German radio drama and the 'cultural formation' of interiority

Bachmann, M. (2020) German radio drama and the 'cultural formation' of interiority. In: Davis, T. C. and Marx, P. W. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance Historiography. Series: Routledge companions (19). Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, pp. 167-185. ISBN 9781138575516 (doi:10.4324/9781351271721-10)

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This chapter unpacks the widely used metaphor of radio drama as a “theatre of the mind.” It argues that the latter is not a neutral marker for the media-inherent qualities of a mediated performance which operates without visual signs and predominantly addresses the sense of hearing. Rather, the metaphor’s triangulation of theatre, radio drama and mind must be understood as historically and culturally specific. Since the 1920s, but particularly in post-war Germany, it helped sustain a remediation narrative for which radio drama is a “better” kind of theatre because it is allegedly “of the mind,” immaterial and interiorised. Through its case study of German radio drama, the chapter proposes a historiographical model for the media-comparative study of theatre and performance. It shifts the focus away from charting the historical continuities and differences between theatre and other art forms. Instead, its emphasis is on the discursive, dramaturgical and institutional operations that sustain particular remediation narratives, and how they embed different types and practices of performance in hierarchical value systems. The chapter introduces the notion of “cultural formation” to account for the interdependency between remediation narratives and wider cultural concepts through which a triangulation such as theatre, radio and interiority gains formative power.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Radio drama, theatre historiography, performance historiography, German inwardness, German culture, media studies, cultural studies.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bachmann, Dr Michael
Authors: Bachmann, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
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