Conferences / Symposia · Digital Culture · Digital Humanities · Digitales Kuratieren, Digital Curating · Performance Studies · Theater international · Theatre Archives · Theatre History

deadline extended to 1 March! – IFTR 2019: Working Group Digital Humanities to meet in New York, 1-4 May

brodway image kopieThis year, the Digital Humanities in Theatre Research working group of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) will not meet at the 2019 conference location (Shanghai), but in New York from 1-4 May.
The call for papers for the meeting can be found here .
We look forward to receiving proposals for lectures or presentations until 1 March, 2019.
Nic Leonhardt & Doug Reside (convenors of the working group & organizers)



Conferences / Symposia · European Theatre · Global Arts · Global Theatre History · Media History · Performance Studies · Theater international · Theatergeschichte · Theaterwissenschaft · Theatre Archives · Theatre History · Transnational History · Vortrag, Public Talk

Iste – Ille. Here and There. Keynote on Global Theatre History (Stockholm, 22-24 Nov, 2018)

sarah bernhardt american fareell tour_Mucha 1906
Poster, 1905, designed by Alfons Mucha for Sarah Bernhardt’s “Farewell American Tour”, 1905-1906.

The understanding of what is historic(al), how to write history and how to archive the past depends largely on the temporal and cultural setting of societies. Against the background of increasing globalization and transnational as well as transregional mobilities in contemporary times, the traditional eurocentric writing of theatre history, too, has become subject to revision during the past decade. Global, transnational or transcultural studies and history have provided a discursive framework for reconsidering the (performing) arts, and for highlighting the study of connections, transregional or transnational exchange, networks, circulation and mobility. Theatre has ever since been a very mobile art form, open to new forms and ideas, a playground for negotiating politics, history, ethics and gender politics––, and a means of representing local and national values.

How can we keep these dynamics and counter-dynamics in mind when writing theatre histories, what methodological challenges do we need to face? When, how, and in which shape does “Europe” step in? Who owns, collects, stores, and claims the heritage of “European theatre” in a world of connections? In my talk, I am going to elaborate on the paradoxes and challenges adumbrated above by selected examples from the theatre history of the early twentieth century including WWI. By doing so, I shall introduce parameters and historiographical approaches as initiated within the framework of Global Theatre Histories.

The talk will be taking place within the framework of the symposium “From Local to Global: Interrogating Performance Histories”, organized by the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, University of Stockholm, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

Conferences / Symposia · Philanthropy · Theatre History · Transnational History

“Philanthropy, Development and the Arts” – Final Conference Programme (23-25 July)

pegasus ausschnitt

The final programme of the conference Philanthropy, Development and the Arts: Histories and Theories is now online and can be accessed here.

Monday, 23 July, 5pm – Wednesday, 25 July, 5:30pm

Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung – Südliches Schlossrondell 23 –80638 Munich

Keynote speakers:

Monday, 23 July, 6pm: Volker Berghahn (Columbia University, New York City): American Foundations, the Arts, and high Politics (1898–2018)

Tuesday, 24 July, 11am: Inderjeet Parmar (City University of London): Foundations of the US-led Liberal International Order: From the ‚Rise to Globalism‘ to ‚America First‘

Registration is mandatory. Please register via e-mail to Gwendolin Lehnerer indicating your name and affiliation:

I would like to thank Gwendolin Lehnerer, Aydin Alinejad and Rebecca Sturm for their support in the organization of the conference!


* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Conferences / Symposia · European Theatre · Global Theatre History · Theater international · Theatergeschichte · Theatre History · Transatlantic Cultural Exchange · Transnational History · Vortrag, Public Talk

Conference Talk: ”The show business has gone all to pieces”. 11 July, #IFTR 2018

Franz Marc, Tierschicksale / Fate of the Animals, 1913. (“Die Bäume zeigten ihre Ringe. Die Tiere ihre Adern”/ “The trees showed their rings. The animals their veins.”)

At this year’s world congress of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) in Belgrade, Serbia (9-13 July, 2018),  I will give a talk about ““The show business has gone all to pieces” – Theatrescapes, Mobility and Stasis during World War I. 

In The Birth of the Modern World. A global history 1780-1914 (2008) the British historian Christopher A. Bayly used the formulation of a “paradox of globalization” to describe what initially seemed as two contradictory processes of globalization in the nineteenth and early twentieth century: On the one hand, the period from the mid-nineteenth century up to the First World War saw the formation of political, economic and ideological views of the sovereign nation state. On the other hand, there was an increasing and dynamic global interconnectedness and cultural mobility. Theatre plays an important role in this ‘two-faced’ dynamics in that it both serves as a ‘carrier‘ of nationalist and representational ideas, and is subject to an increasing transregional/ transnational mobility at the same time.

Between the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century theatrical productions, performers, and plays circulate (often globally) on a larger scale than ever before, enabled by improved infrastructures of communication and transport.

By following the professional paths of selected theatrical agents, impresarios and performers, in my paper, I will focus on the impact the outbreak of the First World War had on the mobility of theatre. Based on primary material, and by applying perspectives of global theatre history, I shall demonstrate to what extent the War cut the infrastructural routes and trails of migration, and forced a massive ‘setback‘ and re-direction of theatrical practices and individual careers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Conferences / Symposia · Digital Humanities · European Theatre · Global Theatre History · Theater international · Theatergeschichte · Theaterwissenschaft · Theatre Archives · Theatre History

IFTR World Congress 2018 in Belgrade

IFTR Belgrade 2018From 9 to 13 July, this year’s annual conference of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) will be taking place in Belgrade, Serbia. The conference theme is highly topical: Theatre and Migration. Theatre, Nation and Identity: Between Migration and Stasis. The programme can be downloaded here or from the conference website.

In Belgrade, I will be meeting with my working group “Digital Humanities and Theatre Research”. Besides, I will give a conference paper entitled “’The show business has gone all to pieces’ – Theatrescapes, Mobility and Stasis during World War I”.

Archiv · Conferences / Symposia · Vortrag, Public Talk

“InstArchive” – Vortrag zum Archivieren von Tanz im Rahmen des Symposiums “Housing the Temporary” (14.-16. Juni 2018)


Schatten des Tanzes als Spuren von Bewegung. Die Wand als Archiv. Foto/Selfie: Nic Leonhardt

Was, wie und warum wissen wir über Tanz von gestern? Und wie gestalten wir, was künftige Generationen über den Tanz von heute wissen? Diesen Fragen gehe ich in meinem Vortrag InstArchives. Momente des Tanzes für die Tanzgeschichte von morgen. Analoge und digitale Spuren”  im Rahmen des Symposiums “Housing the Temporary. Zugänge zur eigenen Geschichte” nach.


„Vergangen, nicht mehr zu sein[,] arbeitet leidenschaftlich in den Dingen. Dem vertraut der Historiker seine Sache. Er hält sich an diese Kraft und erkennt die Dinge wie sie [in] einem Augenblick des Nicht-mehr-Seins sind.“ – Walter Benjamin formuliert diese Worte in seinem „Passagenwerk“. Sie sind beinahe programmatisch für diese bekannte Schrift, die ihrerseits das beste Beispiel für seine Worte abgibt, und dienen meinem Vortrag zu InstArchives als Leitgedanken.

Was wir über die Gegenwart wissen, ihre Künste, aber auch ihre historischen Dimensionen, wissen wir zu einem erheblichen Teil über die Medien, die sie uns vermitteln; über Aufnahmen von Momenten als Kristallisieren von Zeit und Querschnitt von Zeiten. Als Historikerinnen und Historiker sind wir angewiesen auf solche Aufnahmen, wir schreiben ihnen einen Kontext und einen Sinn zu, und sind doch gleichsam selbst stets in Kontext und Agenda gefangen. Als Künstlerinnen und Künstler oder Rezipienten kreieren wir die Dinge im Moment und für den Moment des Nicht-mehr-Seins  – und finden uns damit mit einem merkwürdig ambivalenten Widerklang von Gestaltungs- und Ohn-Macht, von Verantwortung und Ausgeliefertsein konfrontiert.

In meinem Beitrag “InstArchive.Momente des Tanzes für die Tanzgeschichte von morgen“ versuche ich am Beispiel Tanz zu diskutieren, wie Tanz historisch und zeitgenössisch erinnert wird und wurde: analog in physischen Archiven wie digital in den Archiven der Gegenwart, Datenbanken und Social Media. Die Medienfrage spielt in diese Überlegungen ebenso unmittelbar ein wie historiographische Operationen. Was, wie und warum wissen wir über Tanz von gestern? Und wie gestalten wir, was künftige Generationen über den Tanz von heute wissen?

symp_hou_ng_title_lDas internationale und internationale Symposium Housing the Temporary. Zugänge zur eigenen Geschichte widmet sich den Herausforderungen der Archivierung bewegter Künste. Kuratiert und organisiert von Katja Schneider, Daniela Rippl und Micha Purrucker (Access to Dance, body.logic, Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München), findet es vom 14. bis 16. Juni im Schwere Reiter statt. Das Programm findet sich hier.