Capitalizing (on) ghosts. Staging neoliberalism in contemporary German theatre

Seminar/Forum

Capitalizing (on) ghosts. Staging neoliberalism in contemporary German theatre

Collaborative Learning Space 4, Room 116
Old Arts

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More information

T: 03 8344 5209

heinz@unimelb.edu.au

(paper given in English)

Abstract: European theatre has long been preoccupied with the spectralizing and dehumanizing effects of neoliberal economics, commerce, and labour relations. This thematic focus can potentially be explained by their shared structures of performances and performativity. From Richard Sennett’s ‘corrosion of character’ rendering identity every more spectral to so-called ‘phantom firms’, key mechanisms in the neoliberal world order uncannily resemble the staged performances of contemporary theatre. Drawing in playwrights like Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek, Dea Loher, and others this paper will argue that in their self-conscious construction of the theatrical spectacle, contemporary ‘postdramatic’ models of theatre are able to both mimic and critically break with the spectralizing and performative tendencies of late capitalism and neoliberalism as these began to manifest themselves most clearly from the early 1990s.

Presenter

  • Associate Professor Barry Marnane
    Associate Professor Barry Marnane, University of Oxford