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Subproject C10

Rituals without Performance

Religious Studies and Anglistic

Subproject Management

Prof. Dr. Vera Nünning

Anglistisches Seminar
Kettengasse 12
69117 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0) 6221 - 54 28 09
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 - 54 28 77

Prof. Dr. Gregor Ahn

Institute for Religious Studies
Akademiestr. 4-8
69117 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 (0) 6221 - 54 76 21
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 - 54 76 24


Carina Brankovic M.A.
resigned Jan. 31, 2011

Antony Pattathu M.A.

Dr. Jan Rupp

Katharina Wetzel M.A.

Project Program

According to the prevalent assumption in traditional ritual theory, the performative expression is a constituent element of rituals as unit acts. Recent thoughts on ritual theory have opened up the view on rituals that have no real physical performance (e.g. in literature or films). Based on the interdisciplinary cooperation between English Studies and Religious Studies, our suggested tandem project will turn its analytical focus specifically towards rituals without performance, a segment that, until now, has only been touched upon superficially.

An Anglistics dissertation project will explore literary stagings and descriptions of political rituals, which represent the fictional construction and deconstruction of Englishness and Britishness and the corresponding change of collective concepts of national identity in English literature of the 19th and 20th century. Furthermore, two dissertation projects in the field of Religious Studies will trace the multi-nested and fragmented ritual stagings in the works of George Tabori and analyze the cinematic staging of funeral rituals in popular motion pictures. The scenic conceptions of rituals and narratives open up a particular perspective on the theory of performance, which lies in between the viewer’s perception and the filmic depiction.

Our overall aim is to give the Collaborative Research Center SFB 619 new impulses regarding performance theory and to establish a link between modern ritual theory and the latest narratology.

Main Topics

- Narratology
- Reflexivity
- Performance theory