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New publication: Theatre, Globalization and the Cold War

Christopher Balme and Berenika Szymanski-Düll present their book on the history of theater in the Cold War.


Christopher Balme and Berenika Szymanski-Düll have published a new edited volume of the history of theater in the Cold War in the series "Transnational Theater Histories" of the international publishing house Palgrave Macmillan. The two members of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies have brought together articles that examine the influence of block confrontation on theater between 1945 and 1990.

About the content

This book examines the Cold War’s far-reaching impact on theater by presenting a range of current scholarship on the topic from scholars from a dozen countries. They represent a variety of perspectives, methodologies and theatrical genres, including not only Bertolt Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook, but also Polish folk-dancing, documentary theatre and opera production. The contributions demonstrate that there was much more at stake and a much larger investment of ideological and economic capital than a simple dichotomy between East versus West or socialism versus capitalism might suggest. Culture, and theatrical culture in particular with its high degree of representational power, was recognized as an important medium in the ideological struggles that characterize this epoch. Most importantly, the volume explores how theatre can be reconceptualised in terms of transnational or even global processes which, it will be argued, were an integral part of Cold War rivalries.

Balme is the director of the Institute for Theater Studies at LMU Munich and Principal Investigator of the Graduate School.

Szymanski-Düll is an Affiliated Researcher of the Graduate School as well as an academic counsellor at the Institute for Theater Science at LMU Munich.

Balme, Christopher B., Szymanski-Dull, Berenika (eds.): Theater, Globalization and the Cold War, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (Transnational Theater Histories).

ISBN 978-3-319-48083-1

Cover: © 2017 – Palgrave Macmillan