Free

Postcolonial Trauma and the Politics of Memory: Performing Time in 'The Tri...

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

UCL Institute of the Americas

51 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PN

United Kingdom

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description

Description

Dr. Jason Allen-Paisant (Leeds) - The Trial of Governor Eyre is a theatricalized trial written by Jamaican lawyer Bert Samuels to judge Governor Edward John Eyre for his bloody suppression of the Morant Bay Rebellion (1865) that claimed the lives of 439 Black Jamaicans. This paper examines the complex phenomenology of time that inheres within the theatrical piece: as a staged trial, it simultaneously involves two protocols of performance: theatrical representation and the social performance of justice and the law. It is both a work of the imagination and a juridical event bearing heavy stakes for the performers, spectators and other parties involved; a social and aesthetic drama of 1865 and the present that blurs temporality in peculiar ways.

Drawing upon phenomenological theory (Benjamin, Merleau-Ponty, Charles W. Mills) and theories of trauma and (post)memory (Caruth, LaCapra, Hirsch), my paper will investigate what the play-trial’s uses of time show about the experience of time itself in the context of colonial violence, and the way in which the play’s discourse on temporality contributes to its performance – or perception of performance – of transitional justice. In light of contemporary global movements for reparations and redress for unacknowledged colonial abuses, I propose that the Trial points to its own potentialities as a unique form of transnational postcolonial theatre art, one that might galvanise re-shapings of historiographical and archival space, and shift the balance of power in the 'politics of memory' in which victims, descendants and the British state are caught.

Jason Allen-Paisant is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Modern Languages & the Centre for World Literatures at the University of Leeds. His work covers various aspects of Caribbean writing and performance in French and English. He is the author of Théâtre dialectique postcolonial: Aimé Césaire et Derek Walcott (Classiques Garnier 2017) and is at work on a monograph entitled Dante's Postcolonial Lives: The Commedia in African and African Diaspora Writing.

Attendance to this event is free of charge but registration is required. IMPORTANT NOTE ON ACCESS TO 51 GORDON SQUARE: in order to ensure a smooth delivery of the lecture and for ease of logistics, access to the building may be restricted after the start of the event. We will endeavour to accommodate late arrivals within reason, but an early arrival is recommended to avoid disappointment. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.


Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

UCL Institute of the Americas

51 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PN

United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved