The Bayreuth Festival is an event with global reach. In recognition of composer Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) bicentennial in 2013, the University of Bayreuth (Germany) is organizing a multi-year series of events to take place around the world under the heading WagnerWorldWide 2013. The basic question is: how does Wagner’s work relate to contemporary global issues?
w.ww2013: will examine Wagner’s work, ideology, and life within a multi-disciplinary frame that encompasses social, historical, political and philosophical aspects of culture, drama, and music, spanning the 19th to the 21st centuries. The project will focus on five core issues:
Selected universities and institutions from around the world will participate by hosting events that will culminate in a 2013 conference in Bayreuth. These events will vary in size and scope, from individual lectures and seminars, to fully fledged conferences. The University of Bayreuth will start the initiative in the winter semester 2011/2012 with a lecture series titled “WagnerWorldWide:Bayreuth” co-organized by Thomas Betzwieser and Anno Mungen. In January 2013, the University of South Carolina, USA will host an academic conference “WagnerWorldWide:America,” co-organized by Nicholas Vazsonyi and Julie Hubbert. The University of Bern, Switzerland, will host the event “WagnerWorldWide:Europe” organized by Arne Stollberg. Negotiations with further potential partners are underway, with the intention that another event titled “WagnerWorldWide:Asia” will also take place.
The events will encourage a broad range of participants, from established senior Wagner scholars to advanced PhD students. The objective is to stimulate a general academic discussion while also seeking to attract a broader non-academic audience of Wagner- and opera enthusiasts. Events will be broadcast either by live-stream, or uploaded as podcasts. The languages of this undertaking are English and German. Talks in German will be made available in English translation.
The final event will be a conference for all contributing partners to be held in Bayreuth during the summer of 2013, to coincide with the launch of a new staging of Wagner’s opera cycle, The Ring of the Nibelungen. The topic of that conference could be “WagnerWorldWide:The Ring Cycle 2013”. The proceedings of the events and the Bayreuth conference will be published as a book referring to the five topics.
Other projects within the framework of w.ww2013: are planned and are made possible. The Thurnau Award for Music Theater Studies 2011 for example will be given to a young scholar contributing with an essay to one of the five topics. The first number of the online journal “Act” in 2012 will be devoted to the five topics as well.
www2013: is a project of the University of Bayreuth to mark the 2013 Wagner bicentennial, and is supported by the following networking partners: Richard Wagner Festival Bayreuth, the City of Bayreuth, and the International Association of the Wagner Societies.
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