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There are many examples in traditional Japanese cultural forms that involve intermedia performance, including Noh, Bunraku, and Kabuki. These theatrical genres bring together spoken or sung text, acting, visual staging, costume, movement, and music into true intermedia performances. The international symposium “Performing Intermedia in Japan” focuses on Noh as a prime example.

Historically, these rich intermedia forms were studied almost exclusively through the narrow lens of particular disciplinary specializations — for example, it is still common for theater to be discussed as literature, with print as its dominant publication format. This approach has inadvertently limited what could be shown of these works’ intermedia character. The website “Noh as Intermedia” is a digital humanities project that aims to address this limitation. It illustrates Noh’s intermedia character by presenting its unique form as an extraordinarily sophisticated and thorough interplay of media beyond mere printed texts. This highly interactive project is intended to help advance a new approach to Noh that is integrative of all its interacting media, both in perspective and delivery. The international symposium “Performing Intermedia in Japan” was inspired by the enthusiastic reactions of colleagues across the disciplines as they have engaged with this project.

The symposium’s combined focus on Noh, intermediality, and digital humanities is a natural follow-up, offering a space for scholars interested in these topics to share their views and ideas. The two-day symposium will engage a variety of formats including papers, audio-visual presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, and an evening performance. The symposium schedule and all individual sessions can be explored here.

Although the evening concert is open to the public, registration is required for all symposium sessions. Please register in advance for “Performing Intermedia in Japan” here.

The Day 1 presentation abstracts can be viewed here.

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