The website of our new ERC project Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 is online now. Check it out and learn more about the agenda of the project and the work of our international team of researchers.
Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 reads the title of our new ERC funded research project under the umbrella of the Centre for Global Theatre History.
On Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 12 (s.t.)-2pm the project’s leaders and researchers will introduce to the agenda of Developing Theatre at the Institute of Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80799 Munich, room #109.
This new research project, sponsored by the European Research Council, proposes a fundamental re-examination of the historiography of theatre in emerging countries after 1945. It investigates the institutional factors that led to the emergence of professional theatre in the post-war period throughout the decolonizing world. The particular focus will be on the massive involvement of internationally coordinated ‚development‘ and ‚modernization‘ programs both East and West. The project will introduce the concepts of epistemic community, expert networks and techno-politics to theatre historical research as a means to historicize theatre within transnational and transcultural paradigms and examine its imbrication in globalization processes.
With contributions by Christopher Balme (PI), Nic Leonhardt (Associate Director & Senior Researcher), Gautam Chakrabarti (PostDoc), Rebecca Sturm (PhD candidate).
The project website will be online soon.
Contact: n.leonhardt @ lmu.de
The peer-reviewed online Journal of Global Theatre History has recently published its 2nd issue with special focus on Theatrescapes. Global Media and Local Publics. Explore this new issue and learn about the Denishawns in Asia, Sarah Bernhardt in Brazil, a female Jockey from the Rio de la Plata region, and German actor Daniel Bandmann performing Shakespeare globally.
Contributors are Monize Oliveira Moura on „Sarah Bernhardt in Brazil (1886 and 1893)“, Catherine Vance Yeh on „Experimenting with Dance Drama: Peking Opera Modernity, Kabuki Theater Reform and the Denishawn’s Tour of the Far East“, Johanna Dupré on „‚Die erste Jockey-Reiterin der Welt, aus Süd-Amerika‘: Rosita de la Plata, Global Imaginaries and the Media“, and Lisa J. Warrington on „Herr Daniel Bandmann and Shakespeare vs the World“. With an introductory comment by Nic Leonhardt.
We would like to thank all authors for sharing their research and ideas and allowing us to publish their stimulating papers.
The topic of the next issue of the journal (May 2017) will be Translocating Theatre History. Papers are due on 15 March, 2017.
The Centre for Global Theatre History cordially invites you to this guest lecture by Helen Gilbert, professor for theatre studies and currently a Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre, Munich.
The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 14 December, 12-2pm at the Institute for Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80796 Munich, room 109.
Her talk aims to set up a dialogue between philosophical debates informing the concept of the anthropocene (loosely defined as the age of unprecedented human disturbance of the earth’s ecosystems) and recent indigenous performances concerned with the effects of climate change, not just on indigenous lands and lifeways, but also in global terms.
Helen Gilbert is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of several influential books, notably Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross-Cultural Transactions in Australasia (2007) and Postcolonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics (1996). From 2009–14, she led the transnational ERC-funded project on indigenous performance across the Americas, the Pacific, Australia and South Africa. She has curated experimental performance work in universities and museums and brought performance-based insights to scientific research, notably in Wild Man From Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan (2014). Recent books: In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2017) and Recasting Commodity and Spectacle in the Indigenous Americas (2014).
Public talk by Rebecca Rovit (University of Kansas, Fulbright Fellow IFK Wien) Organized by the Centre for Global Theatre Histories.
30 November, 2016, 12-2pm. Theaterwissenschaft, Georgenstrasse 11, 80796 Muenchen, room #109.
„Cultural historians have not sufficiently analyzed how theatre directors and performers coordinated artistic endeavors in the years before Soviet and Western-Allied powers set parameters for cultural life in postwar Berlin. The re-emergent culture after 1945 arose from an artistic collaboration between German-language artists and military officers from four zones of foreign occupation. Evidence suggests that before a German defeat was inevitable, Soviet leaders and exiled artists planned a future cultural policy for Germany and Austria. Officers in the occupied zones recognized the political power of culture and subsidized theatre. Artists knew that the theatre could be a useful conduit to bring recent history to the public. What does this suggest about the theatre repertoire in Vienna, another city, defeated and managed by four world powers? This lecture will explore the interplay of forces that defined the cultural heritage of the occupation in the early postwar years, while tapping into historiographical, national narratives of Germany and Austria.“
Nic Leonhardt is attending the symposium Europen Theatre Perspectives. Exploring Channels for Cross-Cultural Engagement in Performance from 7-9 November, 2016 in Wroclaw, Poland,
Nic’s talk Geteilte Geschichte(n): Exploring theatre histories as shared and divided deals with Shalini Randeria’s and Andreas Eckert’s understanding of history as ‚geteilt‘, i.e. divided and shared, and discusses whether we could speak of third understanding of history, that of „common“ or „commons“. She will also talk about the work of the GTH Centre as well as the Theatrescapes database.
In addition, conference delegates will have the chance to learn more about the GTH Center and its projects at a ‚Community Café‘ to take place during the symposium.
Tonight, on 20 October 2016, the historic Royal Opera House (ROH) in Mumbai will reopen after extensive restoration. Under the direction of award-winning conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah the opera house has been restored to its original state when it first opened in 1912. The building has been owned by the Gondal family since the early 1950s and their commitment to its conservation has made this task possible. The LMU Global Theatre Histories project contributed to the restoration effort by providing the conservation team with rare written and visual material describing the interior of the building. Theatre historian Christopher Balme is researching the career of the theatrical impresario Maurice E. Bandmann (1872-1922) who built the ROH together with a Parsi coal merchant J.F. Karaka. While researching a term paper for a MA seminar, a student research assistant David Berger located an extremely rare publication in the Bavarian State Library, J.J. Sheppard (ed.), Territorials in India: A Souvenir of Their Historic Arrival for Military Duty in the „Land of the Rupee“. From the Royal Opera House, Bombay. Prepared in Accordance with the Instructions of the Proprietor, J. F. Karaka. (1916). This publication (World Cat lists only two extant copies), funded by the proprietor of the ROH, contains a detailed description with photographs of the interior. In a recent interview Lambah acknowledged this help.The restoration itself has been a huge job as she stated on the eve of the opening: „“More than 54,000 days of manpower, skilled craftsmanship, stone sculptors, stain glass conservators, art restorators and technical engineers have gone into recreating this piece of history. About 100 years ago the Opera House was India’s most stunning cultural venue. We hope with this restoration it would open its doors once again to some of the finest live performances in music, dance, theatre, fashion and opera.” The opening tonight is a historic event and has attracted a great deal of media attention. Balme was interviewed recently for one of India’s leading online cultural publications, scroll.in, to gain more information about Bandmann and his largely forgotten role in India’s theatre history.
The Department of History at Heidelberg University has invited Christopher Balme to speak about his new ERC project Developing Theatre as part of the department’s lecture series on Global History.
The lecture entitled Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 will take place on Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 6pm. (Historisches Seminar, Grabengasse 3-5, Hörsaal, Heidelberg).
The new ERC project started recently at LMU Munich. For the next 5 years, an international team of researchers will be working on strategies and politics of developing theatre after the World War II. More on this new avenue of writing Global Theatre Histories will be published shortly!
From 19 to 21 of August, the Global Theatre Histories project celebrates 5 years of successful work and inspiring collaboration with international partners as well as the kick-off of a new Center for Global Theatre Histories with a symposium on Translocating Theatre Histories.
Speakers and respondents are: Khalid Amine, Christopher Balme, Rustom Bharucha, Leo Cabranes-Grant, Catherine Cole, Tracy Davis, Marija Djokic, Anirban Ghosh, Nic Leonhardt, Marlis Schweitzer, Laurence Senelick,Rashna Nicholson, Berenika Szymanski-Düll, Gero Tögl, Maria Helena Werneck, meLê yamomo, Catherine Yeh
Conference venue: IBZ Munich, Amalienstrasse 38, 80799 Munich
Please contact Gero Tögl (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nic Leonhardt (email@example.com) for registration before 15 August.
On the occasion of the final year of the Global Theatre Histories research project we compiled a little Booklet that we cordially invite you to browse.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive a hard copy of the booklet.
If you are attending the annual conference of the International Federation for Theatre Research in Stockolm this year, look out for a hard copy!
The research project comes to an end, yet we continue with a Center for Global Theatre Histories. More info coming soon.
With a focus issue on Theatrical Trade Routes this new, peer-reviewed, open access online journal presents recent research in theatre history devoted to exploring the historical dimensions of theatre and performance from a global, transnational and transcultural perspective. The journal has grown out of a research project conducted at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU) entitled Global Theatre Histories: Modernization, public spheres and transnational theatrical networks 1860-1960 (GTH). Sponsored by the German Research Society (DFG) within its Reinhart Koselleck programme for high risk research this six-year project explored the emergence of theatre as a global phenomenon against the background of imperial expansion and modernization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Journal is issued by the recently established Center for Global Theater History, based at LMU’s Theatre studies department.
The journal for Global Theatre History is published twice a year and welcomes submissions that present original research on theatre, opera, dance, and popular entertainment against the backdrop of globalization studies, transnational and transcultural processes of exchange. We encourage submissions of material covering all historical periods areas, periods, or epochs of all genres of the performing arts, but place special emphasis on the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.
The journal and more information on submissions, the review process, and future issues can be found at:
Center for Global Theatre History
The Editorial Team
Christopher Balme and Nic Leonhardt
Derek Miller (Harvard), Helen Gilbert (Royal Holloway London)
Stanca Scholz-Cionca (Trier/Munich), Kati Röttger (Amsterdam)
Marlis Schweitzer (York University, Toronto)
Roland Wenzlhuemer (Heidelberg), Gordon Winder (Munich)
a short report by Rashna Nicholson
DFG Research Training Group: „Globalization and Literature. Representations, Transformations, Interventions“, LMU Munich, and associate of the GTH project
On 12 May 2015, Rustom Bharucha, Professor at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and acclaimed writer of Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture, conducted a workshop in Munich based on his most recent work, Terror and Performance. Beginning with his impetus for the writing of his book (one of these being a production of Jean Genet’s The Maids in Manila in 2001), he went on to delineate the starting point of the work: the desire to free ‘terror’ from the language of ‘terrorism’. In this extrapolation of ‘terror’ from ‘terrorism’ he stated the methodological limits of such a view, the chief one being that of literary ‘sprawling’. Nevertheless such a point of view bolstered the ethical rationale in the process of the writing of the text. The second term that need tackling then was that of ‘Performance’ one that he stated was ‘less conditioned by the ‘artistic’ orchestration of a corporeal, ‘live’, rehearsed, time-and-space bound event, framed within the cultural norms of civic institutions like state theatres, than by a much wider understanding (..) inextricably linked to social interactions, behaviours, strategies, deceptions, manipulations, and negotiations of terror in the public sphere.’ Through the reclaiming of Judith Butler’s ‘performativity’ within the realm of theatrical praxis, Prof. Bharucha asked for a rethinking of performance as a set of tools to analyze terror. He explained his use of the latter through his clarifications on the ‘queering’ of Muslims as ‘terrorist’ through personal example and through the concept of performativity animating political discourse in the Truth and Reconciliation process in Rwanda and South Africa. Finally as a conclusion he turned to Gandhi’s activist performances in order to question the potency of non-violence in an age of terror. The discussion that took place after the presentation revolved primarily around methodological questions pertaining to the extrapolation of ‘terror’ from ‘terrorism’ and on the constitutive elements of performance. Visual aspects and the assumption of an audience common to both terrorism and performance were highlighted as also the ethics that need be deployed in the writing of terror or terrorism as performance.
 Rustom Bharucha, Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture, London: Routledge, 1993.
 Rustom Bharucha, Terror and Performance, London: Routledge, 2014.
 Ibid., pp. 19-20.
Special focus issue of the Popular Entertainment Studies Journal, Vol 6, No 2 (2015)
Guest Editor: Nic Leonhardt (Munich)
“Between the artist who seeks for an engagement and the manager always on the look out for an extraordinary ‛novelty,’”, write Hughes Le Roux and Jules Garnier in Acrobats and Mountebanks (1890), “a third person necessarily intervenes, the middle-man, who arises everywhere between buyer and seller. And, in fact, at the present time all the principal cities of the world have their agents for performing artists of every kind. These personages are very important, and make large profits.”
Profits, Copyright, Royalties, Networking… From a transnational historical perspective, neither theatre as an art form nor theatre as a business can work without the patronage of professional mediators. When French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) toured Europe, South and North America in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, she could not do so without professional agents and managers. They were responsible for arranging her contracts, negotiating her royalties, taking care of the travel logistics, (ship, train, accommodation, customs), arranging her itinerary, the transport of her costumes, and the press work. Despite their enormous influence , the practices, connections and circuits of artistic brokers in the period under consideration have been, in the main, under-researched.
The current issue of the Popular Entertainment Studies journal gathers a selection of papers from the international symposium “Cultural Brokers. Nomenclature, Knowledge and Negotiations of (Performance) Agents, Managers and Impresarios (1850-1930)”, which took place in October 2014. This conference, organized by Nic Leonhardt, and generously funded by the Center for Advanced Studies of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the German Research Foundation, brought together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds such as English and American Studies, History, Theatre Studies, and History of Law, in order to exclusively and intensively discuss the profession of brokerage in the larger theatrical world in the period under discussion. The focus was therefore on the profession of theatrical brokers, agents, and impresarios who functioned as crucial cultural mediators in the fields of the performing arts and media in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, and Africa between 1880 and 1930.
Table of Contents
Nic Leonhardt: Editorial
published in Theatre Research International, Volume 40 / Issue 02 / July 2015, pp 140-155
„Bangkok, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, St Petersburg – some thirty performers of the Boosra Mahin Siamese Theatrical Troupe toured the world in 1900. Daily newspapers enthusiastically reported on the unprecedented shows of the performers ‘from the land of the white elephant’. After they disappeared from the map of theatre history, in 2010 Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun ‘revives’ the troupe in his performance Nijinsky Siam. He follows their October 1900 St Petersburg show – the very performance attended by choreographer Mikhail Fokine and costume designer Léon Bakst, who later worked closely with Vaslav Nijinsky. In 1910, Nijinsky’s La danse siamoise/Siamese Dance premiered at the Marinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. This article follows the routes of the Boosra Mahin Troupe on the basis of selected primary sources and from a global-historical perspective. In tracing the Boosra Mahin Troupe and their tours, the article not only maps their manifold routings and reroutings, but also advocates for the need for a global theatre historiography that puts past cultural entanglements and connected performance histories centre stage.“
Der renommierte amerikanische Theaterwissenschaftler Laurence Senelick wird vom 15. bis 30. 6. 2015 auf gemeinsame Einladung des DFG-Reinhart Koselleck-Projekts Global Theatre Histories der Theaterwissenschaft München und des CAS als Fellow zum Thema „Jacques Offenbach and Modern Culture“ forschen. Im Rahmen seines Aufenthalts findet auch ein Vortrag zum Thema
THE OFFENBACH CENTURY: HIS OVERLOOKED INFLUENCE ON MODERN CULTURE
am 16. 6. 2015 um 19 Uhr s. t. am Institut für Theaterwissenschaft statt.
Laurence Senelick ist Fletcher Professor of Drama and Oratory at Tufts University, Fellow der American Academy of Art and Sciences, Distinguished Scholar der American Society for Theatre Research und Träger der St George medal of the Russian Ministry of Culture for contributions to Russian art and culture. Zu seinen zahlreichen Buchveröffentlichungen zählen Gordon Craig’s Moscow Hamlet, The Chekhov Theatre: A Century of the Plays in Performance, Gender in Performance, The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre, Stanislavsky: A Life in Letters, und Soviet Theatre: A Documentary History. Prof. Senelick veröffentlichte Übersetzungen mehrerer Klassiker der europäischen Dramatik (unter anderem Gogol, Tschechow, Strindberg, Schiller und Euripides) und arbeitete als Schauspieler und Regisseur an zahlreichen amerikanischen Theatern.
Weitere Informationen zu Prof. Senelick: http://dramadance.tufts.edu/people/senelick.htm