Joint LICA and DELC Seminar: Hans-Thies Lehmann

Date:12 March 2009
Time:4.30 pm

LICA Seminar Series 2009

Speaker: Hans-Thies Lehmann, Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt.

Venue: Lancaster University, IAS Meeting Room 2

Title: Tragedy and Contemporary Theatre.

Tragedy and Contemporary Theatre

Nowadays most people consider tragedy a topic of the past. This talk poses the following question: In what kind of form can something like tragedy or the tragic - in the sense of a 'tragic experience' - be an authentic reality in our contemporary cultural landscape? I will be arguing that a newly honed sensibility for the radically conflictual nature of social life means that any dismissal of the tragic seems premature.

In this regard, the following issues will be raised: Which options of a conceptually coherent determination of the tragic do we have at our disposal? How have the recent transformations of theatre (postmodern or postdramatic theatre, 'performance' or performance-like theatre) affected the possibility of articulating the tragic? Is there such a thing as tragic acting? In what sort of light do we see Benjamin's distinction between 'Trauerspiel' and tragedy after the development of new textual and theatrical forms?

Hans-Thies Lehmann is Professor of Theatre Studies at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His numerous publications include Theater und Mythos (1991) on the constitution of the subject in ancient Greek tragedy, Das Politische Schreiben (2002), Heiner Müller Handbuch (with Patrick Primavesi, 2004), and the influential Postdramatic Theatre (translated by Karen Juers-Munby, Routledge, 2006). He is currently writing a new monograph on tragedy in Contemporary theatre and editing a book on Postdramatic Theatre in the 21st Century.

Who can attend:Anyone

Further Information

Organising departments and research centres:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
  • Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
  • The LICA Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK