DAAD Faculty Summer Seminar, Chicago: Rethinking Performance in Theory and Practice
25 February, 2017 by Christopher Balme | 0 comments
A seminar on German theory and performance, especially for junior US faculty. Participation is open to faculty members in the Humanities and Social Sciences at colleges and universities in the U.S.
RECENT PERFORMANCE WORK emanating from Germany – be it in theater, dance, or opera – has
had an enormous impact on performance practices in North America. Likewise, scholarly work in
performance studies emanating from Germany has had an enormous impact in the North American
academic world. In this seminar, we will engage some of the most important contributions in both
spheres – conceptual work by Erika Fischer-Lichte (on the theorization of performance), Hans-Thies
Lehmann (on post-dramatic theater and tragedy), and Gabriele Brandstetter (on contemporary dance)
as well as a host of recent productions from German stages (e.g., theater work from the Volksbühne
Berlin, dance work by the Forsythe Company, performance work from the Hebbel Theater am Ufer, and
opera productions from the Stuttgart Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper). At the heart of the seminar
will be a set of interrelated questions, regarding the place(s) of theory in performance practice,
the status of the text in performance, and the role(s) of the spectator.
In addition to our discussions in the seminar room, a substantial component of the seminar’s work will
take place in the rehearsal room. We will attend the rehearsals of a number of ensembles preparing
original work in theater, performance, opera, and dance as part of the 2017 Chicago Performance
Lab (CPL) at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts. In addition to critical reflection
– familiar enough to academics – there will be an important and presumably less familiar dialogical
component to our work: we will engage in a sustained critical exchange with the production teams
(including directors, designers, dramaturgs, and performers) whose work we will be observing. Thus
we will seek to explore the intersection of critical and creative engagement.
The seminar is ideally suited to professors and post-doctoral scholars in a wide range of fields, including
Germanic Studies, Theater & Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Dance Studies, Film & Media
Studies, History, Musicology, and Literary Studies. Fluency in German is not required although an interest
in academic and creative work emerging from Germany is essential.
ELIGIBILITY Participation is open to faculty members in the Humanities and Social Sciences at colleges
and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Applicants who have received their Ph.D.’s within the past two
years but do not yet hold faculty appointments are encouraged to apply. Ph.D. candidates are not eligible.
Participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada.
STIPENDS AND FEES Accepted participants are eligible for a DAAD stipend, pending final confirmation
of funding. There is a $50 course fee.
APPLICATION DEADLINE MARCH 1, 2017 Forms and instructions at WWW.DAAD.ORG. All application
materials to be addressed to Professor Levin.