CfP: Brecht and the Public Sphere / Brechtian “Selbststilisierungen”

The International Brecht Society invites papers for a panel at the annual Conference of the German Studies Association in Portland (Oregon) from 3-6 October 2019. Throughout his career Brecht’s interest in the role of art and politics in shaping the public sphere sustained his experimental theatrical practice, the theory of epic theater, and his forays into other media, but it also informed his practice as a poet and his presence as a public figure. This panel will focus on Brecht’s interventions into and theorizations of the public sphere.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:
> Brecht’s publishing efforts (e.g., the Versuche series, his work on the exile journals Das Wort and Internationale Literatur, his relationships to his postwar publishers, Suhrkamp in the West and Aufbau in the East);
> Brecht’s work in the media (e.g., Hörspiele, radio and newspaper interviews, the radio studio he installed at the Berliner Ensemble, his open letters in the 1950s);
> Brecht’s work on media (e.g., his radio theory, the Lehrstück and his theorizations of the theater as a public sphere, the Threepenny Lawsuit, the photo-epigrams of the War Primer, or his interactions with the film industry in the Weimar Republic, Hollywood, and the GDR);
> Brecht’s contribution to the public sphere of the early GDR through the Berliner Ensemble and his leadership role in the Akademie der Künste;
> And finally, Brecht’s stylized self-image as conveyed especially in poems.

Please send 250-word abstracts to Marc Silberman ( and Hunter Bivens ( by 26 January 2019. Submissions are welcome from any discipline. Papers may be presented in either German or English.

Participants in the GSA annual conference must become GSA members at the latest by Feb. 15, 2019, and they must cover their own conference fee, travel, and hotel costs. For details on the GSA:

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