Performance Philosophy and the Future of Genre: Thinking Through Tragedy & Comedy

24 September, 2014



An international symposium to be held at the ICI Berlin on December 4-5, 2014.


What is the relation between laughter and thought? How does suffering bring about understanding? Do some philosophies have a comic rather than a tragic vision? The contemporary fascination with how performance and philosophy overlap begs an appeal to genre studies. Tragedy and comedy can function as exemplary sites on which the tensions between theatre, philosophy and performance are played out.

Bringing together performers and scholars from the fields of philosophy, literature and theater, this symposium will investigate how contrasting genres inform the relation between performance and philosophy.




   Simon Critchley                    Erika Fischer-Lichte                      Hans-Thies Lehmann

   The New School                     Free University Berlin              Goethe University Frankfurt/Main




Russell Ford                                 John Morreall                              Jennifer Wallace

Elmhurst College                     College of William and Mary              Cambridge University


Rupert Glasgow                         Nikolaus Müller-Schöll                 Stephen Wilmer

Independent Scholar               Goethe University Frankfurt/Main      Trinity College Dublin


Joachim Küpper                     Freddie Rokem

Free University Berlin              University of Tel Aviv


Along with over 20 distinguished seminar presenters from around the world


Join our roundtable discussions, in-depth seminar sessions and keynote lectures and take part in the lively debate about philosophy’s reliance upon specific dramatic techniques. By thinking the productive clash between generic structure and performative flow, we seek to trace the future of genre in its philosophical dimension in a post-dramatic, post-disciplinary world.


Attendance is free and open to all. The symposium will be held in English. Please visit the website for more details and a complete list of participants:


Organized by Ramona Mosse, Anna Street, and Maïté Marciano,

founding members of the Performance Philosophy Working Group

“Tragedy and Comedy: Genres of Dramatic Thought“


in cooperation with the Dahlem Humanities Center and the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry with support of the Center for International Cooperation at the Free University Berlin.


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