Andrea von Kameke studied German and Drama in London, and German, Theatre and Media Studies, English, and Gender/Queer Studies in Hamburg. Between her BA and MA degrees she worked at the theatre for several years.

From 2006 to 2008 she received a scholarship from the German Research Foundation within the PhD programme ‘The Figure of the Third’ at Konstanz University. Between September 2008 and July 2010 she worked on her dissertation as fellow at the ICI Berlin.

Zwischen Schein und Spiel -
Busby Berkeleys bewegte Bilder (Working Title)

ICI Project 2008-10

In my dissertation I focus on Busby Berkeley’s Hollywood musicals of the early 1930’s. These display a radical aesthetics, especially within the context of Hollywood cinema. Moreover, in these musicals modern discourses on gender and sexuality converge in a condensed form. My inquiry is centrally concerned with the relationship between aesthetic and discursive meaning production as well as the specific ways in which the films stage the tensions between nature/culture, sex/gender/sexuality, economy, and technology.

The various narrative and aesthetic strategies employed in the films are analyzed in a close reading informed by Walter Benjamin’s notion of play and Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky’s Praktiken der Illusion (Berlin 2007). I investigate the tensions between the different theatrical registers of the films on the one hand and between their narrative and discursive planes on the other. In the process I show that what is at stake in Berkeley’s musicals are modern conventions of both perception and of (re)presentation.