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.
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
From 23–25 July, the ERC project Developing Theatre will hold its first international conference at the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung. International scholars of disciplines such as international relations, art studies, performance studies, and history as well as representatives of foundations and museums will gather in Munich for discussing Philanthropy, Development and the Arts: Histories and Theories.
Keynote Lectures (open to the public, registration mandatory):
Monday, 23 July, 6pm: Volker Berghahn (Columbia University New York): American Foundations, the Arts, and High Politics, 1898-2018
Tuesday, 24 July, 11am: Inderjeet Parmar (London): Foundations of the US-led Liberal International Order: From the ‘Rise to Globalism’ to ‘America First’
Registration: We cordially welcome external guests to attend the conference and/ or the keynote lectures. Please note: registration is mandatory due to the house rules of the Siemens Stiftung. If you would like to register, please send an e-mail indicating your name, e-mail address, affiliation, and if you would like to register for the entire conference and/ or the keynote lectures, to project assistant Gwendolin Lehnerer (MA): firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstracts are due by Monday, 15 January, 2018 and are to be submitted through the Cambridge Core website https://www.cambridge.org/core/membership/iftr where you can also find information on IFTR membership and a link to the conference website with full details of the conference.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the WG convenors,
From 23-25 July, 2018, our ERC funded project Developing Theatre will be hosting its first international conference with a special focus on Philanthropy, Development and the Arts: Histories and Theories. At the conference, we seek to interrogate the impact of philanthropy on the field of arts – visual arts, theatre, music, dance, opera, drama education, etc. – between the 19th and 21st centuries. The conference aims at discussing the work, impact, successes and failures of private and corporate philanthropy and NGOs, including semi-statist organizations such as the Goethe Institut, or the British Council, from the perspectives of history, cultural history, political sciences, art and theatre history.
We are looking for paper proposals addressing the following aspects:
Shifting discourses of philanthropy in respect to arts and cultural funding
Philanthropic and NGO initiatives in the arts in countries such as Africa, India, Chile, etc.
From colonialism to philanthropy: the de/re-colonization of cultural aid
Philanthropy vs./ the state: how non-governmental can non-governmental organizations be?
Case studies on the private funding of arts and artists with a special focus on development
Case studies on field officers, representatives and ‘arts experts’ in charge of philanthropic foundations and NGOs
Soft power: arts philanthropy and cultural diplomacy
Other related topics will also be considered.
The complete call for papers can be downloaded here.
The first workshop of the ERC project Developing Theatre is taking place in New Delhi. Organized by Gautam Chakrabarti, PostDoc of the research group, this workshop brings together theatre, art and media scholars and practitioners from India and Europe at the beautiful India International Centre, New Delhi (29-30 September, 2017).
Post-independence India was one of the key sites where the “cultural Cold War” was fought–more often than not– with as much gusto and ruthlessness as its ideological and military counterparts. Theatre was one of the core areas in which this cultural conflict was played out between the 1950s and 1980s, with almost all the major players, both individual and collective or institutional, in contemporary Indian theatre having gone through the ’rite de tomorrow passage’ of ideological training. Academic exploration of these political contestations and problematisations of cultural practices, especially in the Indian context, have opened up larger horizons of possible enquiry. This workshop seeks to bring practitioners, scholars and witnesses of this fascinating history into dialogue with one another.
Participants: V. Akshara (NINASAM, Heggudu) – Christopher Balme (LMU Munich; PI ERC-Project „Developing Theatre“) – Trina N. Banerjee (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta) – Gautam Chakrabarti (LMU Munich, ERC-Project „Developing Theatre“ – Dwaipayan Chowdhury (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) – Anirban Ghosh (Jadavpur University, Calcutta) – Rakshanda Jalil (Writer, Critic and Literary Historian, Delhi) – Minakshi Kaushik (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) – Malashri Lal (Convener, English Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, Delhi) – Nic Leonhardt (LMU Munich, Associate Director, ERC-Project „Developing Theatre“) – Raghunandana Sathamarshana (Poet, Playwright and Stage-Director, Bengaluru) – Tripurari Sharma (National School of Drama, Delhi) – Vani Tripathi-Tikoo (Member, Central Board of Film Certification, Delhi) –Atul Tiwari (Theatre-, Media- and Film-Practitioner, Independent Scholar, Mumbai)
The workshop is internal. The programme can be downloaded here.
The ERC-Project „Developing Theatre„, led by Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme, was represented at the Annual Conference of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR, 10th-14th July, 2017, São Paulo, Brazil) by Prof. Balme, Dr. Nic Leonhardt, Dr. Gautam Chakrabarti and Dr. Rashna D. Nicholson. The first three members spoke in a panel titled „Collective Modern Theater from the 1st Part of XXth Century and Beyond“. Prof. Balme spoke on „Theatrical modernism for the world: Theatrical Epistemic Communities 1920-1960“, and also introduced the ERC-Project to the audience, which was much larger than expected and necessitated a change of the venue to a larger room. He also demonstrated the beta-version of „Our History„, the Digital Humanities platform of the Project. There was, evidently, a lot of interest in this DH-interface and how it may redefine scholarly conceptualisations of global theatre history.
Dr. Chakrabarti presented a paper, based on his sub-project within the ERC-Project, titled „The Red Bear has Awoken!: Soviet Engagement with Indian Theatre Artists in the Cold War“. He spoke about the Soviet connection of post-Independence India’s ‚progressive‘ theatre. He sought, based on his archival and other researches since the beginning of the Project in end-2016, „to attempt a tentative theorisation of the Cold-War-era geopolitical spatialisation of Eurasian cultural geographies as a reactive and subversive function to Eastern Bloc conceptualisations of colonial modernity.“
Dr. Leonhardt’s paper was titled ‚“…Enlarging the Boundaries of Human Knowledge“– by Means of Theatre: Multiple Theatricalities and the Philanthropic Agenda of Stabilizing Cultural Geographies after 1945‘. She presented her research on various, mainly American philanthropists and the foundations established by them and sought to conceptualise philanthropy as a tool of cultural politics in the post-WW2 years. Both her paper and that of Dr. Chakrabarti led, during the Q&A, to animated discussions that underscored the current relevance of the research questions this Project seeks to foreground.
As part of the four-member „Developing Theatre“ delegation, Dr. Nicholson spent most of her working hours at the Historiography Working Group. According to her, she „was moved by a series of thought-provoking keynote speeches, struck by the warmth and generosity of the conference volunteers who stood at all hours of the day at strategic points in Sao Paulo’s Butantã subway station and enjoyed the pão de queijo served up with our coffee each day.“ We also noted the adequate presence of security personnel and are thankful to the organizers, from the University of São Paulo, for their special attention to the delegates’ well-being and security.The crowning glory of the conference was a farewell reception at an exciting theatrical space, which soon dissolved into dance and music that gave us a delightful impression of Brazilian joi de vivre!
The overall impression we had of the conference was that of a frenetic and dynamic environment that opened up multiple opportunities and pathways for dialogue and debate. We look forward to the next IFTR Conference in 2018 at Belgrade with pleasant expectations and fond memories of a colourful and productive experience in São Paulo.
Since 1957, the year of founding of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), theatre scholars and IFTR members from all parts of the world (in fact from 44 different countries!) meet for their annual conference.
Both the conference theme and the location vary from year to year. The IFTR 2017 conference has a focus on Unstable Geographies: Multiple Theatricalities, and will be hosted by the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
From 26-28 May, 2017, GTH Centre director and associate director of the ERC project „Developing Theatre“, Nic Leonhardt, participated in the international conference „How to Change the World“ at Shanghai University. Organized by Iris Borowy, director of the new Center for the History of Global Development at University of Shanghai, this conference gathered mainly historians from different parts of the world for discussing case studies, methodologies, and political agendas of initiatives and notions of ‚development“ in different sectors such as medical aid, health, education, tourism, media, and political propaganda throughout the 20th century. Nic illuminated the outline and work packages of the project Developing Theatre. Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945.
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
Christopher Balme (PI of the GTH project) held the opening address at the 1st World Theatre Education Convention, Central Academy of Drama, Beijing (www.atecnet.org/ATECEN/) on 18 May, 2014 under the auspices of the Asian Theatre Education Centre (ATEC).