"The Noomechanics of Theater: Brecht and Tret'iakov" - A Talk with Devin Fore (Princeton University), moderated by Stefan Andriopoulos (Department of Germanic Languages, Columbia University).
About the event:
In addition to the famous biomechanical theater of the avant-garde, there was a second path that opened after the collapse of naturalistic drama: a noomechanical theater of collective thinking. This talk reconstructs the communicative architectures that the playwrights Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Tret’iakov developed in the 1920s to organize the thought of their performers and to induce acts of mass cognition. Informed by contemporaneous research in the fields of reflexology and sociology, their work sought to discover the laws that structure processes of group learning. These experiments, which looked back to the theories of the Soviet organizational scientists in Proletkul’t, also looked forward to the cybernetic theater of the postwar period.
About the Speaker:
Devin Fore is Professor of German and Affiliate Faculty in the departments of Slavic Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. His first book Realism after Modernism (MIT) won the Modern Language Association’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for German Studies in 2012 and his second book All the Graphs is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. He also serves as an editor of the journals New German Critique and October.