ERIC Number: EJ1119712
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Teaching Resistance to Narrative: Brecht's Theater Praxis as a Response to Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck's "Das Leben der Anderen"
Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, v49 n2 p161-171 Fall 2016
This article explores the potential of Brecht's theater praxis for teaching millennial students to question dramatic narratives and rethink their own spectatorial positions, especially in regards to mainstream cinema that emphasizes character identification and plot. The article reflects on a five-day teaching unit on Brecht's theater in a senior level German course that began and ended with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's [von Donnersmarck, F. H., 2006] "Das Leben der Anderen", a film that appropriates Brecht within an aesthetics Einfühlung. The first section makes the unusual case for organizing a unit on Brecht's theater praxis around "Das Leben der Anderen" describes how the aesthetic program presented in the film offers an ideal foil for Brecht's theater. The second segment describes how the class applied Brecht's theories and theater strategies to the film by reducing the plot to a six-scene fable, constructing tableaux that summarized each scene, and inserting V-Effekte with critical commentaries on the film. In closing, I discuss the results of students' writing assignments and in-class theater work as well as their feedback on the unit, and I make an argument for teaching theater as a hypermedium that can encourage students to explore different modes of thinking and interrogate the ways in which their own media consumption has trained them to perceive.
Descriptors: German, Second Language Instruction, Praxis, Aesthetics, Films, Theories, Writing Assignments, Feedback (Response), Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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