This collaborative website is devoted to epics from across the globe, including epic narratives in theatrical dramatizations, puppetry arts, music, visual art, and film. It aims likewise to showcase websites and teaching resources developed by colleagues featuring both oral and literary epics, from the ancient world to today.
World Epics in Puppet Theater
India, Iran, Japan, Italy
This project is part of the Columbia University Humanities War & Peace Initiative, which “fosters the study of war and peace from the perspective of scholars in the Humanities, in conversation with colleagues from around Columbia and the world […] with an ultimate goal of perpetuating a more peaceful world.”
A mini-symposium dedicated to World Epics in Puppet Theater: India, Iran, Japan, Italy was held online through the Museo Internazionale delle Marionette “Antonio Pasqualino” (Palermo) on Friday, November 12, 2021. The theme of this mini-symposium was exile. Click here for a program with descriptions of the five presentations, a video recording of the event, and brief biographies of the speakers.
Live and streamed performance
A performance of Rinaldo imperatore di Trebisonda by the Marionettistica dei Fratelli Napoli of Catania was hosted by the Museo Internazionale delle Marionette “Antonio Pasqualino” in Palermo, Italy, on November 12, 2021. The performance was staged following the World Epics in Puppet Theater mini-symposium on the theme of exile in which Alessandro Napoli gave a presentation on the “Rinaldo, Emperor of Trebizond” episode in literary and puppet theater traditions (both the presentation and the performance are available online).
Online Screening and Q&A
Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic. A cinematic shadow play that features the white-haired Zal from his birth to his love story with Rudabeh, based on the Persian epic Shahnameh (‘The Book of Kings’). Created and directed by Hamid Rahmanian with graphics derived from the visual tradition of the region, rendered as puppets, costumes, masks, scenography, and digital animation. Online screening followed by a Q&A with Hamid Rahmanian, in conversation with Olga M. Davidson (Boston University) and John Bell (Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, University of Connecticut), May 11, 2022.
Online Screening and Q&A
Online Screening and Q&A
About Ram. An experimental theatrical piece and collaborative performance, using excerpts from the Bhavbhuti Ramayana and told through animation, projected images, dance, masks, and puppets. Directed by Anurupa Roy. Animation by Vishal Dhar. Performed by the Katkatha Puppet Theatre Group. Online screening followed by a Q&A with Anurupa Roy, in conversation with Paula Richman (Oberlin College) and John Bell (Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, University of Connecticut), May 25, 2022.
The website nationalepics.com is developing in parallel with National Epics, an in-progress collaborative work of c. 83 or 84 chapters edited by David Wallace for Oxford UP (UK).
Charlemagne: A European Icon
This project examines the ways in which the different linguistic cultures of medieval Europe appropriated Charlemagne material from chronicle and epic. There will be seven volumes, along with additional features on the website.
Adaptations, News & Events, Publications
US Premiere March 5-12, 2022 Harvey Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music From the Song of the North website: Created, Designed and Directed by Hamid Rahmanian Producer: Melissa Hibbard Script written by Hamid Rahmanian and Melissa Hibbard Original Score written...
Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic is a cinematic shadow play that features the white-haired Zal from his birth to his love story with Rudabeh, based on the Persian epic Shahnameh (‘The Book of Kings’). Created and directed by Hamid Rahmanian with graphics derived from...
“Hacer dragones y serpientes para este teatro”: los libros de caballerías y la comedia del siglo XVII
This conference (in Spanish) on books of chivalry and comedies of the 17th century is part of the Historias Fingidas International Seminar (2022). It will take place November 10-11, 2022, at the University of Verona, Italy, and can be followed online. The program and...
Renaissance Society of America members can post calls for papers and seek participants for sessions in all disciplines to be held at RSA San Juan (9–11 March 2023). Session proposals are welcome in the following formats: Paper panels; Seminars; Roundtables; Workshops....
“Whatever happened to the epic?” by Jo Ann Cavallo Anthem Press Blog • November 1, 2022 Miguel de Cervantes famously claimed to have composed Don Quixote de la Mancha to combat the imaginative hold that books of chivalry had over his contemporaries. Reading the novel...
Epic Ambitions in Modern Times: From Paradise Lost to the New Millennium. By Robert Crossley. Anthem Press, 2022. This book explores the pleasures and challenges of the epic imagination, the persistent appeal of epic creation for artists and of epic experience for...