European Association for the study of theatre and performance

Author: ArchibaldFergusson

Christian Biet

Dear colleagues and friends, It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our colleague and friend Christian Biet, who passed away on 13 July 2020. An eminent…

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our colleague and friend Christian Biet, who passed away on 13 July 2020. An eminent researcher, his publications and his teaching never ceased to nourish the world of theatre. Christian Biet was loved. He was a generous and militant colleague who fought against all forms of discrimination and pettiness, and who was passionately invested in everything he undertook: conferences, journals, books and articles. He leaves us mourning, and orphaned. His intellectual breadth spanned from the seventeenth century to today, bringing texts into dialogue with each other, unearthing archives, opening new pathways. Today, the French theatre world is in mourning. It has lost a great man. Below, you will find the message written by his friends and colleagues at the Université de Paris Ouest.

With my best wishes,

Josette Féral,
EASTAP President.

See the portrait of Christian Biet in Le Monde

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

Some words fly away as we try to set them down. Language resists the attempt to say something that our understanding refuses to accept.

Late on Friday afternoon Christian Biet was riding his bike down a country lane, no helmet, no ID, and no care in the world, at ease in the landscape he’d known since childhood. A passing motorist describes him as wobbling unsteadily, perhaps as the result of a medical problem, perhaps not. We don’t know. An enquiry is underway. As he fell, the back of his head forcibly struck the ground: loss of consciousness, cranial fracture. An ambulance rushed him to hospital where he was placed in resuscitation and an artificially induced coma, still, at this point, unidentified. His partner, Sophie Houdard, had been looking everywhere for him before finally arriving at his side. Following his full recovery from a heart attack some years ago, Christian was taking anticoagulant medication. Doctors had to wait until the effects of this medication diminished before they could attempt an operation to contain and repair the cerebral haemorrhage. On Sunday, a scan revealed that the haematoma had already caused serious and irreparable damage. The outcome was no longer in doubt. Sophie was at his bedside and Christian’s children, David and Flore, joined her there.

We are devastated and struggling to believe this news. The more so since Christian both embodied such force of life and thought and shared them so generously. He was preparing to take his official retirement in just a few days, after having given so much to the Paris Ouest University and achieving so much in the field of theatre studies. Forever in the heat of the action, he was teeming with plans for holidays and for work, hiking and travel, books and articles, meetings and new discoveries. The tireless spirit of enquiry that led him, in spite of his specialism in the seventeenth century and in particular Corneille (Moi, Pierre Corneille, Gallimard, 2005), to interview the choreographer Bintou Dembélé about her hip-hop production of Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at the Paris Opéra for the lead article in this month’s Théâtre/Public, that same spirit drove him on to countless collaborative projects, such as the international resource, the Complete Comédie-Française Register, which would never have seen the light of day without his inexhaustible energy.

For the Department of Theatre Studies (which he often led), for the History of Arts and Performance research unit (which he co-directed with Ségolène Le Men and where he ran the theatre team until last month), for the consultative disciplinary committee of section 18 of the CNU of which he was long-serving president, for the Doctoral School of Letters, Language and Theatre (whose board he frequently served on), and for Paris Ouest University as a whole (where his contributions to the advisory board never went unremarked), this is neither the time nor the place for any of us to attempt to sum up the scale of his contributions.

It’s far too soon, as well, to attempt any kind of exhaustive list of his works: no fewer than 125 entries on the database of the Bibliothèque Nationale (data.bnf.fr). From the works published under his name, those he edited or co-edited, periodicals he curated, the lectures and classes abroad (for many years he has begun each autumn with a visiting professorship at NYU), the collections of texts with notes, the endless scroll of articles, the collection he edited for Garnier Classics; from all of this, let us linger for a moment over just one title. To the deceptively simple question, Qu’est-ce que le théâtre ? Christian Biet, together with our colleague Christophe Triau, gave his answer in a book of over a thousand pages (Folio Essais, 2006, translated into Japanese and English, currently being translated into Brazilian Portuguese) as profound in its learning and as sparkling in its wit as it is accessible, both in style and in price, so much so that both students and theatre-lovers consult it like Holy Writ.

The thread that runs through this opus, as indeed it through the entirety of his work –  whether it be the study of the relationship between seventeenth-century theatre and theatre of all subsequent epochs, to the law, the justice system, money or war; whether it be a work such as Tragédies et récits de martyre (Classiques Garnier, 2009), or whether it be organising the collection, translation and publication of the writings of Richard Schechner, a theorist and practitioner of performance studies (Performance, Expérimentation et théorie du théâtre aux USA, Théâtrales, 2008) – is the conviction, born of experience and confirmed by archival research, that theatre cannot be reduced to a text or even to the features of a particular mise-en-scène, but consists, in fact, of the entire performative event, linking and binding together both performers and the audience in the theatre (or at the fairground).

This year, Covid-19, which he contracted early on in an atypical but not asymptomatic form, tripped him up and slowed him down a little but could not stop him. His experimental seminar on the digital humanities for the Masters degree at EUR ArTec, thrilled the students, gripped by the ease with he which he moved between the past and the present. On the evening of 4 July, his former doctoral students (around fifty of them, many already with outstanding careers and some still involved in research) held a party to celebrate their supervisor, from whom they had received as much rigour as they had freedom and who had ceaselessly offered them his advice and supported them in their work, sometimes for many years after their formal relationship had ended. As recently as 8f July he sat (albeit remotely) on the examining board for one of them.

None of this goes to restore to us the charm of our friend and comrade, his warmth and loquacity. The list of his qualities is long: wholly rounded character, tenacious willpower, fighting spirit, devastating wit. Some may whisper that he could be a little harsh in defending a cause in which he believed, and a university he loved – that is Sophie’s word, and it’s surely not too strong – in spite of its flaws. This is why he was so energetically involved in resistance to certain recent proposed educational reforms, considering that they sought to reduce the freedom of these places of knowledge and freedom of thought to which he was so devoted.

A mandarin? Perhaps, but a miraculous mandarin. And the emotion that we feel deserves a Béla Bartók to express it.

A ceremony will take place in Paris once the formalities are concluded. Details will follow.

Our thoughts go out to his partner Sophie, to his daughter Flore, and to his son David, as well as to their mother at this awful time.

Affection and solidarity to his friends everywhere, to his colleagues on five continents, from New York to Shanghai and from Sao Paulo to Tokyo, to his doctoral students past and present, and to his eternal students, which many of us will remain forever.

Emmanuel Wallon
Professeur de sociologie politique
Université Paris Nanterre

Co-directeur du Département des arts du spectacle


Chers membres et amis,

Nous avons l’immense tristesse d’annoncer le décès de Christian Biet, collègue et ami, survenu le dimanche 12 juillet en fin de journée. Sommité dans le monde du théâtre , ses recherches, ses publications, son enseignement n’ont cessé d’irriguer  le mileiu théätral. Christian Biet était aimé.

C’était un collègue généreux et combatif qui luttait contre toutes les discriminations et petitesses, qui s’impliquait férocement dans tout ce qu’il entreprenait: conférences, colloques, revues, livres, artitcles.  Il nous laisse dans le deuil  et orphelins d’une pensée qui n’a eu de cesse de traverser les siècles du XVIIème à aujourd’hui, faire dialoguer les textes, explorer les archives, ouvrir les nouvelles voies. Aujourd’hui le monde théâtral français est en deuil. Il a perdu un grand homme.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous le message de ses amis et collègues  de l’Université de Nanterre.

Bien cordialement,

Josette Féral,
EASTAP, Presidente

Voir le portrait de Christian Biet dans Le Monde

Chères et chers collègues et ami-e-s,

Certains mots s’enfuient quand on veut les coucher. La langue résiste à la tentative de dire ce que l’entendement refuse d’admettre.

Christian Biet est mort hier à l’hôpital de Poitiers. Dimanche soir l’état de mort cérébrale avait été constaté : formule la plus contraire à l’idée que nous gardons de lui.

En fin de journée vendredi, il circulait à vélo sur une route de campagne, sans casque, sans papiers, sans souci dans ce pays familier depuis son enfance. Un automobiliste à l’approche dit l’avoir vu vaciller, peut-être sous l’effet d’un malaise ou pour toute autre raison, on n’en sait rien, une enquête est en cours. Dans la chute, l’arrière de sa tête a violemment heurté le sol: perte de connaissance, traumatisme crânien. Le Service médical d’urgence l’a conduit à l’hôpital où il a été placé en réanimation, en coma artificiel, sans qu’il soit encore possible de l’identifier. Sophie Houdard, sa compagne, l’a longuement cherché avant de pouvoir se rendre auprès de lui. Suite à un accident cardiaque dont il s’était complètement remis il y a quelques années, Christian prenait un traitement anticoagulant. Il fallait attendre que ses effets diminuent avant de tenter une intervention pour stopper et résorber l’hémorragie. Dimanche, une sonde a tout de même été posée, révélant que l’hématome avait déjà produit des lésions graves et irréversibles. L’issue ne faisait plus de doute. Sophie était à ses côtés et les enfants de Christian, David et Flore, l’avaient rejointe.

Cette nouvelle nous trouve incrédules, abasourdis car Christian a toujours montré et généreusement dispensé force de vie et de pensée. Il s’apprêtait à prendre officiellement sa retraite dans quelques jours, après avoir tant donné à l’université, tant accompli pour les études théâtrales. Comme toujours sur la brèche, il fourmillait de projets de vacances et de travaux, de randonnées et de voyages, de livres et d’articles, de rencontres et de découvertes. L’ubiquiste curiosité qui lui faisait questionner la chorégraphe Bintou Dembélé sur son adaptation des Indes galantes de Rameau avec des danseurs hip-hop sur la scène de l’Opéra de Paris, en ouverture du numéro de Théâtre/Public paru au début de ce mois – une revue de référence dont il a permis la renaissance grâce au soutien de notre université – ce grand dix-septièmiste, spécialiste de Corneille (Moi, Pierre Corneille, Gallimard, 2005 ), n’avait pas fini de l’insuffler à de multiples aventures collectives, tel le programme international des Registres de la Comédie-Française qui n’aurait pas vu le jour sans son inlassable énergie.

Ce n’est ni le moment, ni le lieu pour le Département des arts du spectacle (qu’il a plusieurs fois dirigé), pour l’unité de recherche en « Histoire des arts et des représentations » (qu’il a codirigée avec Ségolène Le Men et dont il a animé l’équipe théâtre jusqu’au mois dernier), pour le comité consultatif de discipline de la 18e section du CNU qu’il a longtemps présidé, pour l’école doctorale Lettres, langues spectacles (au conseil de laquelle il a plusieurs fois siégé), et pour l’Université Paris Nanterre dans son ensemble (où sa contribution à la commission scientifique ne passait jamais inaperçue) de faire le compte de tout ce qu’il leur a apporté. Crise sanitaire ou pas, nous ferons en sorte à la rentrée de trouver un amphithéâtre assez spacieux, un théâtre assez ouvert pour accueillir celles et ceux qui voudront en témoigner et lui rendre hommage. Ça fera du monde.

Il est trop tôt aussi pour dresser l’inventaire de son œuvre, considérable: pas moins de 125 ressources sur data.bnf.fr. Parmi les ouvrages publiés sous son nom, dirigés ou codirigés, les dossiers de revue coordonnés, les conférences et cours à l’étranger – depuis longtemps il entamait l’automne par un séjour à New York University –, les recueils de textes commentés, les actes de colloque, l’interminable nomenclature des articles, la collection dirigée aux classiques Garnier, on s’arrêtera ici sur un seul titre. À la question faussement naïve Qu’est-ce que le théâtre ?, Christian Biet a répondu en compagnie de notre collègue Christophe Triau dans un volume de plus de mille pages (Folio Essais, 2006, traduit en japonais, en cours de traduction en portugais du Brésil), aussi dense en science et pétillant d’esprit qu’abordable par le style et par le prix, que les étudiants et les amoureux de la scène n’ont pas fini de consulter comme une bible profane.

Le fil conducteur de cet opus, le motif qui court dans tout son travail, qu’il s’agisse d’étudier les rapports du théâtre du grand siècle et des suivants à la loi, à la justice, à l’argent, à la guerre, de collecter les Tragédies et récits de martyre (France, fin XVIe-début XVIIe siècle avec Marie-Madeleine Fragonard, Classiques Garnier, 2009) ou bien de rassembler, faire traduire et présenter les écrits de Richard Schechner, praticien et théoricien de la performance (Performance, Expérimentation et théorie du théâtre aux USA, Théâtrales, 2008), c’est la conviction éprouvée par l’expérience et vérifiée par les archives que le théâtre ne se réduit jamais à un texte ni même aux formes d’une mise en scène, mais qu’il est d’abord l’événement de la représentation, de la séance comme il a pris habitude de le dire, dont chaque occurrence, appréhendée dans son époque, son contexte et son moment singulier, implique autant celles et ceux qui jouent ou performent – l’écriture inclusive n’était pas son truc, mais un anglicisme bien apprivoisé ne le rebutait pas -– que leurs spectateurs dans la salle (ou sur le champ de foire).

Cette année, la COVID-19, tôt contractée sous une forme atypique mais pas asymptomatique, l’avait éreinté, freiné certes, mais pas arrêté. Le séminaire expérimental en Humanités numériques qu’il animait pour le master de l’EUR ArTec a passionné les étudiants, aimantés par son aisance à traiter du passé au présent. Ses anciens doctorants (près d’une cinquantaine !), dont beaucoup font déjà de belles carrières et dont quelques uns sont encore en cours de recherche, ont fêté au soir du 4 juillet ce directeur qui leur a procuré autant de rigueur que de liberté et n’a cessé de prodiguer ses conseils pour valoriser leurs travaux, bien des années après la soutenance, parfois. Il siégea encore – fût-ce à distance – au jury de l’une d’entre elles ce 8 juillet. Le lendemain même, attentif au devenir d’une université dont il défendait les mérites avec ce mélange de fougue et de bonhommie qui n’appartient qu’à lui, il s’est réjoui de la validation longuement attendue et débattue des maquettes de nos formations. Il avait tenu à suivre pas à pas l’élaboration, tout en sachant qu’il reviendrait à d’autres de les mettre en œuvre à la prochaine rentrée.

Tout cela ne restitue pas le charme de l’ami, du camarade, sa chaleur et sa faconde. Les épithètes défileront: caractère entier, volonté tenace, tempérament batailleur, humour ravageur. D’aucuns murmureront qu’il pouvait avoir la dent dure dans la défense d’une cause à laquelle il tenait, d’une université qu’il aimait – le mot est de Sophie: il n’est pas trop fort – par delà ses défauts. Ainsi s’était-il résolument engagé dans les mouvements contre les lois Pécresse et Fioraso, et cette année contre la loi de programmation pluriannuelle de la recherche (LPPR), parce qu’il y décelait le vœu de mise sous tutelle de ces espaces de savoir et de critique auxquels tout l’attachait.

Mandarin ? Mais alors mandarin merveilleux. Béla Bartók ne sera pas de trop pour traduire notre émotion.

La cérémonie aura lieu à Paris une fois l’autorisation donnée. Nous vous en informerons.

À Sophie sa compagne, à sa fille Flore et son fils David, ainsi qu’à leur mère vont toutes nos pensées en ce temps de déchirement.

À ses amis de partout, à ses collègues des cinq continents, de New York à Shanghai et de Sao Paulo à Tokyo, à ses doctorants d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, à ses éternels étudiants que plusieurs d’entre nous resteront, affection et solidarité.

Pour les enseignant-e-s en Arts du spectacle,

Emmanuel Wallon
Professeur de sociologie politique
Université Paris Nanterre

Co-directeur du Département des arts du spectacle



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Language and Performance: Moving across Discourses and Practices in a Globalised World

 Call for papers European Journal of Theatre and Performance CALL FOR PROPOSALS (proposal deadline: 20 July 2020) Download in PDF Language and Performance: Moving across Discourses and Practices in a…

 Call for papers

European Journal of Theatre and Performance


(proposal deadline: 20 July 2020)

Download in PDF

Language and Performance: Moving across Discourses and Practices in a Globalised World

Guest Editors: Małgorzata Sugiera, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, and Timmy De Laet

Within a globalised world, language can act both as a barrier and facilitator for the circulation and visibility of peoplehoods, practices, knowledges, or traditions. The twentieth and twenty-first century have witnessed an arguably unprecedented diversification of local cultures due to the rapid development of digital technologies and online networks, the expansion of transnational migrations, and the commercialisation of relatively affordable travel. Paradoxically, however, the increased exposure to foreign influences has coincided with a peculiar kind of ‘cultural homogenisation’ (Appadurai 1996) that, at best, recognises indigenous hybridity while striving to promote internal cohesion between diverse populations and which, at worse, flips into nationalist leanings that aim to reinforce borders and protect ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson 1983). In these complex societal and political realities, language either serves to enhance communication between people or it is used as leverage to implement exclusionary ideologies.

It is against this backdrop of a deeply diversified and often divided global stage that this issue of the European Journal of Theatre and Performance wants to reconsider the fairly strenuous debate on the relationship between language and performance, which has surfaced repeatedly yet in various guises in the field of the performing arts. The editors more specifically invite contributions that critically inquire into how language either enables or impedes the creation and development of performance works, the dissemination of scholarly research, or the reconciliation of local traditions with international tendencies in both the arts and academia. The overarching aim of the issue is to shed new light on the intricate connections between language and performance by focusing on the various ways in which performance always operates on the microlevel of concrete practices as well as in dialogue with the macrolevel of larger socio-political and cultural contexts.

Prospective authors are welcome to submit proposals that explore the interplay of language and performance along one (or a combination of) the following four axes:

  1. Aesthetic

Language is vital to many aspects of the performing arts, ranging from creation, production, and performing to spectating, reception, and scholarship. Even in a postdramatic era allegedly marked by the demise of the text’s primacy in theatre, neither writing nor language have disappeared altogether from theatrical practices (Borowski and Sugiera 2010; Boyle et al. 2019). Likewise, whereas dance conventionally foregrounds the moving body as its primary medium, leading to what Rudi Laermans describes as a ‘body humanism’ (2008), both written and spoken words are essential and widely used means for creating and transmitting choreography (Franko 2011). Common belief nonetheless holds that the actual experience of performing or watching a theatre, dance, or performance piece can never be fully captured within the limited means of linguistic expression. To the extent, however, that embodied, verbal, and sensory communication lies at the heart of the performing arts, language and discourse remain crucial to understand how performance engages the senses and generates meaning (Nellhaus 2010; Blair and Cook 2016). Moreover, to clarify the dynamics of what Mikhail Bakhtin aptly termed the ‘dialogic imagination’ (1975) seems all the more urgent in a world in which dialogue and mutual understanding are increasingly under pressure.

Possible topics along this line of inquiry may include (but are not limited to):

  • The mutual feedback between scholarly discourse and artistic vocabularies
  • The textuality of dance, theatre, and performance versus movement expressed through text
  • Writing for the theatre and/or other performative arts in a globalised world
  1. Epistemological

As primarily embodied and time-based art forms, the performing arts have a fraught relationship with languages and discourses, becoming subject to the ‘epistemic violence’ with which Western regimes of thinking have traditionally relegated practical, corporeal, and often tacit knowledges to an inferior status (Conquergood 2002). The attempt to counter this tendency has often isolated bodily knowing from the interaction between embodiment and language as one of the foundations for the acquisition of techniques or skills in training and performing. Conversely, the steady growth of artistic research in especially the European contexts has been raising renewed interest in the question of whether and how the performing arts need discourse to become validated as knowledgeable practices in their own right or whether there might be other formats more suitable for the dissemination of artistic knowledges (e.g., Spatz 2015; Bal and Chaberski 2020; Blades et al. 2021).

Possible topics along this line of inquiry may include (but are not limited to):

  • The interaction between textual archives and embodied repertoires in acting, dancing, and performing
  • The role of language(s) in the acquisition of bodily knowledges, skills, and techniques
  • (Non-)linguistic formats for artistic creation and scholarly communication
  1. Methodological

In various ways, the disciplinary development of the adjacent yet distinct fields of theatre, dance, and performance studies has exacerbated the dichotomous tension between language and performance. For each of these domains, language served as a splitting surface to claim its distinctiveness and to become identified as a specific field of research and practice: whereas theatre studies sought to distance itself from literary studies, performance studies gained its contours in opposition to theatre studies while also dance studies differentiated itself from the former two through its outspoken focus on movement and the dancing body (e.g., Pavis 2001; Bottoms 2003; O’Shea 2010). As such, the stance toward language became part of discursive operations that were shaped by an entangled myriad of intra- and interdisciplinary dynamics. While these legacies still impregnate current views on the role of language and discourse in performance scholarship and practices, they remain to be excavated, particularly with regard to how transnational influences steered local traditions, both artistically and intellectually.

Possible topics along this line of inquiry may include (but are not limited to):

  • Disciplinary genealogies, intellectual histories, and artistic traditions from a friction between local and global points of view
  • Tactics of differentiation and assimilation in performance practices and scholarship
  • Terminology and translatability in discourse and practice
  1. Political

Recent scholarship in theatre, performance, and dance studies has directed attention to multilingualism and migration as two major cultural forces to be reckoned with in both research and practice, often with the aim to undermine the pernicious postcolonial, decolonial, and hegemonic legacies still permeating the arts and societies at large (e.g., Cox 2014; Meerzon and Pewny 2019; Damsholt and Hoppu 2020). In the midst of these concerns, the current field of the performing arts as well as academia appear to be governed by two contradictory movements: whereas globalisation has contributed to a larger international outreach of both practitioners and scholars, the dominant position of English as the main communal language runs the risk of either flattening out onto-epistemic and culturally diverse backgrounds or dividing the field into centres and peripheries. Various countries with a vivid artistic scene and proliferous scholarship experience difficulties in finding their way into a more global network of peers, raising the question to what extent the performing arts can resist reigning political, economic, and social power relations.

Possible topics along this line of inquiry may include (but are not limited to):

  • Multilingualism as a space of encounter and/or conflict
  • Travelling concepts and migrating discourses
  • Linguistic (de)colonisation and (counter)hegemony: peripheries and centres in globalised performance practices and research


  • Proposals should be written in UK English, in MS Word format and be between 600 and 700 words.
  • Please include a brief bio (max. 100 words) in your proposal submission and send it by email to the guest editors (see contacts below).
  • Proposals should specify in which language the article will be submitted. The journal is open to articles written in the language of the author’s preference, but please note that for all articles written in languages other than English contributors will be asked to secure professional proof-reading. Authors may also choose to publish their article in more than one language.
  • Proposals must be based on original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • Submitted articles will undergo a double-blind peer-review process by two anonymous experts.
  • The maximum length of the final article should not exceed 9000 words (including abstract in English and in at least one additional language, references, author bio, etc.).
  • If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to submit a first draft of your article by 1 October 2020.
  • Publication of accepted articles can only be ensured if authors meet the deadlines included in the schedule below.
  • For more information on the European Journal of Theatre and Performance, please visit: https://journal.eastap.com.


Deadline for proposals: 20 July 2020
First drafts of accepted proposals: 1 October 2020
Final drafts: 20 December 2020
Publication: January 2020


Issue-related enquires and proposal submissions should be sent to the issue’s guest editors:

Timmy De Laet (University of Antwerp, Research Centre for Visual Poetics; CoDa | Cultures of Dance – Research Network for Dance Studies)

Małgorzata Sugiera (Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Performativity Studies Department)

Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles, CiASp – Centre de Recherche en Cinéma et Arts du Spectacle)


Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.
Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. [1975] 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays.  Edited by Michael Holquist. Translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin and London: University of Texas Press.
Bal, Ewa, and Mateusz Chaberski (eds.). 2020. Situated Knowing: Epistemic Perspectives on Performance. London and New York: Routledge.
Blades, Hetty, Scott deLahunta, and Lucía Piquero (eds.). 2021. ‘On (Un)Knowns.’ Performance Research 26, no. 2.
Blair, Rhonda, and Amy Cook (eds.). 2016. Theatre, Performance and Cognition: Languages, Bodies and Ecologies. London and New York: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
Borowski, Mateusz, and Małgorzata Sugiera (eds.). 2010. Worlds in Words: Storytelling in Contemporary Theatre and Playwriting. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Bottoms, Stephen J. 2003. ‘The Efficacy/Effeminacy Braid: Unpicking the Performance Studies/Theatre Studies Dichotomy.’ Theatre Topics 13, no. 2: 173-187.
Boyle, Michael Shane, Matt Cornish, and Brandon Woolf (eds.). 2019. Postdramatic Theatre and Form. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
Conquergood, Dwight. 2002. ‘Performance Studies: Interventions and Radical Research.’ The Drama Review 46, no. 2: 145-156.
Cox, Emma. 2014. Theatre and Migration. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Damsholt, Inger, and Petri Hoppu (eds.). 2020. Special Issue ‘In and Out of Norden: Dance and the Migratory Condition.’ Dance Research Journal 52, no. 1.
Franko, Mark. 2011. ‘Writing for the Body: Notation, Reconstruction, and Reinvention in Dance.’ Common Knowledge 17, no. 2: 321-334.
Laermans, Rudi. 2008. ‘“Dance in General” or Choreographing the Public, Making Assemblages.’ Performance Research 13, no. 1: 7-14.
Meerzon, Yana, and Katharina Pewny (eds.). 2019. Dramaturgy of Migration: Staging Multilingual Encounters in Contemporary Theatre. London and New York: Routledge.
Nellhaus, Tobin. 2010. Theatre, Communication, Critical Realism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
O’Shea, Janet. ‘The Roots/Routes of Dance Studies.’ In The Routledge Dance Studies Reader, edited by Alexandra Carter and Janet O’Shea, 2nd edition, 1-15. London and New York: Routledge.
Pavis, Patrice. 2001. ‘Theatre Studies and Interdisciplinarity.’ Theatre Research International 26, no. 2: 153-163.
Spatz, Ben. 2015. What a Body Can Do: Technique as Knowledge, Practice as Research. London and New York: Routledge.



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Creating for The Stage
And Other Spaces:
Questioning Practices and Theories


27/28/29 FEBRUARY, 1 MARCH



Claudio Longhi, Daniele Vianello


Antonio Araujo (University of San Paolo)
Christopher Balme (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Maria João Brilhante (University of Lisbon)
Chloé Déchery (Université de Paris 8)
Josette Féral (University of Quebec / University of Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3)
Clare Finburgh Delijani (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Gerardo Guccini (Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna)
Stefan Hulfeld (University of Vienna)
Lorenzo Mango (University of Naples)
Aldo Milohnić (University of Ljubljana)
Elena Randi (University of Padua)
Anneli Saro (University of Tartu)
Diana Taylor (New York University)
Gabriele Vacis (Cattolica University of Milan)
Piermario Vescovo (“Ca’ Foscari” University of Venezia)


Claudio Longhi – Daniele Vianello – Gerardo Guccini (Co-organizer)

Silvia Cassanelli, Valentina Falorni, Licia Ferrari, Viviana Gardi, Stefania Lodi
Rizzini, Giulia Maurigh, Rossella Mazzaglia, Debora Pietrobono, Martina
Sottana, Angelo Vassalli


Angelo Vassalli (Director)
Licia Ferrari, Francesco Vaira


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Programme_III EASTAP Conference





19:30 – 21:00
Social Aperitif



8:30 – 10:00
Registration and Welcome Coffee

10:00 – 11-00

Matteo Lepore – Councilor for Culture
Chiara Elefante – Vice Rector for Human Resources, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna
Giacomo Manzoli – Head of Department of the Arts, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna
Josette Féral – EASTAP President
Daniele Vianello – EASTAP Vice-President
Claudio Longhi – Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione Artistic Director
Gerardo Guccini – La Soffitta Scientific Coordinator
Lorenzo Mango – CUT (Consulta Universitaria del Teatro) President

11:00 – 12:00
SALA DE BERARDINIS / plenary session
EASTAP Award Ceremony: Rustom Bharucha – Theater Director and Dramaturg,

Chair: Josette Féral

12:00 – 13:00
SALA DE BERARDINIS / plenary session
FC Bergman – TheatreCompany and Associate Artists of the III EASTAP Conference, Belgium

The Poetic of Vision

Chair: Claudio Longhi

13:00 – 13:30
SALA DE BERARDINIS / plenary session
Presentation of Young Scholars’ Forum

13:30 – 14:45
A light lunch will be provided in the theatre foyer







8:30 – 10:00













8:30 – 9:15












8:30 – 9:15





Curators: Jeroen Coppens and Stefania Lodi Rizzini


Contemporary Dramaturgies & Intermedial Perspectives

Ricardo Coreia
Theatre of the Real
Silvia Dimitru
Postdramatic Theatre and Deconstruction: An Anti-mimetic Approach to Contemporary Dramaturgy
Antonio Figueiredo Marques
Moving People: Intermediality and Presence
Swan Lichy
Performativity as a Language of Sense-making for Cultural Service in Local Museum
Eleonora Marzani
Cross-breeding Practices for Creating for the Stage
Raquel Rodrigues Madeira
The Choreographic between Stage and Navigable Network Space
Gaia Vimercati
Hunger for Presence: New Perspectives on the Notions of Body and Corporeal Presence in Contemporary Circus
Rezvan Zandieh
Injured Body and Bloody Body of the Artist. History, Concept and Aesthetic
Xuang Xiao
Screendance. Geographies and Aesthetics of an Art in Motion


Contemporary Practices and their Histories

Ai-Cheng Ho
Application of Taiji Quan in Actor’s Training
Bojana Jankovic
Right to Be Unknown: Construction of Eastern European Identities in the Work of Uk-based Immigrants Artists
Nadia Moroz Luciani
The Performativity of Light as a Link between the Stage and the Spectator
Alexander Millington
An Examination of the Representation of Physical Acts of Intimacy and Sexual Behaviour
in Contemporary British Theatre from 2001 to 2017
Diana Pacurar
Laura Pernice
The Scenic Reinvention of the Brilliant Friend: Storia di un’amicizia by Fanny & Alexander
Maria Chiara Provenzano
The Archive of Koreja Theatre in Lecce
Gjefsen Ragnhild
A Theatrical Language
Tessa Vannieuwenhuyze
Staging the Self: The Contemporary Performance Practice of Musical Persona on and beyond
the Actual and Virtual Stage


24 February

10:00 – 14:00


Masterclass with Daria Deflorian – Actor, Author and Director
Scrittura di scena e drammaturgia d’attore
Stage-Writing and Actor’s Dramaturgy

Curator: Daniele Vianello

27 February

14:30 – 18:30


Masterclass with FC Bergman – Theater Company
About Creating: The Kitchen of FC Bergman
Sulla creazione: La cucina degli FC Bergman

Curator: Sergio Lo Gatto

28 February

9:30 – 13:30


Masterclass with David Marton – Theater Director and Musician
Via Gluck

Curator: Sergio Lo Gatto

14:30 – 18:30


Masterclass with Saverio La Ruina – Actor, Author and Theater Director
Il corpo del racconto:
Come “scrivo” e interpreto i miei testi
The Body of the Story:
How I “Write” and Interpret my Texts

Curator: Daniele Vianello

29 February

09:30  – 13:30


Masterclass with Aglaia Pappas – Actor
La violenza della voce
The Violence of the Voice

Curator: Sergio Lo Gatto



Masterclass with Veronica Melis – Actor
La Qualità di Presenza. Tra Corpo, Spazio e Immaginario
The Quality of Presence: Between Body, Space and Imagery

Curator: Sergio Lo Gatto

10:00 -1 6:00


Masterclass with Matthew Lenton – Founder and Artistic Director of
Vanishing Point

Curator: Claudio Longhi



  Shermin Langhoff began her professional life in publishing and television. After many years in film, collaborating on projects including Gegen die Wand (Head-On) with Fatih Akin, she worked as…


Shermin Langhoff began her professional life in publishing and television. After many years in film, collaborating on projects including Gegen die Wand (Head-On) with Fatih Akin, she worked as a curator at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) theatres from 2004 to 2008. There she founded the “Akademie der Autodidakten” (Academy of Autodidacts), which provided many talented artists with a platform for their work. Her “Beyond Belonging” project series began in 2006, for which she invited artists from other disciplines such as visual arts, literature and film – including Nurkan Erpulat, Nevin Aladağ, Hakan Savaş Mican, Ayşe Polat and Neço Çelik – to tell new stories for the theatre.

In 2008 Langhoff founded the Ballhaus Naunynstraße in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district and made significant contributions to establishing the concept of post-migrant theatre. Since then this concept has become a constant in the societal debates about the country of immigration that Germany has become, and has been widely discussed in academia as well. Several Ballhaus productions, especially Verrücktes Blut (Crazy Blood) by Nurkan Erpulat and Jens Hillje, garnered attention on an international level. Erpulat’s production was invited to Berlin’s Theatertreffen and numerous other international festivals.

Langhoff has been the artistic director of the Maxim Gorki Theatre Berlin since the 2013/14 season. In 2014 and 2016, the Gorki was voted “Theatre of the Year” by the German-speaking critics in Theater heute magazine’s survey (together with the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in 2016). Many Gorki productions have received both national and international honours. They’ve also been recognized with invitations to the Theatertreffen festival: in 2015 for the play Common Ground by Yael Ronen and ensemble, followed by The Situation, another work by Yael Ronen and the ensemble, in 2016.

Under Langhoff’s direction, the Maxim Gorki Theatre understands itself as a place in which constructions of nation, identity, and belonging are questioned by dealing with history and presenting trans-local references. For the beginning of her tenure in 2013, Langhoff organised the first Berlin Herbstsalon (Berlin Autumn Salon), an interdisciplinary exhibition-parcour, in which around 30 artists shed light on the historic area around the Maxim Gorki Theatre from a variety of perspectives over a period of two weeks. Two years later in 2015, the second salon devoted itself to flight and seeking refuge, and how visible and invisible borders separate people from one another: in this context, a special kind of encounter between political art and activism was enabled. For the third salon in 2017, the exhibition expanded to encompass the entire city. From the Brandenburg Gate, through the Maxim Gorki Theatre to the historic Kronprinzenpalais (Crown Prince’s Palace), the exhibition gathered works by about 100 artists from around the world. Under the slogan “De-integrate Yourselves!”, they presented a manifold rebellion against attributions, generalisations and simplifications and invited a broad public to engage with these social issues. More than 20,000 visitors came to the exhibition rooms alone, admission to which was free of charge.

Shermin Langhoff has received several awards for her work at the Maxim Gorki Theatre. In 2015 the B.Z. newspaper awarded her with their culture prize. In 2016 she received the East End Theatre Prize and, in the same year, the prestigious Theatre Prize Berlin from the Preussische Seehandlung foundation, together with Jens Hillje, co-artistic director. Under their leadership, the Gorki has deliberately become a radical venue “reflecting the diversity of the city’s population in its performance and discussion programme, as well as in its ensemble: German actors from around the world who perform their way out of pigeon-holes, attributions and (gender) certainties”, the jury explained. “For them identity is not a fixed category, rather an opportunity to reconsider and re-examine oneself time and again, in social, artistic and political spaces”.

In addition, the Alfred Toepfer Foundation awarded Shermin Langhoff its KAIROS European culture prize in 2011 for her work as a cultural mentor. The Helga and Edzard Reuter Foundation has honoured her for notable achievements in the field of international understanding and integration. In 2012 she received the Moses Mendelssohn Prize from the Berlin government. She was presented with the Theodor Heuss Medal in 2014. In 2017 she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) by German President Joachim Gauck for her achievements in culture.

Shermin Langhoff is a member of the jury at the Tarabya Academy for Culture in Istanbul and for both the Alfred Topfer Stiftung’s KAIROS award and the city of Augsburg’s Bertolt Brecht award. From 2012 to 2017, she was on the board of trustees of the Eberhard-Schultz-Stiftung für soziale Menschenrechte und Partizipation (Eberhard-Schultz-Foundation for Social Human Rights and Participation) and served as an expert and a founding member of the Germany-wide Rat für kulturelle Bildung (Council for Cultural Education).


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