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Graham, Martha

(182 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (May 11, 1894, Pittsburgh, PA – Apr 1, 1991, New York), an American dancer and choreographer who is considered one of the pioneers of modern dance. After the completion of her training in Los Angeles, she first appeared in reviews and on vaudeville shows, and founded the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 1927 as well as the Dance Repertory Theatre in New York in 1930. She called for the involvement of the entire body and mind in the dramatic conception. Her more than 200 choreographies dealt with historical themes ( Frontier, 1935; Appalachian Spring, 1944), Gre…

Warren, Robert Penn

(161 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Apr 24, 1905, Guthrie, KY – Sep 15, 1989, Stratton VT), American author, poet, and literary critic. His works, set primarily in the American South, center on interpersonal relationships and power struggles against the background of complex historical process. With the oth…


(233 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] began in the mid-1970s in New York as part of the complex, initially Afro-American and later international hip-hop movement, other expressions of which are DJing, breakdance, and graffiti. Rap (in the double sense of “utter vigorously” and “tap smartly”) is a rhythmic, mostly rhyming speech song with percussion accompaniment. It is thought to have arisen from Caribbean and African narrative traditions ( griot), from narrative Blues (Blues and religion), and from Black Power lyrics. The texts are about everyday social life of urban youth (esp…

Singer, Isaac Bashevis

(175 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] ( Jul 14, 1904, Radzymin, Poland – Jul 24, 1991, Surfside, FL). Raised as the son of a Hasidic rabbi in Poland, Singer chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps but became a writer; in 1935 he emigrated to America. His short stories, novels, and children’s books, set in Polish …

Steinbeck, John

(175 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Feb 27, 1902, Salinas, CA – Dec 20, 1968, New York), American writer and journalist. His realistic novels and short stories, mostly set in California, are characterized by incisive social criticism. His characters are caught between the poles of ethical idealism and materialism ( The Pearl, 1947) and between biological or social determinism and free will ( East of Eden, 1952). He focused repeatedly on the lives of losers – as in Of Mice and Men (1937) and Cannery Row (1944) – and the struggle for economic and social justice, for example in

Folk Piety/Folk Religion

(6,308 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred | Krech, Volkhard | Lowenstein, Steven | Fuchs, Ottmar | Schieder, Rolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Folk/Folk Religion – II. Religious Studies – III. Judaism – …


(445 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] The term festivals (Ger. Festspiele) embraces various cultural works and events. 1. Plays devoted to historical, political, or religious subjects were written and produced for special occasions. This genre, which appeared in the late 15th century, flourished in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. As an essential element of a court or national feast and as a staged self-reflexion, the festival served an apologetic or propagandistic function and was intended to establish or consolidate a group…

Hollywood and Popular Religion

(525 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] Hollywood, situated to the northwest of the city center and first planned as an alcohol-free district in 1887, has been a district of Los Angeles since 1910. Shortly after the first films were screened (1885), the film industry was attracted to the place by its mild, sunny climate, varied scenery and plentiful labor. The filming of The Count of Monte Cristo, which began in Chicago, was completed ¶ in Hollywood in 1908. Numerous studios (20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount, Columbia, Warner Brothers) were established in Hollywood from 1911 onwards, with the work of their famous directors such as David Wark Griffith, Samuel Goldwyn and C.B. DeMille making the place a synonym for the success of the American film and a world-leading industry after World War I. Black and white silent films were shot in Hollywood up to the 1920s. Sound film was introduced from 1926 and color film f…

Eliot, Thomas Stearns

(548 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (T.S.; Nov 26, 1888 St. L…


(3,916 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard | Sundermeier, Theo | Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity – II. Drama and Religion – III. Drama and the Christian Tradition I. Greco-Roman Antiquity 1. Concept The noun δρᾶμα/ dráma, derived from the verb δρᾶν ( drán, “do, act”), seldom means “action, deed” in the general sense. Especially in the tragedies of Aeschylus, the verb and noun form the antithesis of παϑεῖν ( patheín, “suffer”) and πάϑος ( páthos, “suffering”), for example in Aesch. Ag. 533. Predominant is the special meaning “drama, play” (Theater), in which the aspect of staging and stage action stands out (e.g. Arist., Ranae 920). Deriv…

Dickinson, Emily Elizabeth

(164 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Dec 10, 1830, Amherst, MA – May 15, 1886, ibid.) was an American poet who spent the last 30 years of her life in almost total seclusion in the small town where she grew up. She came from a middle-class Puritan home and was educated at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. In reaction to the liberal congregationalism of her environment, she kept her distance from church institutions and even Christiani…