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An Afternoon with Dr. Rüdiger Singer

Dr. Rüdiger Singer (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) visits the University of Calgary


An Afternoon with Dr. Rüdiger Singer 

On September 29, 2017, Dr. Rüdiger Singer (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) visited the University of Calgary to offer a seminar on descriptions of acting in eighteenth-century Europe and to give a lecture on the origins of the German comic.

In his seminar, Rüdiger Singer spoke about the new valorization of stage acting in the eighteenth century, and he discussed writers’ strategies to convey the performances of renowned actors through their vivid descriptions. Singer focused especially on the German polymath Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who travelled to England in the 1770s, where he saw the famous Shakespeare actor David Garrick play Hamlet. Lichtenberg’s descriptions of Garrick’s performances remain an important document in theater history.

In his lecture, Rüdiger Singer focused on the first internationally successful German comic hero, the private detective Nick Knatterton (the original series by Manfred Schmidt was published between 1950 and 1959).

Singer revealed the range of traditions that influenced the Knatterton series (from Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and American adventure novels to political caricature) and that helped Germans to accept the much maligned device of the speech bubble. He also questioned the myth according to which Nick Knatterton was originally conceived merely as a parody of American comics.

Both the seminar and the lecture were attended by students and faculty members from across the different sections of the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures.