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Szerző/Author: Magdolna Jákfalvi (University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest)
E-mail: jakfalvi.magdolna@abtk.hu
Rövid életrajz/Bio: Magdolna Jákfalvi is a professor of theatre history. She has published several books and articles on the topics of contemporary drama theory, both the Hungarian and the European avantgarde, and the ways in which politics of memory interact with theatre. She is the co-founder of Theatron), the Philther-hub (www.theatron.hu/ph) and the Kálmán-project. In the last decade, her research is focused on the state socialist practice of Hungarian theatre after WW2, on the sovietised reception history of performances, on the transformation of the Viennese operetta into nationalised one.
How to cite:
Theatron, Vol. 16. No. 4. (2022): 3–15.
Cím/Title (ENG): Changes. The Rise of Theatre Studies as an Academic Discipline in Hungary

During the course of the 21th century, there appeared trends and schools that characterised European theatrical practice as a whole, and yet the functioning of the academic discipline would traverse different paths in small-language cultures, especially those that fell under Soviet power, than the rest of the continent did. We associate the emergence of theatre studies as an academic discipline with the emerging concept of performativity, as seen in Erika Fischer-Lichte’s impactful paper. “However, the discovery of the performative dates back to the beginning of this century. It resulted, among other things, in the birth of a new academic discipline – theatre studies.” (Erika Fischer-Lichte, „From Text to Performance: The Rise of Theatre Studies as an Academic Discipline in Germany”, Theatre Research International 24, No. 2. [1999]: 168–178, 168.) From the vantage point of the hundred-year-long history of German theatre studies, this statement is undeniably inspiring, since on the one hand, it allows us to glimpse the shared characteristics of performance culture at the beginning of the century, from Craig through Appia to Stanislavski, and on the other, it lets us note that decades later, the language theory research beginning with Austen derives inspiration from a completely different experiential platform when it comes to the performative character of language (and not that of bodily processes.) However, in small-language cultures we perceive a different academic practice, therefore in this paper we follow the structure of scholarship born of the discovery, experience and naming of performativity, until the solidification of Sovietised academic practices in the 1960s.

Keywords: Hungarian Theatre Studies, academic disciplines, small language culture, sovietised academic practices