Nordic Theatre Studies 1/2011: (Re-)Constructing Theatrical Pasts

In recent years, after having been relegated to a somewhat secondary position after performance analysis and the study of various contemporary forms and cultural practices, historical research has once more come to the fore within theatre studies. Perhaps due to the emerging recognition that aesthetic and cultural analysis as well as innovative theoretical thinking depends on the continued examination and questioning of historical assumptions and categories. The title of this issue - (Re-)Constructing Theatrical Pasts – reflects the impossibility as well as the creative impetus inherent in the attempts of early theatre historians to find out how the past ‘really was’. Striving for an unattainable ideal may be a way of pushing theoretical and methodological borders in historiography; and may even serve as an inspiration for theatre practitioners