Ibsen and Power
The XIVth International Ibsen Conference will be held at The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) at the University of Oxford, England, on 27-30 July 2016. The theme of the conference will be “Ibsen and Power,” since in some basic sense all of Ibsen’s plays can be seen as investigations of power and power relations. On page and stage Ibsen is often seen as interrogating and critiquing the workings of power in terms of gender, class, economy, or politics. Power in Ibsen is, however, not merely negative or something to be resisted. The power of truth, art, and the individual, or the empowerment of women and youth are also obvious “Ibsenian” themes. Power and power relations are also important aspects of the reception and use of Ibsen in different contexts: in reviews and literary history, in the theatre, in political struggle and censorship, in soft diplomacy, nation building, education, and theatre for development, just to mention a few.
Image: William Archer paying a humble visit to Henrik Ibsen. Drawing by Max Beerbohm in Max Beerbohm, The Poets’ Corner, London 1904.