„The Rockefeller Connection: Visualizing theatrical networks in the Cultural Cold War“, in Comparatio, Vol. 12, 2, 2020, p. 127-144.
In this co-authored article, Christopher Balme and Nic Leonhardt (both ERC project Developing Theatre at LMU Munich) examine how the Rockefeller Foundation funded theatrical initiatives in developing countries: the Philippines and Nigeria. Using visualization software, in this case the open source application Gephi, the authors demonstrate how personal and institutional networks underpinned the cultural, specifically, theatrical development strategy of the foundation. The paper discusses the principles underpinning historical network analysis and analyzes two case studies, Severino Montano’s Arena Theatre in Manila, and the establishment of a School of Drama at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
- This article has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 694559 – DevelopingTheatre)
and is available in the open access format.
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.
Deadline for paper proposals: 30 November, 2017.
The conference will take place from Monday, 23 to Wednesday, 25 July, 2018 at Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, Munich.
A preliminary programme will be available by spring 2018.
For any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact PD Dr Nic Leonhardt, Associate Director of the Developing Theatre Project: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 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.
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.
Five associates and researchers of the Centre for Global Theatre Histories and the ERC project Developing Theatre will be attending #IFTR2017 and present papers on their current topics of research:
Christopher Balme: Theatrical modernism for the world: Theatrical Epistemic Communities 1920-1960.
Gautam Chakrabarti: The Red Bear has Awoken!: Soviet Engagement with Indian Theatre Artists in the Cold War.
Nic Leonhardt: “… Enlarging the Boundaries of Human Knowledge“– by Means of Theatre: Multiple Theatricalities and the Philanthropic Agenda of Stabilizing Cultural Geographies after 1945.
Rashna Darius Nicholson: What’s in a name? The role of language in the invention of colonial and postcolonial South Asian theatre history
Azadeh Sharifi: Dis/Continuity of Post-migrant theatre in Germany theatre history.
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.
This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will discuss how theatre, a European cultural practice, spread rapidly around the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The modules will engage with both theoretical and historical perspectives on what is a relatively new area of theatrical research. How did plays, operas and ballets quite literally go global? What do we know about the itineraries of actors, singers, and dancers, what about the cosmopolitan audiences? What can we learn about agents and managers who facilitated the movement of theatre around the world?
Against the backdrop of recent research in the context of global and transnational history, based on case studies of the Global Theatre Histories research group, and enriched by numerous interviews with international experts, course instructor Christopher Balme and his team have developed a fascinating online course that will introduce students into theatre as a global phenomenon and familiarize them with global (historical) perspectives on theatre research.
more MOOCs at LMU
Theater ist von jeher eine mobile Angelegenheit – und sucht sich doch in Architektur und Konventionen lokale Verankerung. In seinem Vortrag wird Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme, Leiter des DFG-Projektes Global Theatre Histories Ergebnisse des Projektes vorstellen und die Parameter von Theater im Kontext von Globalisierung seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts beleuchten. Wie ist Globalisierung in dieser Zeit zu verstehen, und wie reagiert und bringt sich Theater in Zeiten kultureller Mobilität ein? Welche Stile, Konzepte wandern transnational? Was lässt sich über theatrale Handelsrouten sagen, die gleichsam ein Netz bilden, auf dessen SeilenTheaterpraktiker jonglieren? Werden „Einflüsse“ 1:1 adaptiert oder lassen sich kreative, subversive Praktiken der lokalspezifischen Adaptionen vermerken?
Diese und andere Fragen an einen historischen Zusammenhang von Theater und Globalisierung wird dieser Vortrag auch im Hinblick auf die gegenwärtige Positionierung von Theater in einer vernetzten Welt diskutieren.
Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme: Theater & Globalisierung
Dienstag, 3. Februar 2015, 18:30 Uhr, IBZ München
Vortrag CB Theater u Globalisierung 3 Feb IBZ
- (left to right: Mehmet Özbek, Gero Tögl, Gwendolin Lehnerer, Tobi Englmeier, Lisa-Frederike Seidler, Nic Leonhardt, Christopher Balme; photo: Christine Kneifel, twm)
On Friday, 16 January, core members of the research projects Global Theatre Histories (PI: Christopher Balme) and Theatrescapes (PI: Nic Leonhardt) gathered for a joint hackathon. The goal of this ‘hack day’ was to employ, test, and also challenge the “Theatrescapes Research Tool”, developed by computational linguist Tobi Englmeier, and to enter data (textual, visual, georeferential) on theatres established worldwide since 1850 – both purpose built and non-purpose built –– into the Theatrescapes database. The tool will go online shortly and is designed to work as a research tool for mapping theatres of the world since the mid-19th century.