Dr Sanja Perovic

Dr Sanja Periodic is Reader in 18th-C French Studies, French Department. Her background is in Comparative Literature and since coming to King’s she has taught all aspects of the French curriculum. Her first book, The Calendar in Revolutionary France: Perceptions of Time in Literature, Culture, Politics (2012), considered the unique status of the French revolutionary calendar in the revolutionary experience of ‘making new time’. This question of how to perform a new time became the basis of a collaboration with the British multi-media performance artist Stuart Brisley and the fiction-writer Tony White (2013-2014) which gave rise to a series of outputs, including performances by Brisley. 

Her current book project Dead History/Live Art: Stuart Brisley and Revolutionary Time, builds on this collaboration. This book explores, through a detailed conceptual and historical engagement with Brisley’s work, how live art relates to history. Sanja shows how the history of the French Revolution informs Brisley’s use of art as social action, and how art reveals the multiple timescales that condition any historical actor. Through and beyond this case-study, she argues that performance may even provide a kind of knowledge about the past.

She is also PI on the AHRC-funded project ‘Radical Translations: The Transfer of Revolutionary Culture between Britain, France and Italy (1789-1815), which brings to light the role of the militant translator in communicating revolutionary ideas into new contexts. This project includes live performance as part of its impact strategy. https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/department-of-french-and-department-of-comparative-literature-at-kings-college-london-awarded-1m-grant

Theatre and Performance Publications

‘Dead History, Live Art: encountering the past with Stuart Brisley’ in Rethinking History, Vol 21, 2017: 274-295

‘Performing History: Some Keywords’ in Stuart Brisley: The Peterlee Project 1976-1977, Antipyrine Press, 2014

‘Death by Volcano: Revolutionary Theatre and Marie-Antoinette’ in French Studies 2013, vol 67.1: 15-29

‘Le cadavre exquis: The Origins of Tragic Drama in Racine’s Bajazet’ in New Literary History, 36.3, pp. 439- 460.

Performance and Artistic Collaborations

Sanja’s previous research on the revolutionary calendar led to a collaboration between the fiction-writer Tony White and the performance and multi-media artist Stuart Brisley.  In addition to a series of conversations and publications this collaboration gave rise to a new 10-Day performance by Brisley (Before the Mast) and a new fiction by White, including the short-story ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ and the Fountain in the Forest (Faber and Faber 2018), the first part of a trilogy.

For Brisley’s performance see: http://www.stuartbrisley.com/pages/36/10s/Works/Before_the_Mast/page:16

For White’s work see: https://pieceofpaperpress.com/selected-press/

For an interview with White on resonancefm see: https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/ms-2014/

This collaboration led to a series of public talks: Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark (2014); Oxford Modern Art (2014); MAC Belfast (2015), Raven Row 2017

Sanja has also explored the ‘live’ dimension of translation with students, notably in the form of a year-long collaborative translation and performance of a play from the revolutionary period in 2014-2015. The project, called Performing Utopia, was done in collaboration with the professional dramaturge Simon Hatab and involved students from the French Department at King’s and the English Department at the university of Paris-Nanterre: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/cultural/-/projects/performing-utopia

In 2019-2020, Sanja will be collaborating again with the dramaturge Simon Hatab to produce a student-led collaborative translation and performance of revolutionary manifestos, trials and songs. This ‘live performance’ will be used to inform an anthology of published translations from the French Revolution.