.e. the one which we see clearly on a day to day basis, but also the more profound invisible structures that perpetuate male violence and leave the integrity of women's bodies constantly in danger of being violated."

Andrea Birk and Tina Wald (University of Cologne, Germany)
"One of my missions as a playwright is to let the witches and the magic back in."
An interview with Diane Samuels

     Tina Wald has studied English and German Literature, Drama, TV and Film Studies at the University of Cologne. She is currently working for gender forum. Apart from writing her PhD thesis on Gender and Madness in Contemporary English Drama she teaches at the English department of the University of Cologne.
     Andrea Birk studies English and German Literature at the University of Cologne and plans her master thesis on A.S. Byatt.

"I see British theatre as being the exact equivalent of the church of England. And it's run by priests and vicars, artistic directors, et cetera. And the source of theatre in the old sense is healers, storytellers, it fits in with medicine men, rituals, wise women, and priestesses. And that's all being hoisted and taken away by particular structures and particular ways of doing things, quite limited patriarchal models. It's about trying to bring that female emotional energy alive in theatre and to infiltrate theatre. I will continue to do this through the rest of my life. And if I do not get produced because of it, that's not going to stop me. I've got a real mission here."

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Review: Griffin, Gabriele, ed. Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian Writing. London: Routledge, 2002.
(Reviewed by Isabel Karremann, University of Erlangen, Germany).

"Far from establishing a separate and separatist gay and lesbian canon (as the title might indicate) Griffin thus aims at imploding the notion of a "high-brow" canon itself by juxtaposing homosexual and heterosexual writers, ancient and very contemporary ones, texts from "high" and popular culture (xi). [...] What makes the Who's Who interesting for all already working in the field of GLQ studies, or looking for an introduction to it, is precisely that it offers informative, well researched articles on gay and lesbian writing of the twentieth century, and especially on contemporary writers.

View this book's entry in the gender Inn database

Review: Ikas, Karin Rosa. Chicana Ways: Conversations with Ten Chicana Writers. Reno & Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press, 2002.
(Reviewed by Claudia Leitner, University of Vienna, Austria).

With an exclusive focus on women writers, Ikas sets out to counter prevailing homogenized versions of ethnic identity, organized around a paradigmatic male Chicano subject. As these writers reflect upon their lives and works, stereotypical images of the self-sacrificing, devout, submissive and inarticulate Mexican (American) woman fade. What emerges instead is a rich panorama of articulate and indeed very literate women 'daring to speak out and tackle the multiple forms of discrimination within Mexican American culture and society in general' (XIV)."

View this book's entry in the gender Inn database

Review: Hughes, Christina. Key Concepts in Feminist Theory and Research. London: Sage Publications, 2002.
(Reviewed by Miriam Wallraven, University of Tübingen, Germany).

"The main purpose of Christina Hughes' Key Concepts in Feminist Theory and Research is to introduce a "conceptual literacy" for social science students. Hughes' differentiated explorations of equality, difference, choice, care, time and experience, which are key concepts in feminist theory, and her balanced overview of sociological and connected studies are based on topical postmodernist and poststructuralist approaches. [...] As a whole, Key Concepts is a very useful handbook, which is at once accessible for beginners and complex enough to account for the multidimensionality of poststructuralism. It is certainly always topical and is thus an invaluable guide through the jungle of gender theory in the social sciences."

View this book's entry in the gender Inn database

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This issue features an excerpt from Diane Samuels' novel-in-progress Cinderella's Daughter.

Diane has recently written Mrs Gorsky about an American mother, housewife and communist spy for Birmingham Rep Theatre. She was awarded a Science on Stage and Screen Award by the Wellcome Trust in 2001 to undertake an experimental collaboration with three medical specialists, playwright Sarah Woods, visual artist Alexa Wright and performer Catherine Long to make an innovative piece of documentary, visual theatre about the nature of pain. The resulting work, PUSH, was showcased at The People Show Studios in London in June 2003. She is currently writing a new play for the Unicorn Theatre about Narcissus and completing her novel Cinderella's Daughter.

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The upcoming issue Anybody's Concerns II will present the following articles:

ajaykumar: "The 'feminine principle' in Butoh: a methodology that spans history, cultures, or disciplines? Or: Developing a feminine body-space on a Sunday?"
Konstanze Kutzbach: "AnyBody's Simulacra: A Theoretical Approach to (Gender) Identity"
Beate Neumeier: "Sarah Kane's Theater of the Abject"
Lee Sung-Ae: "Body, Otherness and Abjection in George Eliot's Novels"

In addition, there will be reviews of recent books within Gender Studies, among them Nancy Ordover's American Eugenics and Richardson and Seidman's Handbook of Gay and Lesbian Studies. The fiction section of Anybody's Concerns II will feature an interview with the British-Jewish writer Julia Pascal and some work-in-progress by her.

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Links to Contributors' Websites & Email




Anna Furse
Andrea Gutenberg  
Samantha Hume  
Tina Wald  
Andrea Birk  
Isabel Karremann  
Claudia Leitner  
Miriam Wallraven  

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