GTH Journal, Vol 3, 2, 2019 out now – Special Issue on Philanthropy and Developing Theatre

Hervorgehoben

The fall issue 2019 of the Journal of Global Theatre History is now available online. It is dedicated to the theme Developing Theatre and Philanthropy and gathers contributions from Christopher Balme, Jan Creutzenberg and Nic Leonhardt. All three articles address case studies of promoting theatre practice and education through the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1950s and 1960s. Christopher Balme writes about expert networks, philanthropy and theatre studies in Nigeria, 1959–1969; Jan Creutzenberg illuminates the support of Yu Chi-jin and the Seoul Drama Center in Seoul, Korea. Nic Leonhardt‘s article, “The Rockefeller Roundabout of Funding” focuses on the promotion of Filipino theatre maker and playwright Severino Montano by the Rockefeller Foundation. 
The GTH Journal is an open access journal published by the Centre of Global Theatre Histories with Nic Leonhardt and Christopher Balme as its editors in chief.

Keynote «Mediating Cultural Meanders: Dance, Narration, Music» Gannat, France, 25-28 July, 2019

Nic Leonhardt, Director of the Centre of GTH, has been invited as a keynote speaker of the conference Indigenous Languages, Traditional Music and Dance within an Intercultural Performance/ Langues autochtones, musiques et danses traditionelles au sein de performances interculturelles in Gannat (Auvergne, France). The conference, organized by Vikrant Kishore (Australia) and Etienne Rougier (France) takes place along with the Festival des Cultures du Monde, which is a part of UNESCO‘s intangible cultural heritage. Gannat is famous for the festival that takes place every summer since 1974. The conference will be the first of its time.

Nic Leonhardt’s tal “Mediating Cultural Meanders: Dance, Narration, Music” will discuss the circulation of intangible cultural phenomena using the examples of Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun and his performance “Nijinsky Siam” as well as the figure and stories of Mullah/Hodja Nasreddin.

Working Retreat of ERC Research Group ‘Developing Theatre’ in Kochel am See

The team of Developing Theatre (ERC) in front of the Georg von Vollmar Academy, Kochel am See (Bavaria)

At the beginning of June, the entire team of the ERC project Developing Theatre went on a retreat in Kochel am See (Bavaria) to concentrate for two days on discussing specific topics relevant to the group’s research agenda. The place of retreat was the Georg von Vollmar Academy, situated on a green hill above the beautiful lake “Kochelsee”. Retreats as a working format have two positive sides: they allow a dense time to work together and to learn from each other; and they strengthen the team spirit. Both facets are essential for collaborative research.

In a real ‘think tank’, the PhD students, PostDocs, Senior Researchers as well as current visiting researcher Patrick Ebewo (Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria) discussed the topic of “workshop as a format“: In the course of the 20th century, but especially since the middle of the century, this working format gained increasing importance in the context of theatre education and practice. Based on their respective research projects and source material, historical approaches to ‘workshop’ as a concept, and theories, the researchers elaborated on this theme. A joint working paper on the topic is in the making and will be published on the project’s website in the coming weeks. 

Working ‘en plein air’. Morning session above the lake; from left to right: Karim Hakib, Rebecca Sturm, Gideon Morison. (photo: Gwendolin Lehnerer)

A second focus during the retreat was on the concept and discourse of ‘soft power’, a term coined by Joseph S. Nye; according to Nye, ‘soft power’ is “the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes one wants through attraction rather than coercion and payment. A country’s soft power rests on its resources of culture, values, and policies.” (Nye, Public Diplomacy and Soft Power, 2008). The reading of Nye’s and other selected texts on the topic and their critical reflection against the background of cultural diplomacy, philanthropy, the arts and media, formed the content of the second day.

The Developing Theatre team is very international, its members come originally from Germany, Ghana, India, Iran, New Zealand, Nigeria and Syria – a true intercultural benefit for each single of the researchers (and for multifaceted research in general). The themes of the retreat were deepened during expanded walks and hikes through the beautiful landscape of the so-called ‘Blue Land‘.

On the summit: part of the team on the Herzogstand, 1731 m above sea level (from left to right: Gautam Chakrabarti, Christopher Balme, Nic Leonhardt, Rebecca Sturm, Karim Hakib, Judith Rottenberg, Aydin Alinejadsomeeh) (photo: Gideon Morison)

 

 

Talk by Patrick J. Ebewo: “Theatre for Development (TfD) Communication: Polarities and Conflicts”

On Wednesday, 19 June, 12-2pm, our guest Prof Patrick J. Ebewo will give a talk on Theatre for Development (TfD) Communication: Polarities and Conflicts.

With Theatre for Development (TfD) interventions in some rural communities in Africa, the theatre landscape has undergone a major transformation following a paradigm shift from the elitist (conventional) mode of operation where performances are regarded as mere entertainment and vehicles of escape from mundane preoccupations of daily life to that which fulfils a major function in society. In response to a number of contemporary social challenges, TfD, one of the trends in applied theatre practice has emerged as a pragmatic post-modernist experiment that explores the relationship between theatre practice, social efficacy and community building. Theatre for Development advocates and encourages participatory, inclusive and community-oriented discourse. This is a socially engaged theatre that relies on the principle of dialogue for change, and functions effectively as an agent of empowerment in polarised, excluded and impoverished communities. In its various contexts and manifestations, TfD deals with the awakening of people’s critical consciousness; its goal ensures desirable adaptability and changes in human behaviour for the betterment and prosperity of humankind, and it acts as a vital force in the transformation of society. Though TfD has been regarded as a “model of good practice”, some of its intentions have fallen short of expectation. Some of the outlined principles in its blueprint seem not to conform with the goal and vision of the practice and practitioners. The aim of the presentation therefore, is to examine some of the challenges that Theatre for Development faces as an agency for rural education and conscientisation of people in some local communities in Africa.

Prof Ebewo is Professor at Tshwane University of Technology, Faculty of Arts, South Africa. He is currently guest of the Centre for Global Theatre History, the ERC Project Developing Theatre, and the Centre for Advanced Studies of LMU Munich.

The talk is open to the public and will take place at the Institute of Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80799 Munich, room #109.

 

A warm welcome to our new Visiting Fellow at CAS and at the Centre for GTH, Prof. Patrick Ebewo, Ph.D.

Patrick Ebewo is Professor at the Faculty of Art Sciences at Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa.

He is Visiting Fellow at CAS and at the Centre for Global Theatre History in June and July 2019 at the invitation of Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme.

His research focuses on African theatre, the theatre of industrial society, theatre in developmental contexts and popular theatre.

The University of Ibadan in Nigeria conferred a PhD on him in 1988, after completing a master’s degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. He has been attending and presenting papers at international conferences, seminars and workshops since 1984. He has been a supervisor and examiner of master’s and doctoral students and has served as external examiner for the University of Pretoria, the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, the University of Ghana, Legon, University of Swaziland and the National University of Lesotho. He was the convener of the first international conference hosted by the Faculty of the Arts in 2011, which culminated in the publication of a book entitled, Africa and Beyond: Arts and Sustainable Development, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2013).


His first research interests were in the areas of history, theory and criticism but he has gradually moved to a more utilitarian aspect of applied theatre for community empowerment and economic development in the creative arts industry. He has received grants from local and international organisations as well as government departments that assisted him to attend national and international theatre projects and conferences. He has been privileged to attend two staff development fellowships at the Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University in Sokoto, Nigeria.


Prof Ebewo is an active member of the editorial advisory boards of the South African Theatre Journal, the West African Theatre Journal, University of IIorin, LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, and, at TUT, NEXUS Journal. He is an active member of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and the African Theatre Association (AfTA).

Prof Ebewo’s field of expertise and research specialisation is dramatic arts and theatre, with the focus on:

  • African drama and theatre
  • Cultural studies
  • Dramatic Literature and Criticism
  • Theatre for development/Industrial Theatre
  • Popular theatre​​

For more information, please contact:Name: Prof Patrick J Ebewo Email:EbewoP@tut.ac.za

Neues Forschungsprojekt “Theatersteuerung nach 1918” im SfB Vigilanzkulturen, gefördert durch die DFG

Projekt unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme und PD Dr. Nic Leonhardt

Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) hat am 22. Mai 2019 den Sonderforschungsbereich1369, Vigilanzkulturen bewilligt, einen auf 12 Jahre angelegten interdisziplinären Forschungsverbund an der LMU München.

Nic Leonhardt und Christopher Balme werden im Rahmen des SfB 1369 das Teilprojekt Theatersteuerung: Theater, Politik und Öffentlichkeit nach 1918 in Deutschland leiten. Das Projekt beschäftigt sich mit der Frage, auf welche Weise sich das Verhältnis zwischen Theater, Politik und Öffentlichkeit zwischen 1918 und 1936 durch die Aufhebung der Zensur, verstärktes finanzielles Engagement der öffentlichen Hand und Kontrolle durch die öffentliche Meinung, verstanden hier als Presse und Theaterpublikum, veränderte. Theater, so argumentieren wir, lässt sich als Ort der erhöhten, konzentrierten Aufmerksamkeit fassen und somit als (analytischer) Schauplatz einer gesteigerten Responsibilisierung der politischen und künstlerischen Akteure gegenüber dem Publikum.

Dem Projekt sind für die erste Förderphase zwei Doktorarbeiten zugeordnet, nämlich Decensorship: Theaterskandale und Öffentlichkeit, ein Teilbereich der von Sabrina Kanthak bearbeitet werden wird, sowie Vom Hofamt zur charismatischen Herrschaft: Der Intendant als Vigilanzfigur, ein Projekt, dem sich künftig Heili Schwarz-Schütte widmet.

Das Projekt nimmt seinen Anlauf zum 1. Juli 2019. Wir freuen uns sehr über die Bewilligung.

Call for Papers: Theatre for Development (TfD): Historical and Institutional Perspectives.

Pretoria, South Africa, 16-20 March, 2020

International Conference, organized by ERC project Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 & Department of Drama & Film Studies, Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa.

In March 2020, the ERC funded project Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 at LMU Munich will be organizing an international conference in collaboration with Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa on the topic Theatre for Development (TfD): Historical and Institutional Perspectives.

The thrust of the conference will be to contextualize the emergence of TfD, especially in the first decades in Africa. From its early beginnings in the 1970s under different nomenclatures and practices –“popular theatre”, “community theatre” – TfD quickly transformed itself into a coherent organizational field capable of attracting significant governmental and NGO funding. It also affected a change in the teaching and practice of theatre studies in many African countries. The argument could be made that the success of TfD in the Global South has contributed significantly to the emergence of Applied Theatre as a sub discipline in many Global North countries.

This conference seeks to explore the genealogy, the varied contexts of its development, theories and institutional perspectives. Key issues the conference will interrogate include the varied manifestations of the genre and its influence across cultures and continents; funding (Governmental and NGOs), networks of individuals and institutions that propelled its rapid growth and acceptance within academic and non-academic contexts.

We welcome contributions which engage with and provoke dialogue about the historiography of the Theatre for Development paradigm. Topics might include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Historiography and Archiving of Theatre for Development
  • Periodization and diffusion
  • Seminal figures and initiators
  • The dialectics of Africa’s development and Theatre for Development
  • Integrating (new) media into TfD
  • The politics of funding (governmental and NGOs) and influence on TfD
  • Theories, Training and TfD Practitioners
  • Theatre for Development within and outside the academia
  • Networks, institutions and organizations
  • Critical reflections within the field
  • Brecht, Freire, Boal and the emergence of TfD

Deadline 30th May 2019
Reply to:
Abdul Karim Hakib
Doctoral ResearcherERC Project “Developing Theatre”, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, LMU München
email: Hakib.Karim@lmu.de

Vorschau(öffnet in neuem Tab)

A warm welcome to Gideon Ime Morison, new PhD student of our ERC Project „Developing Theatre“

We are very pleased to announce that Gideon Ime Morison joined the ERC Project „Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945“  in January, 2019. His PhD research will focus on expert networks, techno-politics and emergent performance trends in select Pan-African cultural and arts festivals focusing, particularly, on FESTAC ’77 and PANAFEST.

Gideon Ime Morison is a poet, academic, researcher, blogger, and theatre/cultural critic. He is an Alumnus of the Department of Theatre, Film and Carnival Studies, University of Calabar and the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Uyo, Nigeria.

Gideon Morison has tutored, partnered and consulted widely for individuals and bodies corporate. His research output, which straddle areas such as media / theatre theory, history and criticism, development communication and comparative cultural studies, has been published severally in the Nigerian Theatre Journal, Parnassus, and Bianchi Journal. He also lectures in the Department of Theatre Arts, School of Secondary Education (Arts and Social Sciences), Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, Rivers State – Nigeria.

Expert networks, techno-politics and emergent performance trends in select Pan-African cultural and arts festivals

Global historical happenings such as the Slave Trade, Colonization, World War II and the integration of oppositional voices or liberation movements against them are widely assumed to have had a profound influence / impact on the emergence, development and diversity of performance culture across the African continent. The philosophy and activism of movements like the slave trade abolitionist group, negritude, nationalist political organizations, as well as arts and cultural troupes / groups sponsored or funded from the diaspora seems to have created a network of collaborations with the goal of forging a renaissance in African identity as expressed / exhibited through various international cultural and arts festivals held in Africa from 1966 to 1977 and beyond. Gideon Morison’s research will focus on the critical examination of the global linkages, expert networks, and techno-politics that enabled the staging of these events. With particular emphasis on FESTAC ´77 and the emergent Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), this study assess the contributions and legacies of the festivals on the performance praxis in the post-colonial territories in which the festivals were and / or still staged. 

Journal of Global Theatre History: Vol. 3, no. 1, 2019 out now.

Fernanda Torres in The Flash And Crash Days

The peer-reviewed online Journal of Global Theatre History has recently published its 3rd issue.

Explore this new issue and learn about the popular genre joyūgeki  (actress play) in Japan,  about theatre education in the Levant, i.e. Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine, between late 1940s and early 1990s, and about the influence that new paradigms and global circuits have exerted locally on the relationship between theatre aesthetics and production in Brazil.

Contributors are Ayumi Fujioka on „A New Notion of Time in Modern Tokyo Life: A Comedy at High Speed at the Imperial Theatre in the 1920s“, Ziad Adwan onImaginary Theatre. Professionalising Theatre in the Levant 1940-1990“, and Gustavo Guenzburger on „Transnationality, Sponsorship and Post-Drama: „The Flash and Crash Days“ of Brazilian Theatre. 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.


A warm welcome to Abdul Karim Hakib, new PhD student of our ERC Project “Developing Theatre”

We are very pleased to announce that Abdul Karim Hakib joined the ERC Project “Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945”  in January, 2019. His PhD research will focus on Historicizing Theatre for Development (TfD).

Abdul Karim Hakib was born and educated in Ghana, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in Theatre for Development. He has been, before joining LMU, a lecturer at the Theatre Arts Department of University of Ghana; the executive director of Global Arts and Development Centre-Ghana, the deputy chair of Arterial Network Ghana Chapter and the General Secretary of the ITI Centre in Ghana.

Karim is a theatre for development practitioner, who specializes in the use of the creative arts and culture for development. He has been engaged in a number of works for and with organizations like Solidaridad West Africa, Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, Plan Ghana, Theatre for a Change, Africa Adaptation Program on Climate Change, United Nation Organization and UNESCO and other International organizations. He is a fellow of the National Arts Strategies in the USA, a creative community fellows programme that brings together a unique community of innovators committed to using arts and culture to design solutions for community problems. 

Abdul Karim Hakib has directed a number of plays with varied focus and across genres and media. Notable among the works he directed are the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, an adaptation of the iconic local Ghanaian movie “I Told You So” for the stage, the Wogbejeke series. He served as the casting director and as a publicist for Dr. Agyeman Ossei’s adaptation of Ayi Kwei Armah’s novels, The beautiful ones are not yet born and Osiris Rising.

His research interest covers Theatre for Development, performance studies, theatre and culture, intangible cultural heritage and performance, theatre and other media, and organizational politics and development.

New chapter out on Global Theatre History (in Middell (Ed.): Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies)

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies was published just in time for the end of the year. In a chapter of this handbook edited by German historian Matthias Middell, Nic Leonhardt describes the approaches and methodological challenges of Global Theatre History.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Forrest Kilimnik (Leipzig Centre for Area Studies), who was responsible for the careful and patient editing of the contributions to this comprehensive volume.

Nic Leonhardt: “Global Theatre History”, in Matthias Middell (Ed.): The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies. London: Routledge 2018, Part VIII: (Trans)cultural studies, Chapter 52.

New Publication: Theater über Ozeane. Vermittler transatlantischen Austauschs (1890-1925) by Nic Leonhardt

The latest monograph by Nic Leonhardt, director of the Centre for Global Theatre History @LMU Munich, Theater über Ozeane. Vermittler transatlantischen Austauschs (1890-1925) (in German), was published recently. The book is about the history of theatre business and follows the professional itineraries and business strategies of hitherto unknown theatrical agents, playbrokers and producers (among them Alice Kauser, Elizabeth Marbury, Richard Pitrot and H. B. Marinelli) who handled the transatlantic showbiz. Theater über Ozeane enters the infrastructural „backstage area“ of global and cultural mobility in the late 19th and early 20th century, and is based on a rich body of primary sources from archives in the United States and Europe. 

The book will be officially launched on Wednesday, 12 December, 6.30pm, at IBZ Munich, Amalienstraße  38

Nic Leonhardt: Theater über Ozeane. Vermittler transatlantischen Austauschs (1890-1925). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2018 (341 pages, 38 illustrations; hard cop ISBN 978-3-8471-0805-4. Info and Order here.



 

“Iste – Ille. Here and There”. Keynote by Nic Leonhardt on Global Theatre Histories (Stockholm, 22-24 Nov, 2018)

Nic Leonhardt, Director of the Centre for Global Theatre Histories, has been invited as a keynote speaker to the symposium “From Local to Global: Interrogating Performance Histories”. The symposium is organized by the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, University of Stockholm, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, and will take place at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

In her talk, entitled Iste-Ille. Here and There. What and Where is Europe in a Global History of Theatre?, she will introduce into ways and methodological challenges of writing the history/ histories of the performing arts from a transnational and global perspective.

New Publication Out: Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946 von meLê Yamomo


meLê Yamomo, former PhD student of the Global Theatre Histories research project and Assistant Professor of Theatre, Performance, and Sound Studies at the University of Amsterdam, has just published his PhD thesis Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946.

His project examines the intersection between sound and modernity in dramatic and musical performance in Manila and the Asia-Pacific between 1869 and 1948. During this period, tolerant political regimes resulted in the globalization of capitalist relations and the improvement of transcontinental travel and worldwide communication. This allowed modern modes of theatre and music consumption to instigate the uniformization of cultural products and processes, while simultaneously fragmenting societies into distinct identities, institutions, and nascent nation-states.

His project examines the intersection between sound and modernity in dramatic and musical performance in Manila and the Asia-Pacific between 1869 and 1948. During this period, tolerant political regimes resulted in the globalization of capitalist relations and the improvement of transcontinental travel and worldwide communication. This allowed modern modes of theatre and music consumption to instigate the uniformization of cultural products and processes, while simultaneously fragmenting societies into distinct identities, institutions, and nascent nation-states.

Taking the performing bodies of migrant musicians as the locus of sound, this book argues that the global movement of acoustic modernities was replicated and diversified through its multiple subjectivities within empire, nation, and individual agencies. It traces the arrival of European travelling music and theatre companies in Asia which re-casted listening into an act of modern cultural consumption and follows the migration of Manila musicians as they engaged in the modernization project of the neighboring Asian cities.

meLê Yamomo: Sounding Modernities: Theatre and Music in Manila and the Asia Pacific, 1869-1946. Palgrave-Macmillan (2018).