Theatrescapes - Global Media and Translocal Publics (1850-1950)

  • Conference Call
  • The Con­fer­ence on The­atrescapes – Global Media and Translo­cal Publics (1850−1950) is a event embed­ded in the research project on “Global The­atre His­to­ries” and will be held June 19 – 21, 2014 in Munich, Ger­many by the School of Arts at the Ludwig-​Maximilians-​Universität München (LMU).

    Con­fer­ence Theme

    In the cen­tury between 1850 and 1950 the­atre expe­ri­enced an unprece­dented expan­sion in all its dimen­sions. Per­form­ers, the­atri­cal gen­res, new build­ings, and, most impor­tantly per­haps, new publics emerged which both responded to and enabled such flows. The notion of ‘the­atrescapes’ pro­posed here responds to Arjun Appadurai’s famous for­mu­la­tion of var­i­ous ‘scapes’ mark­ing the emer­gence of glob­al­ized cul­tural flows after the end of the Cold War.

    This con­fer­ence asks whether we shouldn’t speak of glob­al­iza­tion and global cul­tural flows a cen­tury ear­lier. As many his­to­ri­ans now argue the mas­sive migra­tion of the nine­teenth cen­tury, which still dwarfs cur­rent migra­tion flows in sheer num­bers, ush­ered in a fun­da­men­tal reor­gan­i­sa­tion of exist­ing geo­cul­tural cer­tain­ties. The same period also sees the emer­gence of global media –press, pho­tog­ra­phy, cin­ema, radio – which all inter­acted with rapidly expand­ing the­atre infrastructures.

    The dis­lo­ca­tion engen­dered by migra­tion led to the cre­ation of the­atre publics who were increas­ingly geo­graph­i­cally sep­a­rated from their home cul­tures. The new the­atri­cal pub­lic spheres that emerged in this period were there­fore almost invari­ably ‘translo­cal’: while Euro­pean spec­ta­tors in Cal­cutta or Shang­haire mained men­tally aligned with their home coun­tries, indige­nous publics were still becom­ing accus­tomed to a new medium.

    Call for Papers

    This con­fer­ence wants to inves­ti­gate the inter­sec­tion of these two major flows: media and migra­tion — as they impacted on and in the the­atre in the cen­tury between 1850 and 1950. Papers could address any of the fol­low­ing subtopics:

    • The­atre and global media (how did per­form­ers, entre­pre­neurs, direc­tors inter­act with global media and how did global media fos­ter the global dis­sem­i­na­tion of the­atri­cal mate­r­ial (plays, for­mats, insti­tu­tions, etc.)
    • Translo­cal publics (the emer­gence of the­atri­cal pub­lic spheres in sit­u­a­tions of cross-​cultural contact)
    • The press and glob­al­ized the­atri­cal read­ing publics
    • Net­worked stages (transna­tional inter­con­nec­tions of pro­duc­ers and pro­duc­tions, impre­sar­ios and agents)
    • New urban cen­tres asthe­atri­cal con­tact zones
    • Theatre-​building as a (inter)cultural act

    Please sub­mit a 200-​word abstract and short bio­graph­i­cal note to Dr. Nic Leon­hardt. There will be no con­fer­ence fee. A lim­ited amount of finan­cial assis­tance is available.


    Christo­pher Balme and Nic Leon­hardt, Global The­atre His­to­ries LMU Munich.

    starting: ending: 21.06.2014 Location: , Category:


    Conference START 21.06.2014 END

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