On Wednesday, 13 June, Sharon Lehner (Brooklyn, New York), currently guest of the Centre for Global Theatre Histories, will be talking about her work at the HAMM Archives of the Brooklyn Academy for Music in Brooklyn (BAM), N.Y.
Her talk, Emerging Performance Archives, is taking place in the context of the colloquium of the Department of Theatre Studies (TWM) at LMU Munich
Time: Wednesday, 13 June, from 12 (sharp) to 1:30pm.
The event is open to the public. Registration is not required.
Performance is an ephemeral, impermanent experience. It is also typically collaborative, formed from a web of people, their relationships and ideas. Collecting and describing performance is fundamentally different from describing a physical object. That static repository model– archives as dusty, 19th century curio cabinet–has been replaced by a more contemporary living archive. A recent Google search for “Living Archive” brought up many thousands of hits. The term, appropriated by numerous disciplines, describes everything from open data projects in computer science programs to Asian Art Museums. While the use of the term Living Archive is applied differently across these projects, all seem to crave live-ness and who understands this better than those who create performance? Performance archives mirror the collaborative process they describe, creating webs of knowledge that can be connected back to the original event. Archiving performance is also practical, working with a dizzying array of media to collect, organize, describe, preserve, and make available objects related to performances, history, and people. We work with creators, performers, designers, photographers, videographers, subject area specialists, and numerous others. The process is open and creative, with discussion about how best to document and share work. Performing artists already understand the limits of representation and the power of embodied experience. In performance archives we attempt to reflect the complexity.
Sharon Lehner has directed the BAM Hamm Archives in Brooklyn, New York since 1999. She holds degrees in Performance Studies and also in Historical Editing and Archival Management from New York University and has presented at conferences and published in both disciplines. She has served as a consultant to performance archives and acted as advisor to the Pina Bausch Archives from 2009-2017. Recent projects include the launch of The Leon Levy BAM Digital Archive, an encyclopedic resource documenting the history of BAM, In Terms of Performance at BAM, Co-produced by BAM, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and UC Berkeley, an interactive installation exploring the terms that describe contemporary art and performance. Most recent publications include How to Create an Archive? Inheriting Dance: An Invitation from Pina ([transcript] Press, Verlag 2014) Forthcoming, BAM: The Next Wave Festival edited by Susan Yung and Steven Serafin and interview in the Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities in Theatre and Performance edited by Dr. Nic Leonhardt.
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.
The preliminary programme can be accessed here.
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): email@example.com
For regular updates on the conference, please also consult the Conference Website .
Edited by Tracy C. Davis and Christopher B. Balme, this new Cultural History of Theatre series offers an insightful survey from ancient times (500 BCE) to the present. The set of six volumes covers a span of 2,500 years, tracing the complexity of the interactions between theatre and culture.
Each volume discusses the same themes in its chapters, namely Institutional Frameworks, Social Functions, Sexuality and Gender, The Environment of Theatre, Circulation, Interpretations, Communities of Production, Repertoire and Genres, Technologies of Performance, and Knowledge Transmission: Media and Memory.
Volume 1: A Cultural History of Theatre in Antiquity (Edited by Martin Revermann)
Volume 2: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Middle Ages (Edited by Jody Enders)
Volume 3: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Early Modern Age (Edited by Robert Henke)
Volume 4: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Age of Enlightenment (Edited by Mechele Leon)
Volume 5: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Age of Empire (Edited by Peter Marx)
Volume 6: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Modern Age (Edited by Kim Solga)
Five GTH Centre members contributed to volume 5, A Cultural History of theatre in the Age of Empire: Jim Davis, Nic Leonhardt, Derek Miller, Stanca Scholz-Cionca, and Laurence Senelick.
Gero Tögl, former PhD student of the Global Theatre Histories research project and associate of the GTH Centre, has just published his PhD thesis The Bayreuth Enterprise, 1848-1914.
In this monograph, Gero reassesses the early history of the Bayreuth Festival between 1848 and 1914 from the perspective of a transnational social project dedicated to the ‚regeneration‘ of modern societies and istitutional reform. Based on recent debates in globalization theory, ethnography, and anthropology, the book focuses on the interplay of seemingly contradictory aspects such as financing and anti-capitalist ideology, nationalism and the cosmopolitan reach of Wagner’s ideas, artistic monopolization and global marketing.
Gero Tögl: The Bayreuth Enterprise (1848-1914). Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2017. (ISBN 978-3-8260-6011-3)
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.
The first peer-reviewed publication of the new ERC project „Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945” just came out in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (vol. 31, 2, 2017).
In his paper “Theatrical Institutions in Motion: Developing Theatre in the Postcolonial Era” the project’s principal investigator Christopher Balme examines the complex transnational processes that led to an institutionalization of theatre in emerging nations after 1945.
Christopher Balme: „Theatrical Institutions in Motion: Developing Theatre in the Postcolonial Era“, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 31, no. 2, 2017, pp. 125–140.
Article available on Project MUSE.
Same agenda – new concept.
Same web address – new face.
New centre – new logo.
After five truly fruitful and successful years and due to its ongoing disciplinary relevance, we reframed the DFG funded research project Global Theatre Histories as a Centre for Global Theatre History.
Our new website went online recently. Check it out!
If you have any questions regarding the Centre’s agenda, possible fellowships, seminars, talks, etc, please do not hesitate to contact Nic Leonhardt, director of the GTH Centre, via n.leonhardt [at] lmu.de
We would like to thank Maryam Khosrovani for the logo !
The Centre for Global Theatre History cordially invites to a public talk by London based reader and researcher Kate Elswit ( (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London) on Tracing Dynamic Spatial histories and Networks of Movement on the Move on Wednesday, 14 June, 12-1:30pm @ Institute for Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, Room #109.
„The talk is based on a series of collaborations between Kate Elswit and Harmony Bench regarding the ways in which digital research methods can work in tandem with more traditional scholarly methods to manage the scale and complexity of data in accounts of what we call “movement on the move,” which we explore through the phenomenon of dance touring alongside other modes of circulation and transmission. In the first part of the talk, I draw on the project’s early research into South American tours by Anna Pavlova’s company during World War One and American Ballet Caravan during World War Two. Here focus is on the database and the map as tools that expand our capacity to trace “dynamic spatial histories of movement.” In the second part of the talk, I turn to a new collaborative work in progress that focuses on the archives of African American choreographer and anthropologist Katherine Dunham. This new work broadens the scope of transmission to explore geographical and cultural mobilities in tandem, ultimately revealing the scale of personal, professional, and political networks surrounding a single artist, and proposing what such histories of circulation can offer to dance history.“
Kate Elswit is Reader in Theatre and Performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London and author of Watching Weimar Dance and Theatre & Dance. She has won three major awards for scholarly publications and her research has been supported by many sources, including a Marshall Scholarship, a postdoctoral fellowship in the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities at Stanford University, the 2013 Lilian Karina Research Grant in Dance and Politics, and most recently a Batelle Engineering, Technology, and Human Affairs (BETHA) Endowment Grant with Harmony Bench. She also works as a choreographer, curator, and dramaturg.
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.
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.
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.
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.