Class matters: reattriculating class and Classism with and against Brecht

  • Hanse, J. (presentatör)
  • Michael Wehren (presentatör)
  • Veronika Darian (presentatör)

Aktivitet: Föredrag eller presentationPresentation


While "the political" has been a topic of constant debate in the context of Brecht and
among Brecht-scholars since the mid-nineties, discussions of class and classism have
largely been ignored or marginalized. From a cultural and historical point of view this
strange "forgetting" of class can be associated with the post-1989 political developments
and the crisis of orthodox Marxist categories, which accompanied them. Yet, in the
context of recent intersectional debates about "gender" and "race" we can observe a
critical re-entry, re-evaluation and re-articulation of the concepts of "class" and as an
associated concept "classism". These newer, intersectionally inspired debates focus not
only on questions of representation and (in-)visibility of class, they also discuss class related forms of learning and communication and corporal or behavioural practices of
class subjectivation. Last but not least they ask how contemporary and historical
institutions (including theatre and university) reproduce class and normalize class hierarchies.
While class and classism have been critical aspects of discussion in the context of
antiracism and radical feminism, writers and activists like bell hook have stated that:
"Racism and sexism can be exploited in the interests of class power. Yet no one wants to
talk about class." (Where we stand: Class Matters) The latter observation is certainly
correct concerning Brecht and his works. The panel we propose takes its impulse from
this statement and the newer debates of class and classism. It focusses on a closer look
at questions regarding the aesthetics and politics of theatre and writing, gender and age
as well as acting and activism – while not trying to reduce everything to a question of
class or classism but re-inscribing their political potentials into the discussions about
Brecht and the political. This way the panel aims at a critical discourse not only about
Brecht’s "legacy" but also about how we deal and engage with it today. It features three
contributors who will speak about and discuss "Positions of trust. Drafting
gender/class" (Veronika Darian), "An enemy of the working class" (John Hanse) and
"The institution of collective and class: Rereading Brechts learning plays" (Michael
Period2019 nov. 10
EvenemangstitelBERTOLT BRECHT:
CONTRADICTIONS AS A METHOD: An international symposium presented by DAMU and The S Word. Legacy and the live tradition: acting, directing, thinking...
Typ av evenemangKonferens
PlatsPrag, TjeckienVisa på karta


  • Brecht
  • Klass