Astrid Oesmann specializes in modern theatre and performance studies, literary theory, and philosophy of history. She is the author of Staging History: Brecht’s Social Concepts of Ideology (SUNY Press, 2005) and has published on theatre and performance as well as on film theory specifically the works of Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer. She is currently at work on a book-length study, Masks, Politics, and the European Avant-garde. This project examines how different artistic movements during the first half of the twentieth century appropriated the mask for their theatrical experiments at moments of political and social crisis. Recently taught courses explored trauma and translation in twentieth century literature and film, Brecht’s theatre in the context of twentieth century philosophy and theatre anthropology, the politics of German film and its relation to the optical unconscious, as well as propaganda and subversion in literature and film during and after German fascism.