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Editorial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 June 2023

Markus Wessendorf
Affiliation:
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Günther Heeg
Affiliation:
Universität Leipzig
Micha Braun
Affiliation:
Universität Leipzig
Vera Stegmann
Affiliation:
Lehigh University, Pennsylvania
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Summary

The Brecht Yearbook 46 presents the second volume of contributions from the 16th Symposium of the International Brecht Society, which took place in Leipzig in June 2019 under the title Brecht Among Strangers. It was organized jointly by the IBS and the Centre of Competence for Theatre (CCT) at the University of Leipzig, in cooperation with Schauspiel Leipzig and the Leipzig Institute for Theatre Studies.

Last year, twenty contributions from this symposium were published in volume 45 of The Brecht Yearbook. Under the headlines “Among Strangers—Brecht's Figures of Strangeness,” “From East to West and Vice Versa—Geographic Interconnections,” and “Global Estrangements— Brecht in the Age of Globalization,” the volume featured analyses of. “Brecht among strangers” that revealed the experience of strangeness as the linchpin of Brecht's entire artistic oeuvre. His plays, prose, and poems as well as his texts on theater work and the other arts, and on politics and society, suggest that the experience of foreignness will be the foundation of. future community among strangers. By engaging with the idea of the foreign—not only in theater—in and after Brecht, the contributors demonstrated in various theoretical and historical contexts that the thinker and practitioner Brecht is still enormously topical and relevant, especially in times of increasing worldwide migration and. growing fear of the foreign.

With this issue, the editors pursue equally ambitious goals. The second volume of contributions is again devoted to Brecht's relevance in. world of strangers living together. The confrontation with what is strange within oneself poses special challenges today. The foreign in. Brechtian context does not mean something exotic or far-off that makes one feel safe in one’s own already familiar position. It should rather be understood as. radical strangeness that rejects integration and exists first and foremost within oneself (i.e., one's supposed home, culture, biography, identity). The contributions in this volume assume. decidedly contemporary perspective aimed at the “application” or “appropriation” of Brecht's theoretical and practical examples. The focus of this volume is on contemporary transformations of his themes, questions, and suggestions—for example, of his learning play theory, or of his plays in regionally specific stagings—for. “theater among strangers.”

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2021

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