Delusions of Hope In Guy de Maupassant’s ‘My Uncle Jules’
Joe Winston, Professorial Fellow in Drama and Theatre Education, University of Warwick, UK
Workshop 2,5 hours
Part of the 2018 ATHENS GREECE INTERNATIONAL THEATRE/DRAMA & EDUCATION CONFERENCE
organised by the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network (TENet-Gr)
This workshop will take as its subject the short story ‘Mon Oncle Jules’ by the French writer Guy de Maupassant. It tells of an impoverished bourgeois family in nineteenth century Normandy awaiting the arrival of Uncle Jules from America, who has promised to return with wealth and money, enough to change their fortunes. The workshop explores, through dramatic means, the characters and their dreams, their motivations and delusions and the moment when their hopes are finally shattered. Despite the bleakness of its storyline, the workshop will be active and full of humour, with compassion and humanity at its core. In a conference concerned with hope and ideas of utopia, this workshop will offer a counterpoint to the central theme and participants will be encouraged to reflect what the story can teach us not only about the human need for hope but also about the kinds of hope that can sustain us as well as those that can delude us.
Joe Winston is currently Professorial Fellow in Drama and Theatre Education at the University of Warwick, UK. For many years he was co-coordinator of the university’s highly successful MA in Drama and Theatre Education and he co-founded the MA in Drama and English Language Teaching, which has been running since 2014. Throughout his career, he has published many books and research articles for academics and teachers. From 2005 to 2015 he was co-editor of Research in Drama Education: the Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. His publication ‘Beauty and Education’ was book of the week in the Times Higher Education Supplement in April, 2010. More recently he has been researching the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company in schools in England and tracking its impact on teachers and their students. Currently Is working closely with drama and theatre groups in China interested in developing educational drama programmes.