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Chapter 1 - Activism, Aesthetic Education, and the Making of Modern German Theatre

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2023

Jonas Tinius
Affiliation:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
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Summary

Chapter 1 unfolds the historical context of two central overarching notions in this book’s narrative: the German Kulturstaat and the country’s Bildungsbürgertum. Combining historical analysis with ethnographic fieldwork in Berlin during the fiftieth-anniversary edition of Germany’s largest theatre festival and observations at the city’s iconic Volksbühne, this chapter explores the moral significance attributed to institutionalised public theatres, as well as activist contestations of its state patronage and institutional structures. It also traces the role of cultural politics in facilitating the emergence of public theatres as sites for aesthetic self-cultivation (Bildung) and nation-building in the face of an increasingly diverse contemporary Germany. Expanding on the notion of institutions as traditions in Western contexts, it expands on the necessity for anthropology to take into account cultural history and art history as part of fieldwork.

Type
Chapter
Information
State of the Arts
An Ethnography of German Theatre and Migration
, pp. 31 - 67
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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