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To reassess the complex interconnections between Brecht’s work and various Asian cultures at the beginning of the 21st century, the International Brecht Society (IBS) and the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa invite scholars and artists in theater, performance, and other cultural fields to Honolulu for the 13th IBS Symposium on “Brecht in/and Asia” from May 19-23, 2010.

Brecht was not the only Western modernist to turn to Asian theater and thought for inspiration, but he was an especially astute observer of the cultural encounter with this “other,” which had such a significant impact on his work. Conversely, Brecht’s own theater and thought returned to inspire new forms of political and aesthetic experiments in many parts of Asia. With the dynamic, ongoing echoes of this mutual relationship as point of departure, the symposium will provide a forum to explore its multiple dimensions...

For more information on the symposium and presentation proposals, see the abstracts in English and German.

For a list of publications on the conference topic, see the bibliography on "Brecht and Asia.”

The International Brecht Society

The IBS was founded in 1970 on the model of Bertolt Brecht's own unrealized plans for a "Diderot Society". A non-profit, educational organization with a world-wide membership, the Society promotes the performance and understanding of Brecht's texts and addresses issues of politics and culture in contemporary life. It also encourages and supports local, national, and regional groups with related goals. In Brecht's spirit of collaborative work, the IBS hopes that this Society will function as a clearinghouse, facilitating international contacts and exchange. It is committed to maintaining Brecht as a living force in the theater as well as in the political and cultural arenas, so that he remains - as he wished - an "unsettling presence"...

For more information on the IBS, go to

Important Information for Students

If you would like to participate in the 13th IBS Symposium on "Brecht in/and Asia" and receive credit for it, you can do so. The Outreach College at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa will offer two intensive summer courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels that will be tied in with the symposium. Students are expected to attend keynote speeches, panel discussions, paper presentations, and theatre performances as well as additional lectures specifically scheduled for them and taught by international Brecht scholars. They are also required to write a final paper reflecting on the conference presentations. Instead of conference registration fees (which will be waived), participating students will have to pay tuition for their Outreach courses. Once the Summer 2010 Extension term is activated, the following courses will be available for registration:

THEA 492D (341); CRN 4002; times and locations TBA; tuition: $846.
THEA 705 (341); CRN 4003; times and locations TBA; tuition: $1,116.

Organizing Committee

Eiichiro Hirata (Keio University, Tokyo), Hans-Thies Lehmann (Goethe University, Frankfurt), Marc Silberman (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Markus Wessendorf (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu), and Erdmut Wizisla (Bertolt Brecht Archive, Berlin).

Volunteer Committee

Kathy L. Aldinger, Elisa Diehl, Ronald Gilliam, Bronzen Hahn, Nick Ishimaru, Terri Large Madden, Evelyn Leung, Chris McGahan, Lindsay McGahan, Becky McGarvey, Sara Skinner-Probst, Leanne Trapedo Sims, Sarah Smorol, Kristina Tannenbaum, Futoshi Terashita, Yvette Vandermolen, Devika Wasson, and Yang MIng.


Asian Studies Program (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)
Center for South Asian Studies (UHM)
College of Arts and Humanities (UHM)
Department of English (UHM)
Department of Languages and Literature of Europe and the Americas (UHM)
Department of Political Science (UHM)
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst/German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Hawai'i Council for the Humanities
International Brecht Society
International Cultural Studies Graduate Certificate Program (UHM)
Sidney Stern Memorial Trust
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (UHM)

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