Drama – konst eller pedagogik? Kampen om ämnet speglad i den nordiska tidskriften Drama 1965-1995

Translated title of the contribution: Drama – Art or Pedagogics? The Struggle over the Subject as reflected in the Nordic Journal Drama 1965–-1995.

Viveka Rasmusson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Based on the Nordic dramapedagogic journal Drama during the period 1965-1995 the thesis analyses Nordic dramapedagogy and the dramatheoretical debate of the subject drama, which entered Nordic school curriculums in the sixties and the seventies. During the period a struggle was fought by predecessors from different aestethic and pedagogical directions concerning the definition of the subject. The main questions are which conceptions of the subject were prevalent, vhat the ideohistorical background was, which cultural influences the debate had and how dramateachers acted to bring out their subject.

The first chapter presents the frame, the journal Drama and its history throughout the period. The journal was a common mouthpiece of dramateachers from the Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden during the seventies and an important forum for them during the hole period. Following chapters chronologically describe and analyse the debate. Starting out with the period 1965-1971 the focus is on the conflict between the editor Nils Braanaas and Erik Trummler. Braanaas introduced the new dramapedagogics based on the Nordic reformpedagogics and creative dramatics presented by Elsa Olenius as opposed to Trummler´s classic school theatre. Then the period 1972-1978 is described, when a multitude of new drama-pedagogical methods entered the debate. Marxists discussing the ideological purpose of drama were confronted with dramateachers who meant that the students individual and social development were the primary purposes of drama. Next the debate in and around 1979 is analysed, the subject of drama now in decay from budget cuts. The sharpening conflicts in the debate 1981-1989 mainly about different academic shools and traditions are referred to. The journal´s editors are deepening an aestethic discussion while the dramatist Lennart Wiechel takes his start in communicational theory with the purpose of developing social competence. Finally the period, 1990-1995 is described, comprising Nils Braanaas last five years of managing editor. This was a period influenced by post-modern thinking in cultural– and litterature theory with an advanced theoretical level of the discussion.

Concluding the thesis is the idea that the subject of drama has been like a sheet of blotting paper, absorbing pedagogic trends and cultural influences from the respective periods. It is proposed that Michel Foucalt´s theory of the tactical polyvalence of discourse is well illustrated by the debate. It is noted that the dramatheoretical discussion has developed over the time frame leading to research establisments with drama as major subject both in Norway, Trondheim and Bergen and in Finland Jyväskylä. The cooperation between the dramateachers is analysed with help of Pierre Bourdieu´s terminology. The specific Nordic profile of the drama subject is observed, its characteristics being the commitment to a democratic perspective, the society and an active set of values. Finally it is stated that the cooperation between the Nordic countries on the subject of drama, which cooperation formed during the seventies and the eighties, has been vitalised during the nineties together with an increased research in the area.
Translated title of the contributionDrama – Art or Pedagogics? The Struggle over the Subject as reflected in the Nordic Journal Drama 1965–-1995.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Comparative Literature
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2000 Sept 23
ISBN (Print)91-628-4303-6
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2000-09-23
Time: 10:15
Place: Kulturanatomen sal 201, Biskopsgatan 7, Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Østern, Anna-Lena
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature

Free keywords

  • cooperation of Nordic dramateachers.
  • cultural influences
  • development of the subject drama
  • dramatheoretical debate 1965-1995
  • Nordic dramapedagodgic
  • Drama a Nordic dramapedagogical journal
  • Dramatic art
  • Teatervetenskap


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