We are delighted to present the 23th SCENARIO issue with four articles, one country report, three book reviews, one conference report, and one conference announcement.
Our rubric Texts around Theatre features an excerpt from Hugh Walpole’s novel Jeremy (1919), set in the fictitious town of Polchester in the South of England, where a little boy experiences his first theatre production.
Stefan Blutner (Freie Universität Berlin) claims that learners in the 21th century, particularly those in highly diverse metropolises like London or Berlin, navigate dynamic, multilingual, and complex spaces. His article Mehrsprachigkeit performativ in Szene gesetzt: ein diversitätsorientieres Rap-Projekt argues for an educational change away from the focus on national languages and the dominance of English, towards an awareness of the interplay of language and identity as well as the development and support of translingual competences. Blutner outlines an extracurricular project at a school in London that aimed for learners’ development of critical and creative self-awareness. He specifically reflects on the experiences the learners had during the drafting of a rap performance.
In his contribution My language is part of your country. Creating a deeper sense of belonging through two-way language teaching in process drama/in-role-drama, André Bastian (University of Monash, Melbourne) critically examines how modern liberal democracies have so far dealt with the susceptibility of adolescents towards forms of (Islamic) radicalisation. He deliberates on the role of Process Drama and In-Role-Drama in providing spaces where young people’s native cultures and languages are treated with respect, where they can communicate openly and express their views on controversial societal topics. According to Bastian, only a mutual empathic climate characterised by transcultural appreciation will make youngsters feel safe and less prone to radicalisation.
Melanie Bloom (University of Nebraska at Omaha) explores forms of tensions that can arise when working on performance projects in educational contexts. In her empirical study Learning through dynamic tensions in a performance-based service-learning course reflects on her teaching experiences in Spanish as a Foreign Language and investigates points of tension during a performance project, and how students were affected by those tensions. She arrives at the striking conclusion that tension, being an integral part of performance-oriented teaching and learning, yields considerable learning results.
With their contribution ‘Performative Foreign Language Didactics’ in Progress: The Teacher as ‘Formmeister’ (Form Master), Manfred Schewe and Fionn Woodhouse (University College Cork) hope to contribute to the further development of a performative pedagogy for foreign language education. Based on their experiences with students of German and Theatre at University College Cork, the authors refer to teachers as “form masters”, who take their inspiration from the performing arts and integrate aesthetic forms into their classrooms. A case in point are still images – their general characteristics, their function and their impact. The article demonstrates, with the aid of links to film clips, practical techniques that can be applied to access the different layers of meaning of a still image.
For the first time in SCENARIO, we report on performative teaching and learning in Turkey. Perihan Korkut (Muğla Sıtkı Koçman Universität) writes about Turkish theatre traditions, particularly highlighting the role of theatre in educational contexts, and outlines perspectives for the future.
Alexandra Hensel (Universität Göttingen) reviews Bühne frei für Deutsch! Das Theaterhandbuch für Deutsch als Fremdsprache by Birgit Oelschläger (2017) which contains valuable tips for the drama-based classroom and should be of particular interest to teachers of German as a Foreign Language.
Michael Legutke (Universität Giessen) reviews Dramapädagogik, Selbstkompetenz und Professionalisierung. Performative Identitätsarbeit im Lehramtsstudium Englisch by Adrian Haack (2018) which focuses on the professionalisation of future foreign language teachers and should be of particular interest for university teachers working with drama pedagogy.
In a review beyond language pedagogy, Erika Piazzoli (Trinity College Dublin) examines Singing Ideas: Performance, Politics and Oral Poetry by Tríona Ní Shíocháin (2018). Based on the remarkable biography of the singer-songwriter Máire Bhuí Laeire (Yellow Mary O’Leary) this publication explores singing as a performative medium in 18th century Ireland to drive home political messages.
We are delighted to welcome Dragan Miladinović (Department of German, University College Cork) to the SCENARIO editing team. Dragan will be specifically responsible for book reviews.
Members of our steadily expanding SCENARIO FORUM network will be aware that in addition to our large international conferences (2014/2017/2020), SCENARIO organises different symposia each year. The initial symposia took place in Cork however hosts in different countries and continents have emerged. After the first ones that took place in Cork, the symposia are now spreading to different countries. Tin Wegel reports on the 5th SCENARIO Forum Symposium at the University of Northern Colorado, USA (January 19-20, 2018). The 6th symposium, Universities on the way to a performative teaching and learning culture? will be staged at the University of Hanover (September 21-22, 2018), and we are looking forward to meeting many SCENARIO readers there.
All the best for a beautiful summer,
Manfred Schewe, Susanne Even