CfP: “Brecht in the Middle East” (MLA 2018)

Modern Language Association Convention
New York City
January 4-7, 2018

CFP: Brecht in the Middle East (Sponsored by the International Brecht Society,

This panel seeks to examine and discuss the legacy of Bertolt Brecht in the Middle East. What are specificities in the translation, appropriation, and staging of Brecht’s work? How did dramatists introduce, implement, adopt and transform Brechtian dramaturgical concepts in relation to existing theatrical practices and traditions? How did dramatists draw on Brecht to develop new theatrical forms while addressing and responding to national issues, politics, and histories? How did Brecht’s theory and practice of theater translate into the multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, transcontinental, geo-political region referred to as Middle East, defined by never-ending conflict, upheaval and uprisings? What are differences, divergences, and/or intersections in the interpretation of Brecht within the Middle East? How have Brecht’s methods possibly influenced the role of theater in and against oppressive regimes?

Please submit 200-word abstracts by March 10, 2017 to Ela Gezen, egezen[at] and Hatem Akil, hatem[at] Presenters whose papers are chosen for the MLA convention must become members by April 7, 2017.

CfP: “Long Live Lenin”: Brecht and the Hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Revolution (GSA 2017)

The German Studies Association and the International Brecht Society
41st Annual conference, 5-8 October 2017, Atlanta“Long Live Lenin”: Brecht and the Hundredth Anniversary of the Russian RevolutionIn any compendium of major historical events, the Russian Revolution of 1917 figures near the top. On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the International Brecht Society is calling for papers that connect the work of Brecht (and contemporaries on the German-language cultural left) with the Russian Revolution and its legacies. In particular, we hope for papers that explore new understandings of the Revolution and revolution generally from today’s standpoint or explore the revolutionary moment of the interwar years with attention to the full spectrum of actors from syndicalists to National Bolsheviks.Brecht’s work – plays, poetry, prose, essays – is inextricably tied to the revolutionary politics actualized by the Russian Revolution, a connection that has both exalted and freighted his work, depending on the era and audience. Today, Bernie Sanders organizes in the name of “Our Revolution,” while, like Brecht, Steven Bannon professes admiration for Lenin, “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too.” The word revolution is suited to such vicissitudes, serving, as occasion demands, as a metaphor or concept, an empty signifier or strategic judgment, a singular event or historical inevitability. Given our hundred-year conjuncture, with the destabilization of Washington’s neoliberal consensus and the accession of anti-establishment right-wing movements to state power, with dominant states hovering perilously between strong-arm dirigisme and deregulatory laissez-faire, how can we read Brecht to open up the significance of the Russian Revolution for our uncertain times? Is Lenin’s revolution only an incarnation of Fortuna’s turning wheel? Or was it a true “Radwechsel”? But then on the road from where to where? To the extent it is no longer possible to believe that Brecht’s inscription “Long Live Lenin” is invincible, does our faith in Brecht’s poetry wane with our faith in Lenin, or is the relationship between art and politics a more resistant one, one that can even reinvigorate a faith otherwise susceptible to cynicism? What does it mean to think of political events through the lens of literature or theater in distinction to historiography?

Topics might relate Brecht and his work to:
• Bolshevik east and bourgeois west
• Revolutionary violence
• Revolutionary science
• Political theology (miracles, messianism, redemption)
• State and nation
• Revolutionary propaganda and aesthetic immortality
• Conservative revolutionaries (Jünger, Niekisch, Schmitt, et al)
• Critics of Lenin on the left (Kautsky, Kollontai, Luxemburg, Pannekoek, et al)
• “die Nachgeborenen” (e.g., Peter Weiss, Heiner Müller, Volker Braun…)

Send abstracts of 250 words by 7 February 2017, to Benjamin Robinson: bbrobins[a], and to Stephen Brockmann: smb[a]  All presenters at the GSA conference must become GSA members by February 15, 2017:

CfP: Panel Series, “Subjects of Performance” GSA 2017

Call for Papers
GSA 2017, Atlanta, October 5-8
submission deadline: 6. February

Panel Series: “Subjects of Performance”

Organizers: Caroline Weist (University of Richmond) and Sara Jackson (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), via GTPR

We invite proposals for individual papers or full panels to constitute a panel series on “Subjects of Performance.”

All live performance practices, by virtue of their inherently public and embodied nature, intervene – whether intentionally or implicitly – in the conception and politics of identity. Research in historical and contemporary theater, opera, dance, and performance art reveals consistent efforts to interrogate key categories of subject status and subjectivity such as nationality, gender, race, class, and the body. This panel series aims to explore this diverse field with particular attention to the ways in which German performances and performance practices have specifically intervened in the cultural and political production of normative and nonnormative subjects.

We invite proposals for individual papers (to be coordinated into panels) or full panels that fit within the series. Proposals can be related to any field of live performance (theater, dance, music, opera, performance art, etc.). Papers/panels may engage with areas of inquiry such as, but not limited to:

  • the production or deconstruction of normative subjects
  • the construction of certain embodied subjects as “other”
  • the status of bodies (of performers and viewers) in live performance
  • subjectivity and performance/performers
  • the reconstruction of performing subjects and subjects of performance in historiography
  • performance pedagogies that examine historical and contemporary subject formation
  • specific categories of identity politics in performance such as race, gender, ability, nationality, and class
  • research methodologies for recovering lost or erased subjects of performance

We particularly encourage proposals that interrogate the specific corporeal, spatial, temporal and material dimensions of live performance.

Send abstracts of 250w for individual papers, 500w for full panels, and a short bio by Monday, February 6 to:

Please also indicate if you would be interested in serving as a panel moderator or commentator in addition to (or rather than) presenting a paper.

Christoph Schlingensief und die Avantgarde


Termin: 2. – 4. Februar 2017

Leitung: Lore Knapp (Bielefeld, GER), Sven Lindholm (Bochum, GER), Sarah Pogoda (Bangor, GBR), Anna Teresa Scheer (Armidale, AUS)

Der Regisseur und Aktionskünstler Christoph Schlingensief (1960 – 2010) setzte sich in seinem Werk mit avantgardistischen Bewegungen der Musik, der darstellenden und bildenden Künste, der Literatur und des Films auseinander. Er experimentierte immer wieder neu mit dem Verhältnis seiner Kunst zum öffentlichen Alltagsleben, zur Politik und zur Religion, testete institutionelle und mediale Rahmensetzungen aus und entwickelte avantgardistische Ansätze weiter, die, so die These, als Schlüssel zum Verständnis seiner Ästhetik dienen können. Dabei macht der Austausch zwischen Literatur-, Theater-, Film-, Musik-, Kunst-, Kultur- und Medienwissenschaftlern, Historikern und Soziologen das Wissen über die Geschichte der Avantgarden für das Verständnis der Arbeiten Schlingensiefs fruchtbar. Die Arbeitsgemeinschaft analysiert explizite und implizite Bezugnahmen, Formzitate und Zielsetzungen in Schlingensiefs Filmen, Inszenierungen, Aktionen, Installationen und Opern. Zentrale Fragen der Avantgarden werden dabei stets in ihrer jeweiligen historischen Anbindung aufgeworfen, sodass nicht nur ein Beitrag zur Schlingensief-Forschung, sondern auch zur Forschung über die Avantgarde und ihre Geschichtlichkeit geleistet wird. Die ästhetischen Strategien Schlingensiefs testen das Nachleben der verschiedenen Kunstkonzepte der Avantgarden für die Gegenwart.

DAAD Summer Seminar on Performance

Rethinking Performance in Theory and Practice

Proposal for a DAAD Summer Seminar for Faculty and Recent PhDs

University of Chicago

June 19-July 15, 2017

Seminar Director:

David J. Levin, Addie Clark Harding Professor of Germanic Studies, Cinema & Media Studies, and Chair, Committee on Theater and Performance Studies


Recent performance work emanating from Germany – be it in theater, dance, or opera – has had an enormous impact on performance practices in North America.  At the same time, academic work in performance studies emanating from Germany has had an enormous impact in the English speaking world.  In this seminar, we will engage some of the most important contributions in both spheres  – conceptual work by Erika Fischer-Lichte (on the theorization of performance), Hans-Thies Lehmann (on post-dramatic theater and tragedy), and Gabriele Brandstetter (on contemporary dance) as well as a host of recent productions from German stages (e.g., theater work from the Volksbühne Berlin, dance work by the Forsythe Company, performance work from the Hebbel Theater am Ufer, and opera productions from the Stuttgart Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper).  At the heart of the seminar will be a set of interrelated questions, regarding the place(s) of theory in performance practice, the status of the text in performance, and the role(s) of the spectator.

In addition to our discussions in the seminar room, a substantial component of the seminar’s work will take place in the rehearsal room.  We will attend the rehearsals of a number of ensembles preparing original work in theater, performance, and dance as part of the 2017 Chicago Performance Lab (CPL) which runs concurrently to our seminar at the Logan Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of Chicago.  Over the past few years, the CPL has emerged as an important incubator for new work in Chicago theaters and beyond.  Work developed at CPL has gone on to appear on the stages of Steppenwolf Theatre, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art Performance Series, Lookingglass Theatre, and House Theatre; ensembles in residence have included Manual Cinema, Lucky Plush Productions, The Hypocrites, and Blair Thomas and Company.  Our seminar will attend rehearsals of CPL resident ensembles and then convene to discuss the implications of the creative and interpretive work we have witnessed.  But beyond this process of critical reflection – familiar enough to academics – will be an important and presumably less familiar dialogical component to our work: we will engage in a sustained critical exchange with the production teams (including directors, designers, dramaturgs, and performers) whose work we have observed, probing the intersection of critical and creative engagement.  In the process, seminar participants will gain fluency in the exchange between academics and artists while gaining experience in fostering a meaningful collaboration between theory and practice.

The seminar is conceived on the one hand as providing participants with a platform for present and future scholarly projects, but it is also intended to enhance participants’ pedagogical resources (e.g., integration of performance into the classroom). This stems from a sense that the “performative turn” could be better integrated into German Studies programs in North America. In this sense, our time together will provide participants with a variegated toolkit both for research projects and for curricular innovation.

The seminar is ideally suited to professors and post-doctoral scholars in a range of fields (including Germanic Studies as well as Theater & Performance Studies, Musicology, Film Studies, and Comparative Literature) with an interest in theater & performance studies.  Fluency in German is not required although an interest in academic and creative work emerging from Germany is essential.


Participation is open to faculty members in the Humanities and Social Sciences at colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Applicants who have received their Ph.D.s within the past two years but do not yet hold faculty appointments are encouraged to apply. Ph.D. candidates are not eligible.

Participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada.

Stipends and Fees:

Accepted participants are eligible for a DAAD stipend, pending final confirmation of funding. There is a $50 course fee.

Application deadline: March 1, 2017.

Forms and instructions can be found at

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