S:PAM Lecture #17 - Prof. Dr. Bart Philipsen

16-05-2017 from 14:30 to 17:30
Campus Boekentoren, Blandijn, room 090.036
S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media)
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'Staging [Mis]understanding: On the Theatre of Edit Kaldor' by Prof. Dr. Bart Philipsen (Ghent University) on Tuesday, 16 May 2017.

Staging [Mis]understanding: On the Theatre of Edit Kaldor


by Prof. Dr. Bart Philipsen (Ghent University)


This lecture will focus on the work of the Hungarian-Dutch-Belgian theater maker Edit Kaldor. We will discuss her work against the larger background of a discussion on the function of theater and performance in debates on multi- and inter-culturalism and – on a more fundamental level – on theater and the ethics & politics of communicating with and understanding the other (as well as oneself!) Is there an alternative to the ‘good will’ or obsession to ‘understand the other’? And what does that mean? These questions lead us back to an historic debate between Jacques Derrida and Georg Gadamer in Paris in 1981. In a much later book length essay Monolinguism of the other Derrida linked these issues to the problem of linguistic and cultural identy and of multilinguism in a globalizing world. Exactly these questions are also at the heart of Edit Kaldor’s work as well as of her own biography. Through early and repeated migration (Hungary, Austria, the Netherlands, USA, Belgium,…) she doesn’t feel at home in any language. But can one turn this weakness into a strength, at least into another way of meeting and communicating with others? Her internationally praised production C’est du Chinois (2010) will function as the central case to tackle these questions. 



Bart Philipsen is full professor of German literature at KU Leuven where he also teaches courses on theatre, theory & culture and contemporary performance practices in the program of cultural studies. Since 2012 he chairs the department of Literary Studies (including Cultural Studies). In his research he focuses on subjects at the intersection of literature & philosophy, aesthetics, politics & ethics, theater & theory, the Afterlife of tragedy and Trauerspiel. He has published widely on German political drama of the 18th and 19 the century (Hölderlin, Kleist, Grabbe,..) as well as on contemporary political theatre and performance (Christoph Marthaler, Edit Kaldor, Thomas Bellinck,…)

Relevant recent publications:  (2017) Trauerspiel Europa oder Das zukünftige Nachleben der EU. Zu Thomas Bellincks exposition performance "Domo de Europa historio in ekzilio", in: Bloch N., Heimböckel D., Tropper E. (Eds.): Vorstellung Europa - Performing Europe. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf Europa im Theater der Gegenwart. Recherchen, vol: 131. Berlin: Theater der Zeit pp. 111-123. (2016) C'est du Chinois. Theater für Experten des Nicht-Verstehens, in: N. Bloch & D. Heimböckel  (eds): Theater und Ethnologie. Beiträge zu einer produktiven Beziehung. Forum Modernes Theater Band 46. Tübingen: Narr/Francke/Attempo, pp. 33-50.  (2016) S. Maes & B. Philipsen (eds.): Christian Dietrich Grabbe. Themaheft Text+Kritik 112. (2016) A. De Winde, B. Philipsen, S. Fabré, S.Maes (eds.):Tektonik der Systeme. Neulektüren von Oswald Spengler. Heidelberg: Synchron Verlag. (2014) Stayin' Alive. Christoph Marthalers Riesenbutzbach. Eine Dauerkolonie als post-melodramatisches ‚Spiel vor Traurigen‘. In: Eschkötter D., Menke B., Schäfer A. (Eds.), bookseries: Recherchen, vol: 98, Das Melodram. Ein Medienbastard, (pp. 245-265). Berlin: Verlag Theater der Zeit. (2014) Philipsen, B.,  De Winde, A., Maes, S. (eds.):  StaatsSachen/Matters of State. Fiktionen der Gemeinschaft im langen 19. Jahrhundert. Heidelberg: Synchron Verlag.