CFP: Staging the Post-Dramatic: 21st-Century German Theater

Northeastern Modern Language Association (NeMLA), Pittsburgh, PA
(Sep 30 2017; April 12-15 2018)

The theme of the 2018 Northeastern Modern Language Association’s annual convention is “Global Spaces, Local Landscapes and Imagined Worlds.” This panel explores how contemporary German-language theater creates spaces for new conversations about gender, ethnic identity, and other aspects of political and social reality. In 2001, Hans-Thies Lehmann’s Postdramatisches Theater theorized post-Brechtian theater. Is today still the age of post-dramatic theater? If not, what comes next?

How have Christoph Schlingensief and other recent directors fundamentally changed German-language theater today? How do prolific established dramatists such as Elfriede Jelinek and Rainald Goetz continue to push the stage in new directions? How do works such as René Pollesch’s Ruhrtrilogie open new conversations about media, interior/exterior space, and the public sphere? The New York Times’ Rachel Donadio has described new works performed by Berlin’s “Exil Ensemble” and Munich’s “Open Border Ensemble” as being “built around a journey rather than a plot.” Very recent pieces such as Yael Ronen’s “The Situation” (in German, English, Arabic, and Hebrew) and “Winterreise” (2017) attempt to strike a balance among historical situatedness, creative empowerment, polyglot linguistic practices, and political engagement. In response to these and other new developments, this panel seeks contributions that examine all aspects of recent innovations in German-language theater and drama.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical approaches to contemporary German-language theater and performance.
  • Original literary analyses of contemporary theatrical works that address border crossings, ethnicity, and/or world-creation.
  • New analyses of German-language theater or performance that engages with political and social change
  • The creation and definition of theatrical spaces in the broader sense – politics as performance, teaching as theater, etc.
  • The relationship of contemporary theater to text, storytelling, and collectivity.

Please submit abstracts of approximately 250 words, including the submitter’s biographical information through the NeMLA website:

Submission deadline: September 30, 2017

For inquiries about the panel, contact:
Pascale LaFountain, Assistant Professor of German and French, Montclair State University (
Lisa Parkes, Senior Lecturer in German, Harvard University (

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.