Graduiertenkolleg Funktionen des Literarischen in Prozessen der Globalisierung

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Global Theatre Histories / Globale Theatergeschichte

10.10.2012 – 06.02.2013

Christopher Balme & Nic Leonhardt

Zeit und Ort
Mi 14-16:30 Uhr s.t., Georgenstr. 11, 109

Is there such a thing as ‘Global Theatre History’? Can one conceive of a transnational theatre historiography? Is not theatre something resolutely local? Culturally specific? At best national? Existing theatre historiographical paradigms would suggest that global theatre may be almost a contradiction in terms. Nevertheless developments in general historiography indicate otherwise. Recent discourses on global and transnational history such as histoire croisée, connected history, transnational or entangled histories all privilege the relational dimension of history. Particularly during the early phase of globalization (post 1860), imperialism, and the process of the ‘birth of the modern world’, theatre became a transnational or even global practice and a crucial cultural institution in many countries. Be it theatre architecture, theatrical forms and formats, or the mobility of singers/actors/impresarios, theatre has been part and parcel or sometimes even the node of a transnational network of artistic exchange.
The seminar aims at elaborating on the challenges of writing theatre history from a global and transnational perspective. The tasks include finding the object and focus of research, balancing the “local” and the “global”, examining the many approaches and research methods, dealing with an unusual and often multilingual corpus of source material and resources, and the discussing implications for the teaching of theatre history.
Students will be familiarized with crucial literature on theatre and global historiography as well as trans- national cultural theory and will learn to apply recent theories and methods to selected case studies. The seminar will be able to draw on material and resources from the on-going Reinhardt-Koselleck project ‘Global Theatre Histories’.
The seminar will be conducted in English and German. A good passive knowledge of English is essential. Seminar papers can be written in either English or German.