Capitalizing (on) ghosts. Staging neoliberalism in contemporary German theatre
Collaborative Learning Space 4, Room 116
T: 03 8344 5209
(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.
Associate Professor Barry Marnane, University of Oxford
Associate Professor Barry Marnane
University of Oxford
Associate Professor Barry Murnane's main areas of research are the literature and culture of the ‘threshold period’ between 1780 and 1830, modernism, and contemporary drama. Increasingly he has been working in the field of Medical Humanities and the Enlightenment Studies. Associate Professor Murnane has published widely on Kafka, Gothic literature, and more recently in the field of Medical Humanities. Currently working on a monograph exploring the relationship between literature and pharmacy and in 2016 he is the TORCH Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow at the Science Museum London.