DoktorandInnen

SARAH AL-HELI
The Body in Reality-TV

KATHRIN BEST
Ein re-inszenierter Mythos? Theatralität und Gemeinschaft bei Woodstock 1969 und Rock am Ring

EVA BONN
Acting, debating, negotiating – borderlines of lifewordly and aesthetic practice

XIAO CAI
Re-Planting the Existence: on the construction of the daily scene and cultural origins of Hou Hsiao-hsien films

NATASHA CONDÉ-JAHNEL
Spaces Between: An Artaudian Revival in Cyberland.

IRINA CVIJANOVIC
The Other by Itself: Authenticity in European Techno culture(s) and Art(s) at the Turn of the Centuries

TREVOR ENGEL

Theatre as Medium of Cultural Memory - a case study in ways of articulating memory as a resource for healing, reconciliation and reconstruction in post-apartheid South Africa

CAROLINE FRIES
Mnemotopoi and Myth. Performative Modes of Commemorating the Shoah in Germany and Israel.

FREDERIKE GERSTNER
Performing Blackface in the German Empire

ELENA KIESLING
Aesthetics of Protest – The Imagined Queer Community.

SABINE KIM
Technologies of Sound and Self: Sound and Writing in Artistic Practice since the 19th Century.

CLAUDIA ISABEL MARTIN
Transgressions on Music Theatre: Re-Memorization of an Imagined Femininity in operas of the first half of 19th century.

ELINA REITERE
Slow Narration in the Cinema

NICKY RENAULT
The Performative Body in Translation

FARID SATHOTHO
Performativity of Suran’s Ritual in the Orchard of Kudusan.

TERESA SOFIE TAUBERT
Spirit-Concepts in Music Theatre on Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

MICHAEL ODICHI-DAN UGORJI
Synergies vs. Allergies: Between African Dramatic Media and Development Communication

DOROTHEA VOLZ
Staging Europe! Inszenierung europäischer Identität am Beispiel der kulturellen Rezeptionsgeschichte der Städte Venedig und Istanbul.

STEFANIE WATZKA (Associated Member)

Ökonomisierung, Professionalisierung und Internationalisierung. Zur deutschen Theatergeschichte des ausgehenden 19. Jahrhunderts.

YU-CHIEN WU

All Sk-in-Deep(th)? An investigation on practice of self-cutting in contemporary performance

 

ABSTRACTS

 

SARAH AL-HELI
The Body in Reality-TV

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MASHAV BALSAM (Associated Member)
Theodor Herzl - Playwright: Between Degeneration and Decadence.

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KRISTIN BECKER (Associated Member)
Inszenierungen von Wissenschaft und Technik zwischen 19. und 21. Jahrhundert.

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EVA BONN
Acting, debating, negotiating – borderlines of lifewordly and aesthetic practice

This project examines enactments of contemporary theatre and performance art that are based on narrations of the self within everyday life. Actors emerge as acting subjects beyond an illusionistic embodiment of fictive figures. Associated with this transport of lifewordly practices on to the stage, theatre becomes a place of debating and negotiating models of subjectivity and strategies of self-display. Along with this, this dissertation focuses on the situativity of the performance itself, the status of authorship and the communication between actors and the audience. The analysis ask for ways of construction concerning the theatrical framing and the modes of narration. Regarding the research method, this project attempts to describe acting as a cultural practice stretching beyond the perspective of performance theories oriented towards a phenomenological approach, which concentrates on the appearance of bodies on stage.

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XIAO CAI
Re-Planting the Existence: on the construction of the daily scene and cultural origins of Hou Hsiao-hsien films

In 80's of the 20th century, Taiwan Film has undergone tremendous changes and appeared a number of healthy, realistic new movies. Hou Hsiao-hsien is the most important contemporary representative of Taiwan's new film who has won a series of international awards successively, and became a world-class director.

Hou Hsiao-hsien produces his movies in "Re-plantation of existence" — is the reality of being imitated, which is the same to the real reality and essential reality, and can exist independently. This truth is presented through the routine, which knock out the dramatic plot and the "dreams" traces of the Western image.

This study will search and explore from three aspects: firstly, to demonstrate the representation of the daily life by Re-planting form in Hou Hsiao-hsien's films. Secondly, to discuss and analyze the aesthetics characteristics of daily life in Hou Hsiao-hsien films, and compare them with the Asian same type directors like Yasujiro Ozu`s films and Abbas Kiarostami`s films.

Finally, to explore the influences of cultural origins and historical remembers in Hou Hsiao-hsien's films and to trace his movie `s language how gradually moves away from Western realistic Image style (which is represented by André Bazin) to "Oriental" expression and narrative approach, as well as to traditional Chinese aesthetics and the traditional philosophy.

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JOHN CARNWATH
The Institutionalization of German Theatres, 1815-1935.

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NATASHA CONDÉ-JAHNEL
Spaces Between: An Artaudian Revival in Cyberland.

Antonin Artaud, founder of the Theatre of Cruelty, set out to destroy the written text in theatre. It was his aim to create a language beyond words through which he could express his many transcendent ideas. Unfortunately, Artaud did not succeed in establishing this language. In his most famous work, The Theatre and Its Double, he discusses his ideas for theatre at length. He talks about the mediums he would employ in order to create a work that was not dependent on text. Artaud created work in the early 1900’s, a time in which the written word was the dominant source of revelation. Not only was Artaud working against Western metaphysics, but he was fighting to overcome his own mental anguish. Artaud never managed to produce an accessible form of theatre that could be used to showcase his ideas for the Theatre of Cruelty, but instead presented us with a collection of mysterious works. These works will be evaluated alongside thinkers such as Aristotle, St. Augustine, Heidegger and Derrida in order to gain insight into Artaud’s struggle with language.

We are now in an age where text no longer holds supremacy over expression. It is therefore the perfect time for an Artaudian revival. Using Virtual Reality, Artaud’s ideas for the Theatre of Cruelty can finally be lifted from the page and translated into an altogether new language. The greatest benefit of Virtual Reality for Artaud’s theatre is that his work will be given the ability to transcend the borders of the spoken or written word.

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IRINA CVIJANOVIC
The Other by Itself: Authenticity in European Techno culture(s) and Art(s) at the Turn of the Centuries

Starting from the modernist definition by which authenticity is an ideological construction based on the original which evolves as the result of exquisiteness of an artistic act which produces it, through numerous examples of various artistic practices it will be shown how art nowadays exists in post-authenticity. This claim can be argued in relation to the changes that took place in the art world during the twentieth century: the appearances of mechanical and afterwards digital reproducing technologies which have changed the producing circumstances of the art world. Although it ceased to believe in the authentic, contemporary artistic practice shows that the term itself has multiple/multilayer meanings. Contemporary art is being realized by “mixing” old and new elements, which excludes the previous understanding of the privileged role of the authentic art. The return to the old does not abolish the possibility of the new, but it re-defines the circumstances of its creation.

The goal of this research is to present the complexity of the term authentic in the present artistic practices of culture through the way of its (synchronic and diachronic) deconstruction. In the contemporary art the dominant role is held by the principle of reorganization of the already given, made and recorded material which are taken from the concept of readymade. Its sole reorganization presumes the division between old/unoriginal to the object level of the new/original on a meta level. The concept of authenticity transfers itself creating the term of the other authenticity, meaning the authenticity of the otherness.

Additionally, there will be analytical and critical observations of the conditions by which the European society, culture, artistic style, movement or group comprehend themselves, express and produce their world. Contemporary artistic practices may be understood as symptoms which show the essential aspects of creation, research and presentation which are unique for the techno culture(s) at the turn of the centuries.

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YUANHONG DENG

Media, Cultural Identity and Cultural Diversity: Study on Festival Celebration on Chinese Television

Festivals are climax of people’s normal life, which strongly inspire people to identify them with a culture or a community. And that make festivals crucial to express cultural identity and to demonstrate cultural diversity, especially in the critical process of globalization. Festival celebrations served on TV are enriched with both characters from festival and mess media, which make them valuable cases to study the relationship of media, cultural identity and cultural diversity. Since 1980s, festival celebrations on Chinese TV became an important kind of TV program on both traditional Chinese festivals and many adapted and invented festivals. And as the results of clashes and negotiations by cultural tradition, Western influence, and media administration in China, TV celebrations are developing into fixed genres. This study will exam festival celebrations on Chinese TV to (1) demonstrate the representation of cultural identity and cultural diversity in festival celebrations, and compare them with the real situations; (2) explore the development of Chinese media, Chinese cultural identity, Chinese cultural diversity, and their interactive influences; (3) analyse the dynamic relationship of media, culture and social-political system in China. Finally, from the approach of festival celebration, this study will attend to analyse the general relationship of media, cultural identity and cultural diversity in the era of globalization.

 

 

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ALEKSANDRA EL MSADDAQ-MARTIN
Vision of the Soviet authority in Polish reportage: Transformations and boundaries of genre from literature to mass media.
In Western Europe the history of the Russian authority was rarely presented in recent centuries in the true light. Authors such as Woltaire, Denis Diderot, Astolphe de Custine or Joseph Conrad wrote personal reports and reflections about Russian politics and its effects for the Russian folk, but not all of those writers could had express the truth. After Lenin’s revolution the situation for the Western coverage was even less clear. Because of the Soviet propaganda and control by the Soviet authorities, nobody could know what happen inside of the Bolshevik empire. Intention of this dissertation is to see which image of Soviet politic was transported and finally presented in Polish print - and audiovisual media after the Second World War. In my work I focus on examples presented through literary reportage of the Polish authors: Ryszard Kapuściński, Mariusz Wilk, Gustaw Herling-Grudziński and film - documents of Jakub Barua and Jósef Gębski. The main idea is to try to explain those memories and documental traces by the concepts of reality, authenticity and space in the theory of Radical constructivism.
The theory of Radical constructivism claims that knowledge is the self-organized cognitive process of the human brain. That is, the process of constructing knowledge regulates itself, and since knowledge is a construct rather than a compilation of empirical data, it is impossible to know the extent to which knowledge reflects an ontological reality. Through the aspects of this theory it is possible to analyze different forms of documentary.

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TREVOR ENGEL
Theatre as Medium of Cultural Memory - a case study in ways of articulating memory as a resource for healing, reconciliation and reconstruction in post-apartheid South Africa

Globally, memory studies have helped countries to address past national trauma. Memory in the context of a country emerging from an oppressive and painful past creates a definitional challenge. This study will examine the role of theatre in the context of cultural memory and as an instrument for healing and reparation. Whereas critical analysis of post-colonial theatre up till now largely deals with issues relating to the misrepresentation of historical events, this dissertation aims to draw attention to elements of catharsis embedded in a selection of plays written and performed in South Africa and Nigeria. The idea that theatre is used as a medium for creating new sets of memory will be brought into focus and challenged as an instrument that has not always been used to establish the truth. The Greek playwright Aeschylus wrote the play Persians in an attempt to propagate an alternative memory in the public sphere in favour of kingship as a counter to extending political power to the demos. In contrast to this subjective use of theatre, this study will identify and analyse play texts in the South African context that open up a way into the past, serve as medium of cultural memory and advocate ways of dealing with past national trauma. Against this background, the present study aims to explore the generic elements found in these plays and how these issues are common to plays emerging from other postcolonial societies. Finally, the question of genre will be addressed. Should a play such as District Six for example be classified as protest theatre since it deals with a specific historical moment, the displacement of people, or a play reconstructing the way of life of the people of a town called District Six? Issues that resonate throughout the selected plays include storytelling, music, memory, romance, resistance, removal and the concurrent trauma. Are these plays to be generally grouped in the broad band of plays classified as post-colonial drama because they deal with post-colonial issues, or are they begging a classification of their own?

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CAROLINE FRIES
Mnemotopoi and Myth. Performative Modes of Commemorating the Shoah in Germany and Israel

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FREDERIKE GERSTNER
Performing Blackface in the German Empire

Performing Blackface in the German Empire (Frederike Gerstner) Situated in the interface between cultural anthropology and theatre historiography my work examines the staging of the black body and performance of the white blackface mask during the German Empire (1871 and 1914). I am interested in the different representational and performative strategies of black Americans as well as white Germans in Blackface that exploited blackness as a signifier to negotiate space and agency between New York and Berlin. Thus, I am assessing the highly ambiguous place the black body and the blackface mask occupied within the specific set of cognitive maps existing in the USA and in the German Empire. The research presents new transnational perspectives on American minstrelsy, thereby contributing to historical research on racism in Germany.

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MARTIN HABERSTROH
Fragmentierte Identitäten. Québec - Katalonien: Bühnenwelten zwischen Globalisierung und Regionalismus.

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ANDREA C. JUNGLAS
Meiningertum und Meinigerei - Verfeinerte Schaulust und visuelle Kultur im Theater der Meininger.

At the centre of the research project, the Meiningen Court Theatre will be used as a reference point for a critical new reading of 19th century theatre history. A contemporary German identity, in regards to theatre, was as much in need as a socio-political one. This was the situation for a long time before and after the foundation of the German Empire in 1871. The intellectual spirit of that time was mainly to look backwards in the hopes of finding solutions and to define values for the present and future. The Meininger productions pleased the ideals of that historicism on many levels. One example would be the cultivation of the so-called German classics, such as works by Schiller. Another example would be the attending of a historically correct visual representation on stage.

In addition to these examples, in which the spectators/audience of the time were invested, many more topics can be found in the realm of the Meininger theatre work. The distinction between high and popular culture or the debate on which art can be evaluated to be sensation-seeking, commercially driven or sophisticated are among the qualities of the Meininger productions. Apart from those art debates, socio-cultural issues, such as the matter of the individual and the mass, or the myth/definition/invention of a German national identity and history, are worth to be discussed.

The terms “Meiningertum“ and “Meiningerei“ were used to judge the Meininger theatre work either as positive or negative, especially with regard to their optical opulence. Hence these two terms already show the tension in the assessment of the Meininger stage work, which makes it possible to use the Meininger productions as a focal point and crystallization object on many theatrical, political, cultural and media aspects.

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SABINE KIM
Technologies of Sound and Self: Sound and Writing in Artistic Practice since the 19th Century.

Arguing that technological media for recording, storing and (re)transmitting sound are always already inscribed by social desires and cultural practices, my PhD project investigates a cultural history of sound. I begin with the invention of the gramophone as the “speaking machine” in the late nineteenth century and extend my examination to the cultural transfers of dub performance in the contemporary Black Atlantic. Looking at specific moments and cultural locations, I approach both acoustic media and sound itself as historically contingent to pursue not so much a linear cultural history which culminates in a single theory of sound as one that asks how different understandings – e.g., of hearing and listening, speaking and sounding, sound and noise – emerge under different cultural  conditions. On the one hand, my project engages with media as deeply entrenched in attitudes towards temporality and self-representation, the desire for something beloved to be preserved, for instance. On the other hand, my project engages with practices of writing and performance as well, viewing poetic and artistic works as themselves posing questions about how to understand something, for instance, if “noise” is sound that is out of place; how hearing is entangled with the other senses, sometimes bringing perception into order and sometimes disordering it; how memories are triggered by the senses, creating spaces in which past, present and future mingle and transform; and how things that seem “inanimate” in fact impart a presence and immediacy in the face of processes of disintegration, forgetting, and loss.

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INA KOLANOWSKI
The Impact of Medial Means on Broadcasting Political Scandals within the German Television Market of TV under Public Law and Private TV.

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CLAUDIA ISABEL MARTIN
Transgressions on Music Theatre: Re-Memorization of an Imagined Femininity in operas of the first half of 19th century.

Till today we are fascinated by the dying Primadonna in Opera. In her book Opera, The Undoing of women Catherine Clement claims that women in 19th century opera where sold, defeated and betrayed. Silke Leopold on the other hand remarks that there are also figures that are brave and astute. Both statements lead to the suggestion that there exist common forms of representation of women on the operatic stage. In which kind of reality does a female figure, whose biography is predefined through social specifications, live? Which escape does she choose from this determination? Is resisting even possible? These general questions concerning the history of women respectively female figures can be applied to an actual historic as well as in a fictional context. This conflicting material provides the starting point for an analysis of reality and fiction in an opera libretto.

Especially in the 19th century opera the audience is confronted with women driven to madness due to romantic love. The approach chosen for the dissertation sets the opera in a time-historic analysis and discusses the tension between the fictional femininity images and the living reality of women in the 19th century. Starting from an analysis of the score and the libretto as historic material and also with regard to the historical background of the opera´s perception the project will discuss the inscription of an imagined femininity in contemporary productions. As interpreting historiographs have become a piece of culture-historic context the idea of a production based on history initially implies the rereading of history from different perspectives. While in the end of the century the male gaze focussed on the polarisation between femme fatale and femme fragile this project will mirror the starting points of the dialogue in the first half of the 19th century.

 

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OLIVER MAYER
Chris Marker and the Audiovisual Archive.

Processes of individual recollection and cultural memory occupy a paramount place in the work of the French filmmaker Chris Marker. Besides testimonies of eye-witnesses or the examination of lieux de mémoire like museums, monuments or graveyards, Marker’s investigation of the constitution of cultural memory also highlights the pivotal role of the audiovisual archive in this process. Thus, archival footage of all kinds (photographs, clips from documentary and fiction films, video excerpts, paintings, radio broadcasts) features prominently in his films and is constantly subdued to a critical re-assessment of its shifting meaning(s) in the course of history.

My PhD thesis aims at analyzing Marker’s highly non-linear and fragmentary access of the audiovisual archive in films like Le Fond de l’Air est Rouge (1977/1992),  Le Tombeau d´Alexandre (1993), or Level Five (1996). In Marker´s oeuvre, the archive is never a neutral point of departure, where history might be encountered “as it really was” (Leopold von Ranke) – on the contrary, the archive is exposed and scrutinized as a site of power relations, where political, epistemological and medial factors deeply influence the structures of historical perception. The filmmaker’s investigation of the archive often includes an examination of the specific mediality of the archiving medium and thus incorporates self-reflexive and media-theoretical elements, frequently in non-verbal form. Marker’s approach of the audiovisual archive bears surprisingly close resemblance to two aesthetic projects of classical modernity, Walter Benjamin´s Passagen-Werk and Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, in whose light his archival strategies will be read. Moreover, I will argue that Marker’s recent expansion of his reflection on archival discourse to the realm of digital media in Level Five - a development which reached its preliminary climax with the publication of his personal interactive archive, the CD-ROM Immemory (1998) - can be regarded as a systematic and consequential prolongation of his already hypertextual work for cinema and video.

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ULF OTTO
Digital/Theatral. Zur Theaterkultur der neuen Medien.

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ELINA REITERE
Slow Narration in the Cinema

British cinema journal Sight & Sound in its analysis of the cinema of the 21st century describes` the slow cinema` as one of the features of this art in the new century. According to Jonathan Romney its main characteristics are austere minimalism and downplay of the event in favour of the mood, evocativeness and an intensified sense of temporality.[1] In this project slow cinema is examined by putting the viewer in the centre of the research; how he acts as an active, content generative agency in the perceptive process of an art work. So films are emphasised where the narration - from the viewer’s point of view - develops slowly and the devices for the understanding of a story are delivered with delay.
The statistical style analysis, which measures the average shot length in a film, forms the starting point to the project but the measurement of average shot length is not sufficient. In mainstream cinema a fast and clear story development is favourised and all artistic devices serve the purpose to ease the comprehension of the developments by the viewer. Drawing on examples from the films of such filmmakers as Bela Tarr, Tsai Ming-Liang, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Bruno Dumont, Fred Kelemen, Pedro Costa, Albert Serra, Gus van Sant, Paz Encina, Abbas Kiarostami and Sharunas Bartas, the hypothesis will be examined that in slow cinema, as the story in these films is being minimized, other artistic strategies become more prominent. In slow cinema, in contrast to clear narrative goals and developments, strategies which emphasise emotional and bodily reactions of the spectator become cruical.
The concept of slow cinema is going to be scrutinized from such theoretic positions as perceptual psychology and cinema cognition, antropology, film philosophy, filmic narration, reception studies, and concepts of sensual and emotional effects which cinema has on its audience.
[1] Romney, Jonathan: In Search of Lost Time. In: Sight & Sound, February 2010, p.43.

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NICKY RENAULT
The Performative Body in Translation

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NADINE SIEGERT
Contemporary african dance as a creative opposition to stereotypical images of africanity.

Dance can be seen as a possibility to describe cultural conditions of living within postcolonial situations. Both, the dancer’s habitual structures as well as the aesthetic frames of understanding generated within cultural spheres can be explored keeping in mind that contemporary african dance is a way of creating identities.
It is precisely the outline of a new corporeality within the processes of reception and appropriation of identities that will be focused on in the paper. Besides, I discuss african actors’ possible identity conflicts within hegemonic postcolonial structures of cultural politics, and how actors cope with required stereotypes of “africanity” or “authenticity”. Within the scope of (re)actions one may find refusals of being labeled as “african”, attempts to determinate oneself via foundations of south-south networks, amongst others, as well as defences of panafrican identity concepts.
Wether and how it is possible for african dancers to bring about transformations, that change european gazes permanently, and disintegrate stereotypical images, thereby, will be one of the questions asked along the considerations. Is one able to perceive “africanity” and/or “african dance” without running into degrading stereotypical patterns at all?
Can african bodies, when they confirm fieldspecific ways of acting again and again, also simply through the colour of the skin, step out of this perception? What does it mean to use new media and unexpected aesthetic forms in performance? How can subversive corporealities look like and generate a real opposition and innovation?

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TERESA SOFIE TAUBERT
The elves in Opera productions on Shakespeare's The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1799-2011)

Within the structure of Shakespeare's dramas the elves hold a very special position. They don't share the general background of the dramatis personae, they are freed from human habits, laws and constraints. As Robert Weimann could point it out regarding the Elizabethan theatre, there are certain elements in the text whose sense can only be fully understood when they are being expressed through performance. The elves clearly inhere such an theatrical energy specially through their musical characterisation. Because of both the undefined and the musical qualities, the elves representation in music theatre lays on hand. In fact, there is a rich tradition in the field of opera to adapt Shakespearean texts.

In my project I want focus on the special moment of the appearance of the elf in different opera productions. The aim is to figure out which parameters are evoking the specific theatricality of that very moment. The interesting aspect though seems to be the relationship between text, music and scene and how the three reflect and underlay each other. As case studies I chose 5 operas on The Tempest: Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (1798), Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1798), Frank Martin (1956), Thomas Adès (2004), Ming Tsao (2011) and A Midsummer Night's Dream in the scoring of Benjamin Britten (1960).

 

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MICHAEL ODICHI-DAN UGORJI
Synergies vs. Allergies: Between African Dramatic Media and Development Communication

What are the outcomes spinning from the co-occurrence of African Dramatic Arts and Social Development Communication messages in the same Media material; and what are the impacts that each has on the other in their continuous co-existence?

Can Drama be performed or expressed on any other platform other than the Theatre? Does and can Drama in any format, command any influence on its audience towards behavioural change? If actually it does, what sort of impact can it produce on Social Development? How can its influence be enhanced for better use by social development agencies? What would be the toll of this social agency on the Dramatic Art itself?

These questions and many others subsumed in them form the crux of my study. In order to get a satisfactory answer(s) these questions, my research adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to its analyses of Yellow Card (a development agency-sponsored film) and Fear of the Unknown (an independent commercially-oriented film) among other works of African drama and folk media production as texts applied to the purposes of Social Development Communication.
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DOROTHEA VOLZ
Staging Europe! Inszenierung europäischer Identität am Beispiel der kulturellen Rezeptionsgeschichte der Städte Venedig und Istanbul.

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BIRGIT WALKENHORST
The Representation of Religious Violence in Early Modern English Theatre.

Aesthetic transformation and representation of the explosive key issues of religion and violence was one of the ways in which people sought to cope with the cultural crisis of the Reformation. The aim of this dissertation project is to examine the representation of religious violence in early modern English theatre against the backdrop of medieval and reformed concepts of society and epistemology while considering the theatrical value of Christian body politics. The study will be shaped by a performativity-oriented approach. A representative corpus of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays will be considered in the light of the different aesthetic, epistemological and socio-functional aspects that the term "representation" encompasses. The analysis will be backed up by recent discoveries in the field of audience response theory. This strategy will reveal a historical development process with regard to the ways in which the theatre confronts the phenomenon of religious violence: The several phases of this development are characterised by a particular functional mixture of ritual, cathartic, and spectacular value in the representation of religious violence.

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STEFANIE WATZKA (Associated Member)
Ökonomisierung, Professionalisierung und Internationalisierung. Zur deutschen Theatergeschichte des ausgehenden 19. Jahrhunderts.

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YU-CHIEN WU
All Sk-in-Deep(th)? An investigation on practice of self-cutting in contemporary performance

The practice of opening and cutting the skin of body artists culminated for the first time in the history of performance art in the 1970s along with an interest in reflecting socio-political concerns and self-portrait on their body surface. Significant is the fact that a re-emergence of the self-harm actions imposed upon the body of artists can be discerned since the turn of the last century. This research project has a hypothesis that the self-incision artists after 1990s differentiate themselves from their precursors in the 1960s and 1970s by the very conversion of the idea of skin from a canvas for representation to the fold on which subject is embodied. Accordingly, it brings my observation on the self-cutting practice after 1990s in dialogue with the debates revolving the concepts of subjectivity in the light of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Julia Kristeva. The question that follows is that should the imprecise concept of body undoubtedly include the skin whose sensations and visual objectification are given a more central place? The fundamental position of my project is to see the skin as a third being that takes the place of subject, belonging to neither the body nor the artist. Like a dealer but far from an objective one, the skin that receives the effects of disciplines and technologies interferes in interplay between the body and its given identities. It entails a transformative agency, a swing between having the image/self and being the self/image. 

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