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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 22, 2005

Photo: Astrid Oesmann, associate professor of German in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Click here for a high-resolution image.

Oesmann Unmasks Link Between German Politics, Theater At Sept. 29 Lecture

Astrid Oesmann, associate professor of German in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will explore the relationship between the use of masks in theater and politics in Europe at the next International Thursday lecture, "Masks, Politics, and the European Avant-garde," Thursday, Sept. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. at the International Center Lounge. The UI International Programs lecture series is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Oesmann's lecture is based on her research examining how different artistic movements during the first half of the 20th century appropriated the mask for their theatrical experiments at moments of political and social crises. Examples of this include Brecht's theatre, examined in the context of 20th-century philosophy and theatre anthropology; the politics of German film and its relation to the optical unconscious; as well as propaganda and subversion in literature and film, during and after German fascism.

Oesmann specializes in modern theatre and performance studies, literary theory and philosophy of history. She is the author of "Staging History: Brecht's Social Concepts of Ideology."

For more information on this lecture or International Thursdays, contact Amy Green at 319-335-1433 or

The International Thursdays series is sponsored by UI International Programs and the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization and presents discussions with individuals who have had international experiences. The lectures are usually from noon to 1 p.m. every Thursday in the International Center Lounge or other locations on campus throughout the academic year with the exception of holidays and breaks. In spring 2006, the series will return to International Mondays.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Amy Green, 319-335-1433,; Writer: Po Li Loo