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Poetics and Politics, 2015

DramaNet Conf Poster 2015

DramaNet Conf Poster 2015

Poetics and Politics: Net Structures and Agencies in Early Modern Drama

Dates: Wednesday 29th - Thursday 30th April 2015

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin

Seminarzentrum, Lecture Room L116

Concept and organisation: Toni Bernhart, Jaša Drnovšek, Sven Thorsten Kilian, Joachim Küpper, Jan Mosch

European theatre traditions still in practice today can arguably be traced back to the Renaissance and the Early Modern times. Furthermore they are to be seen within the context of pre- and transnational cultural history. As a matter of fact, there are various and complicated types and dynamic constellations of inspiration, influence, contamination, hybridization and (cross-) fertilization to be detected in almost every particular genre and area, whether in comedy or in tragedy, whether in the Italian Renaissance play, in the French Reformation drama, in German popular drama or in religious plays.

From Gilles Deleuze (“rhizome”) to Hans Blumenberg (“secularization”) to Stephen Greenblatt (“social energy”) different models have been proposed in order to theorize the relationship of remote agents on diverse levels of society and the processes of interaction between cultural, political and other spheres.

Teleological schemes of historiography apart, a pan-European perspective on Early Modern drama will have to provide answers to why, how, where and when the given phenomena of theatre appear in history. Political, institutional and social practices certainly set cultural practices in advance. Yet, the role of individual agency, of contingent encounters and their possibly adverse effects should be equally taken into consideration. Furthermore, notable distances in space and time complicate an all too narrow account of drama history. Influence and (re-) appropriation is often delayed or shifted to the point that the concept of “influence” as such becomes problematic. Periods of activity and stagnation challenge the cohesion of the scholarly narrative. Finally, one has to determine of what kind is the movement described: Circulation of forms and content are bound to specific practices like, e.g., wandering actors’ companies. The concept of exchange seems to presuppose existing institutions on a lateral basis; transfer implies a “colonial” relationship in the broadest sense.

The conference focuses theories of circulation and other concepts of exchange, transfer and movement concerning the development and differentiation of European secular and religious drama within the disciplinary framework of comparative literature and the history of literature and concepts.

Within this frame the aspects of major interest are the relationship between tradition and innovation, the status of genre, the proportion of autonomous and heteronomous creational dispositions within given artefacts or within the genres they belong to and the strategies of functionalization in the context of a given portion of the cultural net.

Contributions may include but are not restricted to the following topics:

  • Poetics of Early Modern Drama
    Conceived in a broad sense, the term poetics covers not only the normative poetics often associated with French classicism and its epigones, but also the metadramatical and metatheatrical knowledge that is inscribed into play texts and their performances, as well as the configurations of power and knowledge that are encoded in dramatic works. This comprehensive approach scrutinises the faultlines between the early modern rulebooks and the actual dramatic texts; it also examines the status and function of drama in early modern societies as envisioned by the plays themselves. Likewise, such an exploration addresses questions of authority and legitimation as well as subversion and the location of agency. What, to cite Hamlet and Louis Montrose, is “the purpose of playing”?
  • Political, institutional and social practices
    One can hardly discuss early modern drama substantially without considering its concrete historical political context(s). How are political, institutional and social practices, enforced by the state or church e.g., represented in its both secular and religious genres? In what ways do they influence the production and the dissemination of texts? How successful are their particular strategies with regard to the early modern reader/audience experience? And, in what ways can these practices relate to the individual agency of an author?
  • History of themes and motifs (Stoffgeschichte)
    Several terms have been introduced to describe the artefacts that drama consists of, e.g. ‘theme’, ‘Stoff’, ‘motif’ or ‘symbol’ which tend to point out their rather static nucleus, ‘theatergrams’ or ‘floating material’ which emphasize dynamic variation. Which terms do mirror which poetics in which times, related to social, political, and cultural conditions? How do semantic nucleus in continuous variation reflect dramatic reality? Which constituents in net structures do enable artefacts to travel and be transformed?
  • History of genres/cross-fertilization between genres
    Early modern drama texts seem, on the one hand, bound to distinct genre models, with different degrees of rigidity according to regional and/or national particularities. On the other hand, they often explore rather undetermined spaces and are object, until today, to scholarly discussion concerning their generic status. Contributions could elaborate on tendencies of creation, affirmation, subversion, or modification, on domination, and disappearance of single genres within the field, as well as on combination, and hybridization of several of them.
  • Textual traditions and distribution of texts
    In all fields of scientific and artistic production of the early modern period the abundance of texts and the forms of their availability are reflected upon, welcomed, rejected, or problematized. What emerges is not only and not essentially a material question, but a destabilization of the concept of textual tradition and authority. The focus of attention in this panel may be both on agencies and effects of the media revolution of the end of the 15th century with regard, above all, to its philosophical and epistemological consequences.
  • Questions of originality and authorship
    The history of drama, especially in early modern times, seems to include all conceivable types of authorship and grades of originality: they range from a quite literal copy of a dramatic text to the imagination of a creatio ex nihilo, they vary from anonymous or collective authorship to different writers’ signatures, inscriptions, and assignments by names. How do these types vary in time and space, related to which agencies? What are their poetical and poetological consequences?
  • Theories of circulation and net structures in Drama Studies
    According to Lakoff and Johnson’s classical study, Metaphors We Live By, our understanding of the world is determined by conceptual metaphors. They form part of a cognitive mechanism that seems to provide clarity and meaning whilst unconsciously guiding our actions. As outlined above, theories of intracultural “exchanges” and intercultural “encounters” are hardly conceivable without the use of metaphorical and metonymical language. This panel will discuss the respective merits and drawbacks of the theoretical models that have been suggested in drama studies. It will also revisit the semiotic implications of borrowing tropes from different domains such as commerce (“negotiation”, “transaction”) or biology (“rhizome”, “hybridity”), and it might address their epistemological limits.


Wednesday, 29th April 2015  
9:30 – 10:00 Arrival and Registration
10:00 – 10:15

Joachim Küpper (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)

Words of Welcome

Toni Bernhart, Sven Thorsten Kilian (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)


Panel 1

10:15 – 12:45
Political, Institutional and Social Practices
10:15 – 11:00

Erika Fischer-Lichte (Freie Universität Berlin)

“Networks” on Acting in the Eighteenth Century
11:00 – 11:45

Jaša Drnovšek (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)

Early Modern Religious Processions: The Rise and Fall of a Political Genre
11:45 – 12:00 Coffee Break
12.00 – 12.45

Stephanie Bung (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)

Playful Institutions: Social and Textual Practices in Spanish Academies before 1700
12.45 – 14.15 Lunch Break

Panel 2

14:15 – 16:30
Textual Traditions
14:15 – 15:00

Jan Mosch (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)

Heteronomy and Weakness of Will in Shakespeare and Racine
15:00 – 15:45

Esther Schomacher (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

Sex on Stage: How does the Audience Know? (“La Calandria”, III,10; “Henry V”, V,2)
15:45 – 16:30

Bernhard Huss (Freie Universität Berlin)

Luigi Groto’s "Adriana" as a Laboratory Experiment on Literary Genre
16:30 – 16:45 Coffee Break

Panel 3

16:45 – 19:00
Engineering the Senses
16:45 – 17:30

Christopher Balme (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Technology Transfer and Expert Networks in Early Modern Theater
17:30 – 18:15

Stefano Gulizia (The City University of New York)

Castiglione's Green Sense of Theater
Thursday, 30th April 2015

Panel 4

9:30 – 10:15
Poetics in Motion
19:30 – 10:15

Barbara Ventarola (Freie Universität Berlin)

Corneille and the Spanish Tradition: Poetics and Politics in “Le Cid”
10:15 – 11:00

Cristina Savettieri (University of Pisa)

The Agency of Errors: Hamartia and its (Mis)Interpretations in Early Modern Italian Dramatic Theories
11:00 – 11.15 Coffee Break
11:15 – 12:00

Sandra Richter (Universität Stuttgart)

The English Invention of German Drama on the Basis of the German Novel in Prose: The Case of Fortunatus
12:00 – 12:45

Gautam Chakrabarti (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)

“Give Me the Language”: Transcultural Interstices in Michael Madhusudan Datta’s English Plays
12:45-14:15 Lunch Break

Panel 5

14:15 – 16:30


14:15 – 15.00

Franz Gratl (Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum)

The Role of Music in Folk Drama: An Investigation based on Tyrolean Sources
15:00 – 15.45

Michael Burden (University of Oxford)

Settling the Repertory: The Pasticcio versus Comic Opera in Eighteenth-Century London

15:45 – 16:30

DS Mayfield (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)

Anthropological Constants in Early Modern Drama
16:30 – 16:45 Coffee Break

Panel 6

16:45 – 18:15

Circulating the Nation
16:45 – 17:30

Igor Grdina (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)

Designs, Examples, Initiatives: Slovenian Dramatists in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century
17:30 – 18:15

Joachim Küpper (Freie Universität Berlin/DramaNet)

The Concept of “National Literatures” and the Cultural Net
18:30 – 19:15

Stephen Nichols (Johns Hopkins University)

Final Comment

Abstracts and Participants

Christopher Balme (München)

Technology transfer and expert networks in early modern theatre

The recent ‘discovery’ of knowledge as a research field of social and cultural history (see Burke 2000 and 2012) has meant that it is necessary to break down a potentially unmanageable field into more discrete manageable units. A key distinction that needs to be made is that between generally accessible and expert knowledge, the latter being intrinsic to any form of professional activity. It is certainly typical of early modern theatre, which is characterised by the diffusion of different kinds of theatrical knowledge and expertise. Best known of course are the performance experts known commonly as commedia dell’arte, the first professional actors, dancers and singers whose perfection and performance skills made them an attraction throughout Europe. Lesser-known but arguably more important are the theatrical ‘engineers’, most of whom came from Italy and were an essential part of the establishment of theatrical infrastructure throughout the continent. From Munich to Vienna, from Madrid to St Petersburg, from Dresden to Stockholm, there was seldom a court that did not employ an Italian theatrical engineer, known under various epithets: architetto, scenografo, ingénieur du roi, Theateringenieur: what today are different occupations were in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries one profession. The individuals occupying these key positions were not only Italian, they were most often related to one another, often in direct family lineage, sometimes through the aristocratic affiliations of the courts where they worked. The most famous examples were the Galli Bibiena family but also include i Vigarani (father and sons) and many individual theatre engineers such as Giacomo Torelli, Antonio Beduzzi and Lodovico Burnacini. In this paper I shall revisit a number of these famous families and re-examine their contribution as examples of expert networks, a term familiar from modernisation theory which shall be here applied in a deliberately anachronistic fashion in order to highlight the importance of interconnections and network thinking as well as technology transfer for the diffusion of theatre in Europe in the early modern period. I shall focus on the implications of expert knowledge being transmitted through family ties and affiliations. This ‘anthropological model’ that we are familiar with through the commedia dell’arte troupes also applied in the area of theatre technology. What appears on one hand to be a form of secret knowledge transmitted through family ties stands in contrast to the practice of publishing and disseminating the technology of the stage through books that achieved a high level of dissemination, a practice that began with Serlio’s famous Regole generali diarchitettura (1545) and continued throughout the eighteenth century with a plethora of handbooks on theatrical architecture and engineering.

Christopher Balme holds the chair in theatre studies at the University of Munich and is president of the International Federation for Theatre Research. His publications include Decolonizing the Stage: Theatrical syncretism and postcolonial drama, (Clarendon Press 1999); Pacific Performances: Theatricality and Cross-Cultural Encounter in the South Seas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Studies (CUP 2008); The theatrical public sphere (CUP 2014). He is principal investigator of the Global Theatre Histories project.

Stephanie Bung (Berlin)

Playful Institutions: Social and Textual Practices in Spanish Academies before 1700

My paper is concerned with the institutional side of cultural networking in Early Modern Europe. My point of departure is the assumption that the modern notion of an academy – that is to say, the notion of the academy as an institution – only starts to become prevalent after the foundation of the Académie française in 1635; it is no coincidence that the latter ought to be seen as the model on which the Real Academia Española was based. Once we understand the history of European academies to consist of subsequent ‘bursts of institutionalisation’, the Spanish case becomes particularly instructive. On the one hand, the social and textual practices of those academies that appear to have existed before 1700 (or more precisely, before 1713) are poorly documented. Yet on the other hand, it is precisely the material fragility of what little documentation remains that illustrates how variably contemporaries could define an ‘academia’.

Stephanie Bung is a lecturer for French, Spanish and Italian literature at the Freie Universität Berlin. She got her PhD degree by writing a first book about the poetry of Paul Valéry and Catherine Pozzi (Figuren der Liebe. Diskurs und Dichtung bei Paul Valéry und Catherine Pozzi, Göttingen 2005). Her second book (Spiele und Ziele. Französische Salonkulturen des 17. Jahrhunderts zwischen Elitendistinktion und belles lettres, Tübingen 2013) deals with French Salon Culture in the 17th Century.

Michael Burden (Oxford)

Settling the Repertory: The Pasticcio versus Comic Opera in 18th-Century London

An 18th-century Italian opera was shaped by the use of recitative containing action and arias whose sentiments reflected on that action. In subsequent performances, the texts were then manipulated to suit each revival, with the aria as a moveable unit at the centre of this activity. The reasons for changing the arias were multifarious – these included singers’ desires, impresarios’ requests, and composers’ foibles – but as long as the sentiments fitted the action as outlined in the recitatives, it did not seem to matter in the overall picture what musical setting was employed. In method and result, of course, such a process stands diametrically opposed to our notion of the work, of a repertory, and of a canon of pieces on which such a repertory might draw. Indeed, so prevalent was this practise, that it has been argued that the resultant operas (pasticcios) remain ‘bugbears to an objective assessment of the nature and quality of Italian opera in eighteenth-century London’.However, in one sense, the pasticcio – and the attendant issues of its method, interpretation, and performance – is representative of its ‘nature and quality’, for it was a fluid, vital, commercially-driven, genre. This paper will revisit these issues in the context of performances at London’s King’s Theatre, the capital’s only dedicated opera house in the long 18th century. It will examine the role of the pasticcio, and go on to explore the late 18th century, the period in which the use of this technique decreases. It will also examine all the works performed at the King’s, showing (as we know) that the theatre nearly always performed new works (or works new to London) each season, but will demonstrate that it had a core of opera libretti (Metastasio’s) at its centre. It will also show that the notion of a ‘repertory’ (a pool of works from which pieces could be drawn unchanged each season) arrived with the introduction of comic opera, indeed, will posit that the popularity of certain comic operas played a decisive role in the development of a repertory.

Michael Burden is Professor in Opera Studies at Oxford University, and Fellow in Music at New College, where he is also Dean. His published research is on the stage music of Henry Purcell, and on aspects of dance and theatre in the London theatres of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. He is currently completing a volume on the staging of opera in London between 1660 and 1860; his five-volume collection of opera documents, London Opera Observed, and his study of the London years of the soprano Regina Mingotti were both published in 2013. A new volume - edited with Jennifer Thorp - entitled The works of Monsieur Noverre translated from the French: Noverre, his circle, and the English Lettres sur la danse has just been published; it includes the 18th-centruy English translation of Noverre’s seminal text.He is the Past President of the British Society for Eighteenth-century Studies, a Visitor to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and Director of Productions of New Chamber Opera, www.newchamberopera.co.uk

Gautam Chakrabarti (Berlin)

Give Me the Language”: Transcultural Interstices in Michael Madhusudan Datta’s English Plays

A notable societal-cultural phenomenon in early-nineteenth-century Bengal, in particular, and South Asia, in general, was the interstitially-transcultural manner in which various and, occasionally, conflicting notions of identity and “fields of belonging” were deployed through the use of language in dramaturgy and the linguistic inflections of theatrical development as a function of colonialism and Empire. Beginning in 1795, when Gerasim Lebedev established the Hindu Theatre in Calcutta, and had Jodrell’s The Disguise and Moliére’s Love is the Best Medicine translated into Bengali – or, rather, a mix of languages spoken in the Calcutta of the time – and performed “in the Bengalee style”, one gets to observe an increasing permeation of Anglo-European dramaturgical and performative ideas and devices onto the Indian stage, which, in the early-nineteenth century, was heavily-dependent on logistical and financial support from the so-called “absentee landlord” gentry of Bengal. In this context, through his translation of the Nil Darpan and his own plays, Michael Madhusudan Datta furnishes us with a significant example of the transcultural proclivities of Bengal’s early-modern proto-Bhadralok intellectual, who was the quintessential product of early/mid-colonial Bengal’s exposure to the Reason-discourse of the Enlightenment, as mediated through an intrinsically-Indic cultural socialisation. In the case of Datta, this unflinching pursuit of discursive rationality and occidental cultural mores was most visible and palpable in his much-avowed fascination with the English language and his masterful virtuosity in its literary use. Though this did not preclude, after an initially-exuberant creative euphoria in English, a renewed and somewhat zealous engagement with Indic tropes, as in his most important play, Śarmiṣthā (spelt Sermista in English), which was based on a Sanskrit epic-narrative and was also the first Bengali text to use blank verse, Datta’s English work – in the form of plays, poems, essays, letters and addresses – alone is enough to accord him a place in the annals of India’s literary-cultural history. The proposed paper will seek to isolate transcultural affinities and intercultural intersections in Datta’s use of language as a tool of cultural assertion and, perhaps, societal rebellion in a few of his English plays.

Gautam Chakrabarti is an Assistant Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature and “Berlin and German Studies” and a DRS-HONORS-2014 Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin, where he has finished his PhD on “Familiarising the Exotic: Introducing European Drama in Early Modern India” (2011–14), under Prof. Joachim Küpper, within the ERC-Project “DramaNet”. He has studied English Literature and Culture Studies in Jadavpur University (MA, 2000) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (MPhil, 2005), India, and has taught the same in various colleges of the University of Delhi (2003–10, tenure from 2005). He was a Visiting Lecturer in English language, literature and culture and Hindi in a couple of universities and institutes in St Petersburg, Russia, in Autumn-Winter, 2008–9. In Spring-Summer, 2009, he made a conference-cum-fieldwork-tour of various universities and archives in Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Russia, for a research-project on “Literature and Politics in the Cold War”; and is also interested in Indic Studies, Jewish literary-cultural history and Ethnomusicology, themes on which he hopes to work in the future. He has also lectured in the University of Turku (Finland, 2006–7), the Moscow State University, the Russian State University for the Humanities and the Institute for Oriental Studies, Moscow (Russia), the University of Tartu (Estonia, 2009), the Universitas Karolinas, Prague (Czech Republic, 2009), and the Jagellonian University, Kraków, (Poland, 2011) on the above topics, Indian writing in English and Indian cultural history.


“‘Śabda’ as ‘Sanskriti’: Socio-Cultural Categories in the Arthaśāstra”,in: Festschrift to Prof. Kapil Kapoor. Ed. Makarand Paranjape and S. K. Sareen. Delhi: Mantra Books, 2004, pp. 252–57; “The ‘Bhadralok’ as Truth-Seeker: Towards a Social History of the Bengali Detective”. Cracow Indological Studies XIV I (2012): Dṛśya, Visual and Performing Arts. Ed. Lidia Sudyka. Księgarnia Akademicka: Kraków, 2012, pp. 255–68; “‘Eating the Yaban’s Rice’: Socio-Cultural Transactions on the Mid-Colonial Bengali Stage”, an article accepted for publication, from the Akademie Verlag, Berlin, in the volume edited by Joachim Küpper, Madeline Rüegg and Leonie Pawlita (expected in 2015); “Enigmatic Subversions of the Subjective: the Russian Picaresque from Chulkov’s The Mocker to Gogol’s Dead Souls”, an article submitted and accepted for publication, from the Akademie Verlag, Berlin, in the conference-volume edited by Sarah Wollin and Jens Elze (expected in 2015); “Sacralised Squirrels: Ambient Nature-Images in Ambai’s Short Stories”, an article accepted for publication in Cracow Indological Studies XVII, Księgarnia Akademicka: Kraków (expected in 2015).

Jaša Drnovšek (Berlin)

Early Modern Religious Processions: The Rise and Fall of a Political Genre

While starting already in Late Antiquity, Christian religious processions saw their golden age in the period of the counter-reformation and Catholic renewal. Especially in the 17th and the 18th centuries, the staging of these cultural performances was frequently in the hands of two religious institutions: the order of Capuchin Friars Minor and the Society of Jesus. While outlining the historical development of the Early Modern religious processions, the paper eludes the hermeneutically vague notion of “piety”. Instead, it sets out the “political” of these performances: not only in terms of their ideological backdrop, but also with reference to their effect on the audience.

Jaša Drnovšek is member of the DramaNet research group at the Freie Universität Berlin. After studying comparative literature and cultural studies at the University of Ljubljana, he obtained his PhD at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies (Freie Universität Berlin) in 2012. Last year, his doctoral thesis dealing with the aesthetics of masochism was published under the title Masochismus zwischen Erhabenem und Performativem. Currently, his research is focused on the Early Modern religious processions. Beside his academic work, Jaša Drnovšek has been translating literature and theory from German into Slovene language. Among others, he translated texts by Gerhart Hauptmann, Eugen Fink and Erika Fischer-Lichte. His last translation, published in 2013, is a miscellany with the title Aesthetics and Politics, including texts by Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, and Georg Lukács.

Erika Fischer-Lichte (Berlin)

Networks” on Acting in the 18th century

Proceeding from David Garrick’s acting and the discussion it caused among philosophers and other theoreticians of the 18th century, the circulation of knowledge on the following subjects will be examined: 1) the origin of feelings and 2) the relationship between body and mind. Moreover, acting will be discussed as the result as well as the source of knowledge on the human being.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Erika Fischer-Lichte, born 1943 in Hamburg, is director of the Institute for Advanced Studies on “Interweaving Performance Cultures” (since 2008) and spokesperson of the International Doctoral School “InterArt” (since 2006). From 1995 to 1999 President of the International Federation for Theatre Research. Member of the Academia Europaea, the Academy of Sciences at Göttingen, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Research fields: aesthetics, history and theory of theatre, in particular on semiotics and performativity, and contemporary theatre. Guest professorships in the USA, Russia, India, Japan, China, Norway. Among her publications are Dionysos Resurrected. Performances of Euripides’ The Bacchae in a Globalizing World (2014), Global Ibsen. Performing Multiple Modernities (2010), The Transformative Power of Performance: A New Aesthetics (2008, German 2004), Theatre, Sacrifice, Ritual. Exploring Forms of Political Theatre (2005).

Franz Gratl (Innsbruck)

The Role of Music in Folk Drama: An Investigation based on Tyrolean Sources

A glance at the corpus of scholarly literature dealing with folk drama reveals a significant lack of information regarding musical aspects. Considering the important role of music in folk drama, this neglect may surprise. It can be argued that music in folk drama is a field of research “between the disciplines” with peripheral interest for theatre scholars and musicologists. In addition to that, research was made difficult by the source situation and the usual separation of text sources and musical sources. Recent findings in Tyrolian archives permit multifaceted conclusions on the issue “music in folk drama” from the musicological point of view. Among the questions to be addressed in this respect are: What did the music sound like? Who composed it? Who were the performers? How did the integration of music into drama work?

Franz Gratl, born in Innsbruck, received his diploma in Musicology and History at Innsbruck University in 1997 and took his doctorate in 2002 (dissertation on the sacred music of Johann Zach 1713–1773). He was working in various research projects; as a collaborator of RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales) from 2002, he was involved in cataloguing projects of musical sources in Austria and South Tyrol. He has been research assistant (since 2006) at the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum). As “Kustos” (head) of the museum’s music collection (since 2007) he is responsible for the conception and organisation of the concert and CD series “musikmuseum”. He has conceived exhibitions (“Ein Pionier des historischen Blasinstrumentenbaus – Rudolf Tutz zum 70. Geburtstag” 2010/11, “Tiroler Musikleben in der NS-Zeit” 2012/13, “Musik im Tiroler Unterland einst und jetzt” 2014) and scientific symposia. He published many articles, the majority of which are focused on sacred music, philological problems and Tyrolean music history. Recently, he was co-editor of a monograph on the early history oft he Viennese Waltz (2014). Franz Gratl is also working as a music journalist.

Igor Grdina (Ljubljana)

Designs, Examples, Initiatives: Slovenian dramatics in the 2nd half of the 18th century

The image of dramatics was in the lands with the Slovenian population in the second half of the 18th century crucially influenced by the reception of Italian librettos, various works coming from the German linguistic space, and the comedy play Le Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais. This manifold corpus was, in view of the absence of local tradition, representing the original “measure of value” that the Slovenian artists aspired to achieve. Anton Tomaž Linhart (1756–1796) characteristically wrote that he wanted to merge the German and Italian tastes on his native soil. In the second half on the 18th century, the dramatics of Slovenian creators did not appear linguistically exclusive; Linhart published his arrangement of one of Metastasio’s librettos and the tragedy Miss Jenny Love (1780), which is a very typical case of Sturm und Drang dramatics – in the authors view, it was “just as black as Shakespeare” – in German language. But not before long the cultural aspirations turned in the direction of promoting the national idea and thereby gained a Slovenian expressive character. Theatre became important for the advocates of the national idea in the sense that the words from the stage reached not only the literate elites, but also the illiterate masses. This represented the ground upon which the genre of Slovenian dramatics was built: comedy became prevalent, while the previously very strong efforts for the opera, at the time considered to be another elite genre in Carniola and the neighbouring lands, reaching their climax in the libretto Belin (1780) by father Janez Damascen Dev, gradually faded. Anton Tomaž Linhart characteristically incorporated the jest against enforcing German language in Slovenian lands into his arrangement of Beaumarchais’ Le Mariage de Figaro, which was published in 1790 under the title of Ta veseli dan ali Maticek se ženi (first put on the stage before the revolution in 1848). In this manner the Slovenian dramatics of the 18th century created examples that were predominant in Slovenia for the almost entire 19th century. The latter, however, contributed to the loss of the broad European “value measure”, which was still self-evident at the end of the 18th century.

Ddr. Igor Grdina defended his first doctoral thesis in 1994 and the second in 2001; he is a slavicist and historian. From 1989 to 2004 he was employed at the University of Ljubljana, where he lectured Slovenian literature. Since 2004 he is conducting his scientific work at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was a guest lecturer at various foreign universities (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic). His bibliography contains over 1300 units and his works are also available in German, English, Czech and Russian. For the Encyclopedia of Slovenia, he wrote a major part of the introduction to the entry “Slovenes” and the description of the 1859/60–1918 period. Most valuable is also his concern for the preservation of Slovenian music history.

Stefano Gulizia (New York)

Castiglione's Green Sense of Theater

This paper looks at one specific event: the carnival of 1513 in Urbino, during which Baldassarre Castiglione served as a stage-manager and supervised the performance of a successful learned comedy, Bibbiena’s Calandria. Instead of looking at Castiglione’s chronicle of this theatrical activity in search of perspectival details, and as a source for the Italian origins of courtly scenography, I place my study of comic business at the intersection of cognitive science and the history of the senses. I am interested in embodiment and stage-subjugation, in environmental and phenomenological practice, and in the range of ways in which, through props and plot, a notion akin to Bourdieu’s habitus found its place. In other words, I would like to supplement recent interest in the play’s political attitude and its triumphalist celebration of the Medici by redirecting attention to a larger network of ecological considerations and especially to ‘understanding’ as ambiguously cognitive and corporeal. In this framework, the “greenery” invoked by Castiglione in his letter functions as an episode of sensorial control, not only visual, but also olfactory and aural—a suitable portal of cognition. By emphasizing the material effects of local places on the stage, I also argue that any study of Bibbiena’s Calandria gains a greater cultural interrelationship once it is set against an international backdrop; its geopolitical breadth is documented not only by several revivals of the play in Venice, but also by its dialogic relations with at least two distinct traditions: the Celestinesque drama and Lucian’s utopic fiction.

Stefano Gulizia (PhD 2009) is an intellectual historian with interests in the history of science, early modern drama and textual criticism. He published on Boccaccio, Boiardo and Ariosto, and he is the author of articles on printing (‘The rise of Macaronic Design’, 2012), and urban studies (‘Ruscelli’s Book of Secrets in Context: A Sixteenth-Century Museum in Motion’, 2014). Among other projects, Stefano is completing a book manuscript on the Spanish book trade in Venice.

Bernhard Huss (Berlin)

Luigi Groto’s “Adriana” as a Laboratory Experiment on Literary Genre

In the Secondo Cinquecento, Luigi Groto (1541–1585), also called the Cieco d’Adria, figured among Europe’s most well-known literary mannerists. His dramatic works were widely read as experimental texts subjecting basic tenets of contemporary poetology to a series of literary ‘high-pressure tests’. In his tragedies, Groto disintegrates the aristotelian doctrine of genre by isolating single components of it on which the plays focus separately. A closer look at La Hadriana shows that this play tends to an almost complete elimination of ‘fear’ (phobos) as tragic affect to be aroused by the plot, concentrating instead on the creation of ‘compassion’ (eleos). Compassion, however, is here induced by the presentation of a sad love story that is conditioned by a massive infiltration of semantic, syntactic and stylistic elements derived from lyrical petrarchism. This corresponds to Pietro Bembo’s orthodox postulate that Italian poetry (that is to say: basically every literary text written in verse) should be based on the diction of Francis Petrarch’s Canzoniere. Bembo’s doctrine presented tragic writers with many problems, because the production of purely petrarchistic texts in the tragic register is a very difficult, almost impossible task. Groto’s radical experiment, however, takes Bembo’s conception literally. This results in a borderline case of the tragic genre which underlines quite forcefully the author’s role in the genre experiment and his responsibility for its extreme pointedness.

Bernhard Huss (http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/we05/institut/mitarbeiter/huss/index.html ), *1969, male, Professor of Italian and French literature, Institute of Romance Philology, FUB, specialized in Renaissance poetics, Renaissance epic (particular focus on the relation between literature and ideology), Renaissance lyrics (petrarchism, mannerism), Renaissance poetology (platonism, aristotelianism, theory of literary genres), reception of ancient literature and culture, epistemic transfer from antiquity to the early modern period. 2005 award from the University of Munich (LMU) for his Habilitationsschrift on the lyrical poetry of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Huss is a member of the research group Mimesi hosted by the Universitat de Barcelona (http://stel.ub.edu/mimesi/equip ). He has been a member of Collaborative Research Center 573 “Pluralisierung und Autorität in der Frühen Neuzeit” and has been, within this frame, Principle Investigator of a project about Renaissance authorization of Francis Petrarch’s lyrical poems (http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/OCTOPUS?context= projekt&id=5291292&language=en&task=showDetail). He also has directed a DFG-financed project with the title “In Petrarch’s Lee. Establishment and Dispersal of Authority in Italian Early Modern Era Lyrics” (http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/we05/forschung/drittmittelprojekte/im-windschatten-petrarcas.pdf?13946239 47) and is directing a new DFG-financed project about “Epic Modeling of Ideological Conflicts in the Early Modern Period” (http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/we05/forschung/drittmittelprojekte/ DFG-projekt-epik/index.html). Huss is Director of the FUB’s Italienzentrum (Center for Italian Studies, http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-berlin.de/it/italienzentrum/index.html) whose central aim is the coordination of binational and international academic relations, research and teaching activities between the universities of Berlin and Potsdam and foreign universities in the field of Italian studies. Huss is co-editor (responsible for Romance literatures) of Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift (GRM) (https://www.winter-verlag.de/en/programm/zeitschriften/germanisch_romanische_ monatsschrift) and member of FUB’s Dahlem Humanities Center (DHC) as well as of the newly established “Aristotelismus-Zentrum Berlin” (http://www.geisteswissen schaften.fu-berlin.de/we02/griechisch/graezistik/aristotelismuszentrum/index.html).


With F. Mehltretter and G. Regn:Lyriktheorie(n) der italienischen Renaissance (Berlin/Boston 2012) [Pluralisierung & Autorität 30]; Lorenzo de’ Medicis Canzoniere und der Ficinianismus. Philosophica facere quae sunt amatoria(Tübingen 2007) [Romanica Monacensia 76]. Habilitationsschrift; With Ch. Wehr (eds.):Manierismus. Interdisziplinäre Studien zu einem ästhetischen Stiltyp zwischen formalem Experiment und historischer Signifikanz (Heidelberg 2014) [GRM-Beiheft 56]; With M. Bernsen (eds.):Der Petrarkismus – ein europäischer Gründungsmythos (Göttingen 2011) [Gründungsmythen Europas in Literatur, Musik und Kunst 4]; Luigi GrotosRime: Manierismen als implizite Metapoesie“, in: Huss / Wehr 2014: 71–92; Wenn Dichter Dichter porträtieren. Die literarischen Vergilbilder von Luigi Groto und Giovan Battista Marino“,Charakterbilder. Zur Poetik des literarischen Porträts. Festschrift für Helmut Meter, ed. by A. Fabris / W. Jung (Göttingen 2012) 179–196; Petrarkismus und Tragödie“, in: Bernsen / Huss 2011: 225–257; Die Katharsis, Jean Racine und das Problem einer tragischen Reinigung bei Hofe“,PhiN – Philologie im Netz49 (2009) 35–55.[www.phin.de]; „Hélas! Hélas! Hélas!Zum Tod der klassischen Tragödie bei Jean Racine“,Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Literatur116.3 (2006) 257–286.

Joachim Küpper (Berlin)

The Concept of “National Literatures” and the Cultural Net

The discussions revolving around the concept of ‘transculturality’ and the renewed debates on ‘world literature’ notwithstanding, the main framework for the conceptualization of literary texts continues to be that of ‘national literatures’. This paper will raise the question of the origins of this concept and consider its functional contexts. It will then proceed to problematize the main claim implied in the concept—which is that literary texts are in some way ‘rooted’ in specific national cultures.

Joachim Küpper is Professor of Romance Philology and Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. He is the Principal Investigator of the ERC-Project DramaNet (he received an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council in 2009) and Director of the Dahlem Humanities Center at Freie Universität Berlin. In 2001 he was granted the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. He is the general editor of Poetica, and co-editor of Romanistisches Jahrbuch. He has been a Visiting Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, and an invited Director of research ‘Directeur de recherche invité’ at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. He is a member of Leopoldina/ German National Academy of Sciences and a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences. He sits on the Scientific Committee for the German Academies’ Research Program, and on the Standing Committee on Research of the German University Presidents’ Conference (HRK). His focus is on Romance literatures, theory of literature and arts. His publications include: Ästhetik der Wirklichkeitsdarstellung und Evolution des Romans von der französischen Spätaufklärung bis zu Robbe-Grillet (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1987); Diskurs-Renovatio bei Lope de Vega und Calderón. Untersuchungen zum spanischen Barockdrama. Mit einer Skizze zur Evolution der Diskurse in Mittelalter, Renaissance und Manierismus (Tübingen: Narr, 1990); Petrarca. Das Schweigen der Veritas und die Worte des Dichters (Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, 2002); Zum italienischen Roman des 19. Jahrhunderts. Foscolo, Manzoni, Verga, D’Annunzio (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2002); “The Traditional Cosmos and the New World”, in: MLN 118 (2003).

DS Mayfield (Berlin)

Anthropological Constants in Early Modern Drama

This paper discusses the relevance of ‘anthropological constants’ in the poetics of Early Modern drama. It scrutinizes the relationship texts might bear to human invariants, including possible variations of the latter. A focus will be on the significance and expediency—also in political terms and usage—of the utilization of, and explicit appeal to, such constants in the drama of the Early Modern Age.

DS Mayfield studied American, English, and Spanish Literature at Würzburg, and Comparative Literature at Berlin and Cambridge. An alumni of the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School at Freie Universität Berlin, he is a member of the DramaNet project at present. A book with the title Artful Immorality. Cynicism in Machiavelli, Gracián, Diderot, Nietzsche is forthcoming in 2015.

Jan Mosch (Berlin)

Heteronomy and Weakness of Will in Shakespeare and Racine

Since the publication of “Racine et Shakespeare” (c. 1823), Stendhal’s influential treatment of classicism and romanticism, the very names of the two playwrights have become shorthand for the “symbolic opposition” (David Maskell) between Elizabethan drama and the siècle classique. However, the critical insistence upon evident differences in morphology and ideology has precluded a systematic discussion of possible similarities or even connections in the theater cultures of early modern England and France. This work-in-progress presentation will suggest that the central tenets of the DramaNet project – the application of a “transcultural lens” and the focus on the transnational availability of conceptual material floating on the cultural net – enable a productive analysis of this precarious constellation beyond the more traditional notions of influence or reception. As a case in point, the paper will discuss aspects of moral agency and weakness of will in selected tragedies by William Shakespeare and Jean Racine, thus also reading the plays as sites of social knowledge.

Jan Mosch studied English as well as Comparative Literature at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where he graduated with a master’s degree. Since 2013, he has been a member of the DramaNet research group, working on a PhD thesis on Shakespeare and Racine in the context of moral agency.

Sandra Richter (Stuttgart)

The English Invention of German Drama on the Basis of the German Novel in Prose: The Case of Fortunatus

It is the aim of the contribution to explore a constellation which had largely been neglected by histories of literature: the relevance of English drama and wandering actor’s companies in the Early modern German-speaking context. Models of circulation and net structures help to shed light on this constellation in that they enable us to conceive of literary contacts between the different cultures. Focusing on the case of Fortunatus, the literary character, the poetics, plot-structures and cultural practices related to him, these contact shall be studied in detail. In order to examine the relevant modes of circulation, the German prose novel (published anonymously in 1509), Thomas Dekker’s Fortunatus-drama (debut performance 1599) as well as written manuscripts used by English wandering actor’s companies will be discussed. Through the wandering actor’s companies, Fortunatus came back to Germany and inspired German 18th-century playwrights and authors (among others, Ludwig Tieck, Ludwig Uhland) to reinvent the topic on their own – a striking longue durée history.

Prof. Sandra Richter first studied German, Political Science, History of art and philosophy at Universität Hamburg before taking a DPhil in German on the Huguenots in 18th-century Germany and their European networks. She was awarded the Emmy Noether-grant by the German Research Foundation, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-prize and the Philip Leverhulme prize. In 2006, she joined the German Department at King’s College London, becoming Professor of German in 2007 and moving to Universität Stuttgart in 2008. Since 2011 she has been a member of the German Science and Humanities Council. Her current projects include reflections on the ways hermeneutics is challenged by new approaches (Digital Humanities and Material studies) and a large-scale study on the “World history of German literature”.

Cristina Savettieri (Pisa)

The Agency of Errors: Hamartia and its (Mis)Interpretations in Early Modern Italian Dramatic Theories

Since the end of the eighteenth century, theories of tragedy and the tragic have been wavering between two opposite poles when confronted with the crucial issue of human agency: on the one hand, tragedy is the genre that re-affirms sovereignty and individuals in power of their life, regardless of the ruinous ending they would undergo; on the other, it gives shape to innocent suffering as effect of unpredictable forces. The so-called philosophical turn, which affected dramatic theories on the threshold of the modern age, divided the long-term history of the tragic as a concept into two apparently inconsistent stories; however, a genealogy tracing back to Renaissance criticism underlies the discursive field of the tragic at the crossroads between moral philosophy, aesthetics, and political theory. The localization of individual responsibility, mainly related to the Aristotelian concept of hamartia, is a major concern of Renaissance theoreticians committed to translating Aristotle and tailoring his theoretical heritage to diverse cultural contexts. The circulation of Aristotelian translations, comments, quarrels, and relevant critical writings, in fact engenders a double movement within the making of early modern theatrical culture: the closer is the approach towards the Poetics – made possible by new philological knowledge and scholarship –, the more remarkable is the departure from its conceptual core. The acknowledgment of Aristotle as an authority thus opens up a heterogeneous theoretical space within which unstable views on human agency multiply. My paper shall attempt to explore such instability by discussing different interpretations of the concept of hamartia in early modern Italian theoretical writings on tragedy and comments and translations of Aristotle’s Poetics against a transnational backdrop including the French and English contexts. Moreover, I shall argue how this theoretical space keeps haunting the modern debate.

Cristina Savettieri received her PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Pisa in 2005. Subsequently, she worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the universities of Pisa and Siena and joined New York University in Florence as an Adjunct Professor in 2010. From 2011 to 2013 she was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow in Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin, where she carried out a research project on ‘Theories and Practices of the Modern Tragic’. While in Berlin she was also affiliated to the DramaNet ERC Project. She is presently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Pisa and, having been recently awarded a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship, she will start working at the University of Edinburgh in September 2015. She is the author of an award-winning monograph on the major modernist Italian writer Carlo Emilio Gadda and is currently working on a book resulting from her Humboldt project and provisionally entitled ‘Narratives of Unbelonging: Innocence and the Tragic in Modern Fiction’.

Esther Schomacher (Bochum)

Sex on Stage: How does the Audience Know? („La Calandria“, III,10; „Henry V“, V,2)

In this paper I will compare two scenes, which at first sight seem to have little in common. The plays they are part of belong to different dramatic genres and they originate in different theatrical cultures; one of the scenes is part of an Italian Renaissance Comedy, and the other one is part of an English Elizabethan History play. Both scenes, though, dramatize sexual relations. I will understand them as exemplary instances, which allow, on a microscopic level, to pin down some fundamental questions about the relationship between audiences and the action on stage. These are questions, which seem to haunt the history of European drama from antiquity to the modern era, are as follows: how does the audience understand what is happening on stage? How is this understanding related to their knowing that what they are watching is mimesis (or in Shakespearean terms, a play)? And how do feelings, emotions and moods work in this process of understanding? As a first step, I will argue that the scenes each accentuate or presuppose a certain kind of knowledge on the audience’s part: La Calandria, on the one hand, overemphasises the audience’s representational knowledge about what is going on onstage and about the fact that this is ‘make believe’; in Henry V, on the other hand, the audience’s embodied, and non-representational knowledge of feeling with the characters (their participatory sensemaking) is an essential part of this scene’s meaning. I will briefly show how these two kinds of knowledge are implemented and supported by the plays, not only by their texts but even more so by the circumstances of their performance. This will provide a new understanding of the (much debated) functions of the two scenes within each of the two plays. In a second step, I will link the different kinds of ‘knowledge’ conveyed by the plays to contemporary ‘dramatic theory’ in the widest sense. The fact that both scenes represent or evoke sex will make it easy to stress the links between these questions of representational and/or embodied knowledge and early modern theories of emotions and their ‘transmission’, as well as contemporary moral discourses, which are known to condemn the theatre for its physical and emotional effects. In this respect, as I will try to show, poetics are closely linked to politics – and much less to theatrical practices. In this perspective, the theatre’s own tendencies towards a (would-be) retreat to the moral high grounds of representational ‘education’ in later centuries, and its denial of both the embodied effects on its audiences and of the embodied knowledge inherent in acting (e.g. following the French doctrine classique), can be understood as a response to specific cultural-political and religious dynamics. Yet even those dynamics of poetics and politics could never fully cover up the fact that – to quote Shakespeare-editor Stanley Wells – “theatre is a sexy business”. Or, more to the point: that it is an embodied business.

Esther Schomacher is currently holding a position as “wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin” (associate professor) at the Institute of Romance Languages and Literatures, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, associated with the chair of Prof Dr. Rudolf Behrens. Her PhD thesis “Buchführung: Schrift und Geld bei Italo Svevo” (“Bookkeeping: money and writing in Italo Svevos works”, to be submitted in September 2015) focuses on the multidimensional interrelations of the two ‘media’ money and writing in the works of the modern Italian writer and businessman. Her other research interests are: Italian Renaissance comedy, sciences and literature (esp. economics), sports and literature (esp. boxing), embodiment and enactivism (and its impact on the humanities).

Publications include: „Haus-Ordnung. Der häusliche Raum in der Ökonomik und in der Komödie des 16. Jahrhunderts.“ In: Renaissancetheater: Italien und die europäische Rezeption. Sonderheft hrsg. v. Rolf Lohse, Horizonte 10 (2007), S. 165–191; (mit Rudolf Behrens): „Semantische Subversionen städtischen und häuslichen Raums in der Komödie des Cinquecento.“ In: Elisabeth Tiller; Christoph Oliver Mayer (Hrsg.): Raumerkundungen. Einblicke und Ausblicke. Heidelberg: Winter, 2011, S. 89–124; (mit Jan Söffner): „Warum es mit Repräsentationsformen nicht getan sein kann: Sieben Thesen zum Enactive Criticism.“ In: Eva Siebenborn, Annika Nickenig, Judith Kittler (Hrsg.): Repräsentationsformen von Wissen: Beiträge zum XXVI. Forum Junge Romanistik in Bochum (26.–29. Mai 2010). München: Meidenbauer, 2011, S. 125–149; (mit Tanja Klemm und Jan Söffner): „Enactive Criticism. Embodied Knowledge as Research.“ In: RES: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics 59/60 (2011), S. 318–324; „Money is Time – Time is Money. Protagonisti sveviani contrattano Futures (Una vita, La coscienza di Zeno).“ In: Italo Svevo e le scienze. Vita, tempo, scritture. Sonderheft, hrsg. v. Marie Guthmüller und E.S., Aghios: Rivista di studi sveviani 7/8 (2014), S. 208–233.

Stephen Nichols, James M. Beall Professor Emeritus of French and Humanities and Research Professor, specializes in medieval literature and its interactions with history, philosophy, language theory, and history of art. His book ROMANESQUE SIGNS: EARLY MEDIEVAL NARRATIVE AND ICONOGRAPHY, received the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell Prize for an outstanding book by an MLA author. Another, THE NEW PHILOLOGY, was honored by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. A Fellow of the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES as well as of the Medieval Academy of America, he also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Geneva. The French government made him an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, while the Alexander von HUMBOLDT Foundation awarded him a Humboldt Research Prize in 2008 and 2015. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the School of Criticism and Theory, which he also directed from 1995–2001. He is Distinguished Presidential Fellow of the Council of Library Information Research (CLIR), and sits on the Advisory Council of the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies (Penn). In July 2010, he received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Research Fellowship to study the paradox of “mutable stability” across multiple manuscripts of the Roman de la Rose. In December 2010, he was awarded a multi-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant for a group project entitled “Innovative Scholarship for Digitized Medieval Manuscripts Delivered in an Interoperable Environment.” Over the last decade, in a project sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, Nichols has been instrumental in developing a digital library of medieval manuscripts at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of Johns Hopkins University: www.manuscriptlib.org. This project is in partnership with the Bibliothèque nationale de France. He is a founding editor of the online revue, Digital Philology. A Journal of Medieval Culture, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and Project Muse. He edits a series for Peter Lang Publishing called: Medieval Interventions: New Light on Traditional Thinking. He has held the following fellowships: Guggenheim, ACLS, NEH, American Philosophical Society, Woodrow Wilson. He has received residential fellowships at the Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine; the Advanced Institute for Study, The University of Wisconsin, Madison; the Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität-Berlin. A second, expanded edition of ROMANESQUE SIGNS: EARLY MEDIEVAL NARRATIVE AND ICONOGRAPHY was published in May 2011 by the Davies Group. Recent publications include De Theoria: Early Modern Studies In Memory Of Eugene Vance; The Long Shadow Of Political Theology; Rethinking The Medieval Senses; L’alterité Du Moyen Age; Medievalism And The Modernist Temper; The Whole Book; The New Medievalism; And Mimesis From Mirror To Method, Augustine To Descartes. Books currently under contract for publication in 2016: From Parchment To Cyberspace: Medieval Literature In The Digital Age; and Spectral Sea: Mediterranean Palimpsests In European Literature. Nichols is a member of the MLA’s Scholarly Editions Committee (2011–2015); holds an appointment to the European Research Council’s grants committee (SH5) for Humanities (2009–2015); he chairs the Award panel of the “Hidden Collections” grants administered for the Mellon Foundation by the Council for Library Information Research (CLIR), is a member of the grants Panel for Mellon Post-doctoral fellows in research libraries administered by CLIR, and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of CLIR from 2009–2012. A volume of Essays in his honor, Philology, History, Theory: Rethinking The New Medievalism, was published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013.

Barbara Ventarola, Berlin

Corneille and the Spanish Tradition. Poetics and Politics in “Le Cid”

The tragicomedy “Le Cid” (1637) can be seen as the most influential drama written by Pierre Corneille. Inspired, above all, by the Spanish tradition and merging different dramatic patterns (tragedy and comedy) as well as cultural spheres (private love and state policy) in a very specific way, the play marks a turning point in the history of (French) literature. It provokes the so-called querelle du Cid, an unprecedented public scandal which constitutes the starting point for the codification of the doctrine classique. My paper aims at revisiting the play and its cultural and historical impact. For this purpose, I will take into account intertextual references to the Spanish tradition, paratextual self-explanations and textual structures of the drama that have been neglected until now. On this basis, it will be possible to give new insights into the cultural exchanges between early modern Spain and France and to trace the outlines of a new concept of the cultural net.

Barbara Ventarola received her PhD from the University of Cologne in 2007 and her venia legendi (habilitation) in Romance Philology and Comparative Literature from the University of Würzburg in 2013. Currently she is a visiting professor for Romance Philology and Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. Her fields of expertise include: literary theory; the interrelations between literature, sciences and philosophy from antiquity to the present; postcolonialism; concepts of world literature; history of utopia; concepts of time.

Selected relevant publications: Transkategoriale Philologie – Liminales und poly-systematisches Denken bei Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz und Marcel Proust (Allgemeine Literaturwissenschaft, ed. by Ulrich Ernst, Michael Scheffel und Rüdiger Zymner, vol. 20), Berlin 2015 (forthcoming in May 2015); (Ed.) Literarische Stadtutopien zwischen totalitärer Gewalt und Ästhetisierung (2011); „Multi-Didaxis in the Drama of Lope de Vega and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz“, in: Pawlita, Leonie/Ruegg, Madeline (eds.): Theatre Cultures within Globalising Empires: Looking at Early Modern England and Spain, Berlin 2015 (forthcoming); „Zwischen situationaler Repräsentation und Multiadressierung – Marcel Proust und Jorge Luis Borges als Paradigmen der Weltliterarizität“. In: Moser, Christian/Simonis, Linda (eds.). Figuren des Globalen. Weltbezug und Welterzeugung in Literatur, Kunst und Medien (2014); „Weltliteratur(en) im Dialog – Zu einer möglichen Osmose zwischen Systemtheorie und postkolonialer Theorie“. In: Grizelj, Mario/Kirschstein, Daniela (eds.). Riskante Kontakte. Postkoloniale Theorien und Systemtheorie? (2014).

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