Art & Photography Books:

Staged

Show Trials, Political Theater, and the Aesthetics of Judgment

Format

Hardback

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Staged by Minou Arjomand
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Description

Theater requires artifice, justice demands truth. Are these demands as irreconcilable as the pejorative term "show trials" suggests? After the Second World War, canonical directors and playwrights sought to claim a new public role for theater by restaging the era's great trials as shows. The Nuremberg trials, the Eichmann trial, and the Auschwitz trials were all performed multiple times, first in courts and then in theaters. Does justice require both courtrooms and stages? In Staged, Minou Arjomand draws on a rich archive of postwar German and American rehearsals and performances to reveal how theater can become a place for forms of storytelling and judgment that are inadmissible in a court of law but indispensable for public life. She unveils the affinities between dramatists like Bertolt Brecht, Erwin Piscator, and Peter Weiss and philosophers such as Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin, showing how they responded to the rise of fascism with a new politics of performance. Linking performance with theories of aesthetics, history, and politics, Arjomand argues that it is not subject matter that makes theater political but rather the act of judging a performance in the company of others. Staged weaves together theater history and political philosophy into a powerful and timely case for the importance of theaters as public institutions.

Author Biography

Minou Arjomand is an assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.
Release date Australia
September 11th, 2018
Pages
248
Illustrations
21 b&w illustrations
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
Columbia University Press
ISBN-13
9780231184885
Product ID
28255269

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