The Reception of Greek Drama in Belgium and the Netherlands

1118347757‘The Reception of Greek Drama in Belgium and the Netherlands.’

A Handbook to the Reception of Greek Drama. Ed. Betine Van Zyl Smit. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. 283–303.



The Document as Event: Assessing the Value of Digital Collections for Theatrical Heritage

documentasevent_1‘The Document as Event: Assessing the Value of Digital Collections of Theatrical Heritage.’

Theatrical Heritage: Challenges and Opportunities. Eds. Forment, Bruno; Stalpaert, Christel. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2015. 195–205.



Mass Theatre in Interwar Europe

Mass Theatre in Interwar Europe (book cover)In many European countries mass theatre was a widespread expression of ‘community art’, which became increasingly popular shortly before the First World War. From Max Reinhardt’s lavish open-air spectacles to socialist workers’ Laienspiel (lay theatre), theatre visionaries focused on ever larger groups for entertainment as well as political agitation.

Despite wide research on the Soviet and German cases, examples from the Low Countries have hardly been examined. However, mass plays in Flanders and the Netherlands had a distinctive character, displaying an ideological heterogeneity not seen elsewhere. Mass Theatre in Interwar Europe studies this peculiar phenomenon of the Low Countries in its European context and sheds light on the broader framework of mass movements in the interwar period.

Editors: Thomas Crombez (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp) and Luk Van den Dries (University of Antwerp)

Contributors: Staf Vos (Het Firmament), Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles/Rits), Evelien Jonckheere (Ghent University), Ad van der Logt (Leiden University), Frank Peeters (University of Antwerp)


Ritual and the Avant-garde

avantgardeheritage_000‘Avant-garde Heritage: Three Concepts of Ritualism for the Performing Arts.’

Ritual and the Avant-garde. Eds. T. Crombez and B. Gronau. Special issue of Documenta 28.1 (2010). 8-20


Consult the full issue of Documenta here: crombez-gronau_ritualandtheavantgarde.pdf

The Locus of Tragedy


Edited by Arthur Cools, Thomas Crombez, Rosa Slegers and Johan Taels. Leiden: Brill, 2008. Studies in Contemporary Phenomenology, vol. 1.


Ask for the tragic and Europe will answer.

Leaving behind the philosophers’ enthusiasm of the nineteenth century, ‘tragedy’ and ‘the tragic’ now seem little more than vague containers. However, it appears that we still discover a tragic essence in our personal lives. Time and again tragedy is being registered, written down and staged.

This book wants to open a contemporary philosophical perspective on the tragic. What is the locus of tragedy? Does it relate to metaphysics, the gods, destiny, and chance? Or is it a matter of ethics, of the Law and its transgression? Does man himself occupy the locus of tragedy, because of his unreasonable and boundless desires, as many philosophers have suggested? Is man today still able to account for his tragic condition? Or do we locate the tragic first and foremost in the esthetic imagination? Is not the theatrical genre of tragedy the locus authenticus of all things tragic? Is there more to the tragic than drama and play?

Thomas Crombez, ‘Tragedy, Community Art, and Musikorgiasmus: Examining the language of Nietzsches’s Die Geburt der Tragödie’