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Research Colloquium: Lecture by Elliot Leffler: "The International Circuitry of Politics, Protest, and Peformance"

08.07.2024 | 18:00
2024-06 Elliot Leffler COlloquium Poster

2024-06 Elliot Leffler COlloquium Poster


In what ways are the arts part of the fuel for international political protest movements?  Can the arts summon the compassion and outrage of North Americans and Western Europeans?  Can they expand the global capacity to care for, and intervene in, far-flung social injustices?  When the arts succeed, and when they fail, to fuel these movements, what can we learn from those occurrences?  Elliot Leffler’s lecture invites a close examination of one such instance from Apartheid South Africa, in which an international tour of a production starring titans of anti-Apartheid theatre went terribly awry.


Elliot Leffler is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Toronto. As an artist and a scholar, Elliot explores how theatre can be used as a catalyst for intercultural, interfaith, and intergenerational dialogue. As a practitioner, he has led theatre projects with white, black, and coloured South Africans, with Jews and Palestinians in Israel, with Kurdish and Arab Iraqis, with urban US high school students, and with racially-diverse houses of worship. His scholarship has clarified the dynamics of dialogue-sparking productions from Cape Town, South Africa; Portland, Oregon; and Oberammergau, Germany.

Elliot holds a PhD in Theatre from the University of Minnesota, an MA in Applied Theatre from the University of Cape Town, and a BS in Theatre from Northwestern University. His 2022 book, Applied Theatre and Intercultural Dialogue: Playfully Approaching Difference, offers an analysis of amateur theatre programs that bring together culturally diverse groups for dialogic encounters.  He has also published in Theatre Research International, The Drama Review, Research in Drama Education, Applied Theatre Topics, Theatre Topics, and Contemporary Theatre Review