Rosemarie Brucher

Duration of fellowship
01. March 2018 bis 30. June 2018

Rosemarie Brucher


Automatism – Suggestion – Hypnosis: Transfer processes between acting theories and “psycho-sciences” in the 1900s


From the 1880s onwards, methods involving hypnosis, suggestion, somnambulism and trances (in short, the “unconscious intelligence” as defined by Dessoir) became ever more important subjects of psycho-scientific study. These studies investigated changed states of consciousness in order to gain insight into the “hidden spheres” of the ego. The multiplicities of egos or, as Hermann Bahr put it, “the great riddle of human transformation” are also central themes in acting theory. Based on this, the thesis of this project is that the ability of actors in the 1900s to transform themselves took place as part of a discursive exchange with the psycho-scientific theories on the unconscious. The result was a change in identity theory in relation to the episteme of how to think about acting. This thinking is transferred to aspects of consciousness and the split of consciousness, which in turn led to a change in the concepts and aesthetic processes of acting theory.


Rosemarie Brucher studied Theatre, Film and Media Studies, German Studies and Comparative Literature at the Universities of Vienna and Leipzig. She received a doc-award from the University of Vienna for her doctoral thesis, which dealt with artistic self-harm as characterized by Kant’s aesthetic of the sublime and was published in 2012 (transcript 2013). She then worked as a research fellow and as a junior assistant professor at the University of Vienna and the UdK Berlin and has since 2013 been a research fellow for Theatre Studies at the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Arts Graz. She also manages the center in a representative capacity. She was a Max Kade Research Fellow from 2014 to 2016 and afterwards a Visiting Assistant Professor at the German Department of NYU. Her areas of focus are performance art, Vienna Actionism, subject and difference theory, gender studies and the interaction of art, philosophy and psycho-sciences in the 1900s.


Publikationen (u. a.): „Mimesis und Identitätskritik: Schauspiel und die „Vielheit des Ich“ bei Platon, Diderot und Lacoue-Labarthe“, in: Forum Modernes Theater ( im Druck); „Das Narrativ der dissoziativen Identitätsstörung im Kontext ökonomischer Imperative“, in: Leviathan. Berliner Zeitschrift für Sozialwissenschaft (2014), H. 2, S. 191 – 217; Subjektermächtigung und Naturunterwerfung. Künstlerische Selbstverletzung im Zeichen von Kants Ästhetik des Erhabenen, Bielefeld 2013.

  • Lecture
Rosemarie Brucher

Coquelin beschreibt den/die Schauspieler_in 1894 als doppelte Persönlichkeit, Archer entwickelt 1888 eine Theorie des „automatic acting, wonach Schauspiel über weite Teile unbewusst passiert, und Martersteig fordert 1900 einen Schauspielstil, der Hypnose und Suggestion berücksichtigt. Rosemarie Brucher geht diesen Einschreibungen des Dissoziativen auf den Grund.