Hidden dramas: cartographic revelations in the world of theatre studies

Jonathan Bollen, Julie Holledge

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Et dukkehjem (A Doll's House) by Henrik Ibsen is one of the most performed modern dramas in the world. Using cartographic and network visualisations, this article divulges a hitherto obscured Nordic history of this play: first, as a product of the cultural and aesthetic blending in the late nineteenth century; then as an icon of nation building in the postwar years; and finally, as a global icon for the Norwegian nation state. While charting this affair between Norway and one of its national cultural treasures, this article also exposes the transmission of an aesthetic heritage. Network visualisations of the Nordic productions of Et dukkehjem reveal an unbroken connection between productions of the play from 1879 to 1991. Oral transmission of production knowledge concerning canonical texts is commonplace in most national theatres, but this is the first study to document the phenomenon within the interpretative history of a single play. By applying time-geography to the production history of a ubiquitous dramatic text, 'Hidden Dramas' demonstrates the value of cartographic investigations to the field of theatre historiography.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)226-236
    Number of pages11
    JournalCartographic Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


    • Aesthetic transmission
    • Cartography
    • Henrik ibsen
    • Modern drama
    • Theatre production


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