Latest News

John J. White, emeritus professor of German and Comparative literature at King's College in London, passed away on Saturday, January 31, 2015.  White is well-known for his publications on twentieth-century German literature, including his magisterial Bertolt Brecht's Dramatic Theory (Camden House, 2004) and Bertolt Brecht's "Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reichs", co-authored with his wife Ann White (Camden House, 2010).

New Brecht books
Stephen Parker, Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2014), the new Brecht biography!
http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/bertolt-brecht-a-literary-life-9781408155622/

David Barnett, Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble Adaptations: The Tutor, Coriolanus, The Thrial of Joan of Arc at Rouen, Don Juan, Trumpets and Drums (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2014):
http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/berliner-ensemble-adaptations-9781472514387/

Hans Bunge, Brecht, Music and Culture: Hanns Eisler in Conversation with Hans Bunge (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2014):
http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/brecht-music-and-culture-9781472528414/

Marc Silberman / Steve Giles / Tom Kuhn, eds., Brecht on Theatre, 3rd edition (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2014), read the introduction:
http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/brecht-on-theatre-9781472558633/

Tom Kuhn / Steve Giles / Marc Silberman, eds., Brecht on Performance: Messingkauf and Modelbooks (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2014):
http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/brecht-on-performance-9781408154557/

David Barnett, Brecht in Practice: Theatre, Theory and Performance (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2014)

Bertolt Brecht, Love Poems, translated by David Constantine and Tom Kuhn (Norton, 2014):
http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Love-Poems/

Anthony Squiers, An Introduction to the Social and Political Philosophy of Bertolt Brecht.
Revolution and Aesthetics (Rodopi, 2014):
http://www.rodopi.nl/ntalpha.asp?BookId=CLA+44&type=new&letter=V

Hermann Haarmann / Christoph Hesse, Hrsg., Briefe an Bertolt Brecht im Exil, 1933-1949 (Degruyter, 2014):
http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/22749

Questions about English-language performance rights of Brecht's plays? Click here for more details.

Drama Online is a new portal for Internet access to the works of major playwrights, including Bertolt Brecht in English translation.  For information, see:
http://www.dramaonlinelibrary.com/
For the 25+ selections by Brecht:
http://www.dramaonlinelibrary.com/playwrights/bertolt-brecht-iid-12335

Brecht's Works in English: A Bibliography
Check this new website with over 2750 entries if you are looking for Brecht's plays, poems, songs, stories, or essays in English translation: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/BrechtGuide/

The digital Brecht Yearbook, vols. 1-33 (1971-2008) / Das Brecht-Jahrbuch digital, Bd. 1-33 (1971-2008):http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/German.BrechtYearbook

KURT WEILL FOUNDATION GRANT PROGRAM – Deadline 1 November
The Kurt Weill Foundation Grant Program awards financial support worldwide to not-for-profit organizations for performances of musical works by Kurt Weill and Marc Blitzstein, to individuals and not-for-profit organizations for scholarly research pertaining to Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, and Marc Blitzstein, and to not-for-profit organizations for relevant educational initiatives. For more information and guidelines, see:  http://www.kwf.org/kwf/grants-a-prizes/grant-program
or call New York City: (212) 505-5240

Announcements

Calls for Papers for the IBS sessions at the 2016 MLA convention (Austin, TX; 7-10 January 2016)
Brecht - Surveillance - Visibility
In his essay “What is Epic Theatre?,” Walter Benjamin offers a narrative about a family scene interrupted by the arrival of an uninvited stranger. The stranger is witness to an altercation between a mother and daughter, and Benjamin suggests that he is like the audiences of Brechtian theater: confronted with “a startling situation” that focuses his attention not on “the development of actions” but rather on the “conditions” that they exemplify. While Benjamin’s narrative may not be the most obvious illustration of Brecht’s Verfremdungseffekt, the notion of an uninvited stranger suddenly appearing in the privacy of one’s home contains an eerie premonition of the socio-political conditions that the advent of advanced surveillance technologies have made reality.  His narrative thus presents an opportunity to consider Brechtian aesthetics in light of the political conditions of the new surveillance society. How valuable are those aesthetics in this charged era of politicized technologies?  Has Brecht's goal of making visible both a real act and the structure that causes it - the double move of Verfremdung - lost its power as a model for performance in a surveillance society?  Send abstracts (250 words) for 20-minute presentations on aspects of new technologies and Brechtian theater by 15 March 2015 to: Marc Silberman (mdsilber[at]wisc.edu) and James Harding (jharding[at]umd.edu).

Relations / Legacies: Brecht, Benjamin, Adorno
The artistic, critical, and philosophical relations among Brecht, Benjamin, and Adorno before and during the exile years were tense but often extraordinarily generative, perhaps even more so after the war.  Papers are sought on topics that might include:
> connections and divergences among Verfremdung effect, constellation / force-field, and / or aura;
> debates over the revolutionary – or exchange-value dominated – character of mechanical reproduction / technical reproducibility in life and art;
> Brechtian “separation of the elements” and / vs. the “unique” (or charged) distance of Benjamin and Adorno;
> aesthetic / artistic autonomy and political engagement / commitment, including the degree to which, in acknowledged or implicit ways, the various stances come to inflect or suffuse each other;
> comparative experiences of exile (and, for Brecht and Adorno, “return”);
> attitudes, connections, or stances to real-existing socialism;
> legacies and posthumous lives of their work, including latter-day Brechtians, Benjaminians, and Adornians.
Send abstracts (250 words) for 20-minute presentations by 15 March 2015 to: Marc Silberman (mdsilber[at]wisc.edu) and Robert Kaufman (robkaufman[at]berkeley.edu).

The International Brecht Society is soliciting papers for 2 sessions at the German Studies Association conference planned for 1-4 October 2015 in Washington DC:
1) Teaching Brecht (contributions on successful and failed strategies for treating any of Brecht’s works in the classroom).
2) Translating Brecht (contributions on the practice of translating Brecht from German into other languages but also from the page onto the stage and from one culture to another).
Send abstracts (ca. 200 words) by Feb. 9, 2015, to Marc Silberman at mdsilber [a] wisc.edu
For information on the GSA, see: www.thegsa.org

The International Association of Germanic Studies (IVG) will be meeting in Shanghai from 23-31 August 2015. Section B23 on "Theater und Film nach Brecht" is being organized by Dr. Günther Heeg (Leipzig), Dr. Eun-Soo Jang (Seoul), and Dr. Hans-Thies Lehmann (Frankfurt/Main). The deadline for submitting paper proposals has been extended until 28 February 2015. The Section B23 description can be found at the congress website (click on "Sektionen und Programm", Sektion B Literaturwissenschaft): http://www.ivg2015-tongji.com/ or [here].

Die Brecht-Tage 2015 zum Thema "Brecht und die Naturwissenschaften" finden vom 09.02.-13.02. im Brecht-Haus in Berlin statt. Hier ist das Programm.

IBS Election
Every two years elections for the steering committee of the International Brecht Society take place.  The nominees for 2014-2015 have been elected:
Alle zwei Jahre findet die Wahl des Vorstands der Internationalen Brecht-Gesellschaft statt. Die Kandidatenliste für 2014-2015 wurde gewählt:

Stephen Brockmann, President (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA)
Günther Heeg, Vice President (Universität Leipzig, BRD)
Andy Spencer, Editor of 'Communications' (Ohio State University, Columbus, USA)
Paula Hanssen, Secretary/Treasurer (Webster University, St. Louis, USA)