Ibsen Between Cultures

About the project

The general aim of the project is to consider the question of how one can account for the extraordinary international success of Ibsen’s plays. Its specific goal is to reach an understanding of Ibsen’s function as a global dramatist, i.e. how an Ibsen play is evaluated, and how the value of the plays are altered, shifted, transferred and appropriated, when localised in new cultural contexts.

Such an understanding can however only be reached through an analysis of local, culturally specific arenas. Without conceiving of culture as national, the project will accordingly focus on contemporary Ibsen productions in China, India and Bangladesh, who all possess well-documented and solid Ibsen-traditions.


The ambition is not to study aesthetic artefacts that are translated from an “original”, but to see the local performance as the original itself. Only from such a vantage point can one clarify the site-specific appropriation of the specific plays. In this sense the project aims at working with relational questions. The relations to be studied are multifaceted. The question whether these relations contribute to a standardisation of aesthetic expression and valuation, or whether they should rather be seen as contributing to new forms of diversity will be central.


The project is being undertaken by an established international group of cooperating scholars, and will combine textual and performance analysis, informed by cultural analysis. Bringing together scholars from the fields of performance analysis, intercultural studies and literature makes the project unique.

Published Apr. 7, 2010 4:55 PM - Last modified Jan. 3, 2019 9:37 AM