Congratulations to Professor James Harding, whose article "Incendiary Acts and Apocryphal Avant-Gardes: Thích Quảng Ðức, Self-Immolation, and Buddhist Spiritual Vanguardism" in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, 114 (2016) won the 2017 Outstanding Article Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).
The essay, about the Buddhist "burning monk" Thích Quảng Đức, is the inspiration for his current book project, "Performing Beyond the Pale: Politics, Sacrifice, and Bodies in Extremis." The project examines political activists who adopt extreme strategies or philosophies of non-violence in problematic ways that lead to their death or near-death. In the essay, Harding explores the "gravitational pull" of Thích Quảng Đức’s self-immolation in its specific historical and cultural context, and how such performative acts relate to our understanding of avant-garde performance traditions.
ATHE is an organization that advocates for the field of theatre and performance in higher education and serves as an intellectual and artistic center for producing new knowledge about theatre and performance-related disciplines, cultivating vital alliances with other scholarly and creative disciplines, linking with professional and community-based theatres, and promoting access and equity. The mission of ATHE is to support and advance the study and practice of theatre and performance in higher education.