(Closet) Drama of the Early Modern Age (1500-1775)

Third party funded individual grant


Project Details

Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Dirk Niefanger

Project members:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Warstat
Alexander Weber

Contributing FAU Organisations:
Department Germanistik und Komparatistik
Lehrstuhl für Neuere deutsche Literatur mit systematischem Schwerpunkt
Lehrstuhl für Theaterwissenschaft

Funding source: DFG-Einzelförderung / Sachbeihilfe (EIN-SBH)
Start date: 01/01/2013
End date: 30/09/2017


Research Fields

Kultur der Frühen Neuzeit
Lehrstuhl für Neuere deutsche Literatur mit systematischem Schwerpunkt
Literarische Gattungen und Textsorten
Lehrstuhl für Neuere deutsche Literatur mit systematischem Schwerpunkt


Abstract (technical / expert description):


The project deals with a constellation of media history in a historical and cultural upheaval: It examines the origins and early development of the closet drama in his relationship with the theater of the early modern period, which, at the same time, is professionalizing itself. Based on a sophisticated concept of 'closet drama' the project critically deals with the current research opinion, whereby in the realm of the drama reigns a primacy of the performance and the dramatic text or playscript plays only a negligible role in this. It will be shown, however, that printed dramatic texts since the Renaissance are to be regarded as an independent media, namely as 'closet dramas' with specific dispositions. Essential to the understanding of early modern drama, therefore appears the performance of its printed form. This 'print-performance' shows a specific historically localized set of aesthetic in a typographically composed theater scene. It is not disputed, that by reading playscripts possible performances are anticipated and that therein lies a central mode of reception of these printed plays. Furthermore it is not called into question, that with such texts theatrical productions can be archived in a certain degree. The project should like to satisfactorily show, that the aesthetics of the printed book, as an work of art -- or if you like the text-ensemble drama -- do not work out in the above stated functions, let alone in the early modern era. Especially the early printed dramas reveal their own dispositives and a variety of specific design patterns with which they present themselves as a separate and special print genre. The media and cultural history project aims to demonstrate, that -- since the beginning of letterpress -- dramatic texts and theatrical performances must be seen as interrelated sister media and that most of the dramas of the early modern period are to be primarily condifered as 'closet dramas', even if they called themselves not in such a way.


Last updated on 2018-13-07 at 09:40