Rereading Aristotle, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Demetrius through the lens of contemporary narratology provides scholarship with a potentially fruitful perspective for investigating the relationship between historical narrative and other forms of literature. In particular, the reflections of Dionysius and Demetrius on narrative style at the micro-level, as well as those of Aristotle on history and tragedy as ways of representing knowledge at the macro-level, might enable historians and comparatists to focus on the question of how pan-European historical narratives are related to the drama of their times.

Accordingly, the topic of this conference are the forms, motifs, and strategies employed in pan-European historical and mythological plots (such as the Lucretia legend, the Trojan war, and the Griselda tale) in Early Modern historical drama from Giangiacomo Trissino to Jean Racine, and from Joost van den Vondel to Alexander Sumarokov. The rise of a pan-European intellectual and literary space—the respublica litteraria—enabled and promoted an intensive interaction between various spheres of artistic productivity, rendering particularly stimulating a comparative investigation of the use of the abovementioned motifs in various spheres of the intellectual and artistic cultures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Special attention will be paid to drama, since it clarifies the relationship between the universality of literary and historical narratives and the formation of national conventions, with their different forms and languages. In this way, attention may be paid both to those works of art that are considered peripheral (according to the established history of European literature) and to hitherto unnoticed or marginalized figures of European theatre. Of particular import in this respect are the strategies of reception of literary genres and stylistic canons, the epistemological principles of historiography (such as discussions about certitudo historica, historical Pyrrhonism, the aporia of history as ‘science about contingency’), as well as the general philosophical and political foundations of the historiography of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in European drama.


Wednesday, October 26

14:00-14:30 Registration
14.30-14.45 Welcome and Opening Remarks

14.45-16.30 Panel I: Historiography and Drama
14.45-15.20 Joachim Küpper, “Literature and Historiography in Aristotle”
15.20-15.55 Gaia Gubbini, “King Arthur: History or Fiction? Investigations in French
Medieval Literature”
15.55-16.30 Pavel Sokolov and Julia Ivanova, “The Tacitist Background of Pieter
Corneliszoon Hooft’s Drama”
16.30-16.50 Coffee break

16.50-18.00 Panel II: The Stages of Power
16.50-17.25 Ekaterina Boltounova, “Historical Writings of Catherine II:
Dynasty, Family and Self-fashioning”
17.25-18.00 Tatiana Korneeva, “The Politics of the Public in Vittorio Alfieri’s Theatre”

Thursday, October 27

10.15-12.10 Panel III: Theoretical Perspectives on History and Drama*
10.15-10.50 DS Mayfield, “The Economy of Rhetorical Ventriloquism”
10.50-11.25 Gautam Chakrabarti, “The Cultural Dynamics of Difference: Towards a Histoire Croisée of Asian Literary Theory”
11.25-12.00 Elena Penskaya, “Farce comedies by Henry Fielding (The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, the Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great)
and Ludwig Tieck (Puss in Boots, etc.) as a historical travesty”

13.45-15.55 Panel IV: Mapping Dramatic Histories
13.45-14.20 Natalia Sarana, “The Drama of ‘Bildung’: Approaches to the Study of A. Ostrovsky’s Plays”
14.20-15.55 Olga Kouptsova, “Ostrovsky’s Experience of the Creation of the European Theatrical Canon and Russian Stage Practice:
Personal Preferences and General Trends”
15.55-16.15 Afternoon tea

16.15-18.00 Panel V: Staging History
16.15-16.50 Gasan Guseinov, “The Alternative Historical Discourse in Mid-twentieth-century South Russian Samizdat Drama”
16.50-17.25 Galina Zykova, “Modern British Adaptations of Classical Russian Drama”
17.25-18.00 Janina Janke and Toni Bernhart, “The Marienberg ‘Griseldis’ from 1713, Staged in 2016”

18.00-18.10 Coffee break
18.00-18.30 Closing Roundtable Discussion and Q&A

Beitrag von: Tatiana Korneeva

Redaktion: Christof Schöch