The Essay in Times of Crisis


  • Jasper Delbecke Ghent University



essay, essay film, essay theatre, documentary theatre


This contribution to Performance Philosophy 4.1 ‘Crisis/Krisis’ explores the breeding ground of the genre of the essay: a state of crisis and transition. This text was conceived and written in line with the editors’ open call for this thematic issue and its search to reassess and revaluate the notion of krisis. In the contribution, I will foreground the essay’s qualities and critical potential—which also can be detected in contemporary performing arts—to revaluate the notion of krisis. By exploring Montaigne, Adorno, and Lukács, I will try to claim that the nature and purpose of the essay offers a welcome counterweight to our swift and superficial way of judging dictated by mainstream media.

Author Biography

Jasper Delbecke, Ghent University

Jasper Delbecke studied theatre and performance studies at Ghent University and Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2015 he is an affiliated researcher at S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media) at the Faculty of Arts & Philosophy of Ghent University (Belgium). Besides his academic praxis, Delbecke works as a freelance dramaturg in Belgium and the Netherlands.


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How to Cite

Delbecke, Jasper. 2018. “The Essay in Times of Crisis”. Performance Philosophy 4 (1):106-22.