Traditions of Modernity / Traditionen der Moderne (2007)


University of Mainz, 20 July to 27 July 2007

The IPP Summer School is a centre for learning in an international context, offering courses to postgraduate and doctoral students with an aim towards encouraging interdisciplinary study. All participants attend lectures and workshops regularly and present their own projects in the field of performance and media in working groups. In addition to academic instruction there are practical workshops, debate meetings and informal excursions. The academic staff of the IPP Summer School consists of university teachers and other qualified professionals. All courses are conducted in English.

Within IPP Summer School students will acquire analytical tools and methods to focus on performative practices as theatre, literature, performance art and visual media. We support interdisciplinary perspectives by offering seminars according to different fields of interest within this years topic "Traditions of Modernity". The focus of attention will be on the social relevance of aesthetic forms and medial practices mirrored in methodological approaches that lead beyond textual and aesthetic analysis. IPP Summer School supports postgraduate and doctoral students in developing methodological approaches and in focussing the outline of their individual projects with an intensive course programme.

IPP Summer School offers:

- Seminars by our  local and international academic staff. Preliminary readings and term papers required. Students can choose one seminar out of three.
- Practical Workshops by qualified professionals. Students can choose one workshop (limited number of participants)
- Plenary lectures by our local and international academic staff.

News: At the last day of the Summer School, 27th of July,  we have planned a excursion to the documenta in Kassel. Costs: 40 Euro, for students 35 Euro. For participation please register at (Michael Bachmann).

Summer School 2007 "Traditions of Modernity"

This year’s Summer School examines modernity’s ambivalent tension between tradition and innovation as presumably prevalent discourse in theatre, art- and media discourse of the 20th century. Starting from a retrospective gaze at the early Avantgarde’s seminal paradigm-shifts, seminars and lectures will critically interrogate the stabilizing notion and significance of continuity and change as analytic paradigms to address the flux and evolution of cultural processes. May we still regard “tradition” and “modernity” as relevant to contemporary discussions of inter/cultural theatre as well as media discourse? To what extent have “invented traditions” (Eric Hobsbawm) been strategically manipulated – in the arts, theatre and media – as to fit modern capitalist challenges of societal change? Multiple paradigm-shifts have thus been attested to the 20th century in terms of its political orientation as well as its cultural aesthetics, yet are these still considerably comprehensive? While academic discourse tends to focus on  modernity’s radical ruptures, the summer school sets out to question whether these should not be contested in terms of a rather more complex interdependency of tradition and innovation as modernity proceeds towards globalization in the new millennium.
In seminars and evening lectures, developments in cultural history and the history of ideas will be analysed together with the pervasive shifts in media, to open up new perspectives on the developement of the arts (literature, theatre, graphic arts, film, and new media) from the Avantgarde to today.

Seminars and Workshops


Seminar I
Friedemann Kreuder/Martin Puchner

Traditions of Modernity in the Literary Reception of Greek Myth in
Postmodern and Postcolonial Drama

The seminar questions the focus on radical ruptures between modernism and its aftermath that underpins much postmodern and postcolonial theory. It sets out to reflect upon the tensions between historiography and artistic practice by confronting theoretical texts by Grail, Jameson, Bürger, Koselleck and Nolte with the reception of Greek Tragedy in contemporary drama, including plays by Soyinka, Mee, Kane, Wellman, Greig and Jelinek. Discussions will focus on the complex interdependence between tradition and innovation in the theatre arts.

Seminar II
Sabine Soergel/Nicole Waller

Alterity and Performative Knowledge – Redefining Modernity and Modernism in the Transatlantic Triangle
Since the mid-1970s, postcolonial theory in the wake of Edward Said’s and Homi K. Bhabha’s seminal work has set out to deconstruct modernity’s raci(al)st ideology of Otherness and colonialist stereotype. Recently, the work of Walter Mignolo has relocated the beginnings of modernity to early colonialism in the 16th century rather than European enlightenment and has situated its development in the triangular space of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This shift in focus enables Mignolo to analyze and dismantle modernity’s capitalist philosophy of oppressive exploitation and denial of cultural difference from the Renaissance onwards and to re-read cultural contact along the lines of various non-European cosmologies. In Western culture, colonialism in the Atlantic World inaugurated a modern ‘tradition’ of derogatory or ambivalent stereotyping still prevalent in many contemporary, almost neo-primitivist cultural performances ranging from literature, film, and television to performance and theatre. At the same time, recent refugee and migratory movements attempt to relocate ancestral performative knowledge (traditional and modern) of the Atlantic World to regenerate a rather complex global archive of subversive cross-cultural cosmologies blended with modernist philosophy of self-expression and identity. Contemporary performance culture thus appears to build on ‘tradition’ as much as ‘innovation’ as it revises modernity “beyond the color line” (Gilroy 2000). The seminar seeks to investigate alternative modes of critical analysis and comprehensive study of modernity in an Atlantic setting, ultimately suggesting the failure of categories such as ‘modernity’ versus ‘tradition’ in the (post)colonial contact zone.
An electronic Seminar-Reader will be available by approximately May/ June 2007.

Seminar III
Sabine Haenni/Peter Marx

Urbanity, Media, and the Amazed Gaze
It is not accidental that at the beginning of Modernity, the city, or rather the metropolis, and the new media figure as symptoms of exhilarating possibilities as well as of a deep crisis. The new forms of living and the new forms of media challenged traditional categories and called for a new orientation. Remarkably, at the end of 20th century, many of these metaphors return – slightly modified but still recognizable.
The seminar will trace this discourse from the emergence of photography, spectacle theatre, cinema, to the “New Digital World” in order to question the attraction of these figures of thoughts as well as their promises and limitations.

Workshop I ("Media")
Bettina Kasten

Theatre on Television
Theatre and television – at first sight the two medias clash. However theatre has a long tradition in German television. In 1963 the public channel ZDF has started its programme with the prologue of Goethes „Faust“. And in 1999 the digital theatre channel, ZDFtheaterkanal, was founded.
The workshop wants to provide an insight into the realisation a theatre play for television. The working process will be presented beginning with the selection of a play, the camera positions, the director’s concept to completion and post production and finally broadcasting. The different kinds methods and techniques of filming, e. g. documentary or fictional, will also be discussed. Using videos, the participants will analyse different sequences and develop their own directorial concept.
Limited number of participants. Basic knowledge of German is desirable.


Workshop II ("Theatre"))
Nicolas Wolcz
_K U D E N_*
"The Actors EMPLOI in the Fundamentals of Biomechanics."
1. Biomechanikal Elements,Gymnastics and Etudes
 + Integrated Techniques.
2. The double Nature and Dual Personality of the Actor...
Instrument and Instrumentist....The borrowed Formula
from Coquelin. N = A1 + A2.
3. Working on the Acting SCORE:
Work on Fragments of Peter Weiss "Nacht mit Gaesten"
Limited number of participants.
Overalls or Jump Suits.
Sticks / 1m x2cm/ x12
Craftpaper,Wrapping Paper,brown.
CD and Tape Recorder.
* Kuden is Parampara.. Handing a strict personal, subliminal way./ZEAMI/
Plenary Lectures / Alte Mensa
Friday, 20th of July   

11 am
Welcome and Opening
Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch
Prof. Dr. Friedemann Kreuder

11.30 am
Freddie Rokem (Tel Aviv University)
„Images of Catastrophe. Modernism and its Visual Constellations“

Saturday, 21st of July   
5.30 pm
Stephen Wilmer (Trinity College, University of Dublin)
„Nationalism and its Effects on German Theatre in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries“
Sunday, 22nd of July   
5.30 pm
Mark Anderson (Columbia University, New York)
„The Burden of Memory: W.G. Sebald‘s Dr. Henry Selwyn and the German-Jewish Connection“

Monday, 23rd of July   
5.30 pm
Anja Müller-Wood (University of Mainz)
„Early Modern Meta-Drama“

Tuesday, 24th of July   
5.30 pm
Jeleel Oujade (University of Ilorin, Nigeria)
„The Changing Faces of Traditional Bata Music and Dance in Modern Society“

Wednesday, 25th of July  
5.30 pm
Friedemann Kreuder (University of Mainz)
„Nikolaus Müller‘s Der Freiheitsbaum – An introductory lecture“
8.30 pm / Theater im P1 – Philosophicum
„Der Freiheitsbaum“ (Szenisches Projekt)


Thursday, 26th of July  
5.30 pm
Christopher A. Walker (University of Wisconsin – Madison)
„Retaining Africa in the Carribean: From Yard to Stage and Beyond“


International academic and professional staff
Mark Anderson (New York, USA)
Sabine Haenni (Ithaca, USA)
Bettina Kasten (Mainz, D)
Friedemann Kreuder (Mainz, D)
Peter Marx (Mainz, D)
Anja Müller-Wood (Mainz, D)
Jeleel Ojuade (Nigeria)
Martin Puchner (New York, USA)
Freddie Rokem (Tel Aviv, IL)
Sabine Soergel (Mainz, D)
Chris Walker (Jamaica)
Nicole Waller (Mainz, D)
Stephen Wilmer (Dublin, IE)
Nikolaus Wolcz (USA/D)

For registration please fill in the registration form which is provided as a word-file for download in the column on the right. Please send it back to
Participants pay 70 Euro for the course programme.
Unfortunately we can't offer accomodations. A list of cheap and more individual accomodations you can find here:



Bed-and Breakfast

Mrs. Page-Karer has a little agency which cooperates with families in Mainz who rent rooms to scholars. Single beds start at 25 €/day, doubles at 45€/day, often including breakfast. The text on the answering machine starts in German, but Mrs. Page-Karrer speaks English.
Gudrun Page-Karrer
Göttelmannstr. 4
55131 Mainz

TEL. +49- (0)6131-218496
FAX: +49- (0)613-218497


Youth Hostel

Marion oder Joachim Löffler
Rhein-Main-Jugendherberge Jugendgästehaus Mainz
Otto-Brunfels-Schneise 4
55130 Mainz

TEL: +49-(0)6131-85332
FAX: +49-(0)6131-82422

For further questions and informations please contact: (subject heading: Summer School 2007).