Nikolaus Müller-Schöll is chair of theatre studies at the department of theatre, film and media studies of the Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main since October 2011, head of this department and at the same time head of the master program in dramaturgy as well as of the international master in Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research. Before he has been professor for theatre studies at the Department of German II of the university of Hamburg and as well co-director of the master program in performance studies for two and a half years (2009-2011).
He studied in Avignon, Hamburg and Baltimore German (with a major in theater and media), art history, philosophy and political science and finished his studies with a M.A. at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He got a phd at the Goethe-University Frankfurt with a dissertation on Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Müller (dissertation advisor: Hans-Thies Lehmann) and completed his habilitation at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Theater and Performance Studies. He also absolved a school of journalism in 1987/1988 and worked during his studies and afterwards as a free lance dramaturg, journalist, translator and critics. From 1996 to 2000 he worked as lecteur d’allemand at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Rue d’Ulm, in Paris. From 2000 to 2002 he coordinated the Frankfurt Graduate program on “Experience of time and aesthetic perception”. Afterwards he worked as a fellow of the Maison de Science de l’Homme at the department of theatre studies of the Université de Paris 10, Nanterre.
Between 2004 and 2009 he worked as assistant professor at the department of theatre studies of the Ruhr-University Bochum. From 2007-2008 he substituted for Heiner Goebbels as professor at the Department of applied theatre studies in Gießen. He curated numerous conferences and workshops and conceived and directed in the year of 2010 the international summer academy Hamburg “Performing Politics”. In 2016 he directed together with Gerald Siegmund the international congress “Theatre as critique” in Frankfurt and Gießen. He is currently Vice-President of the German Society for Theatre Studies (Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft) and member of several boards and jurys.
His major research interests are: Theatre studies as critical science, questions concerning theatre, theory, literature and politics. Theater as “Ereignis” (event), the question of alterity, the gesture, the fictioning of the political, theater as work on the evil, potentiality, representation “after Auschwitz”, theatre architecture as built ideology etc. Furthermore he continues to work on the objects of his phd and his habilitation: Benjamin, Brecht, Heiner Müller, Kleist as well as the “Comical as paradigm of the experience of modernity” (1700 until present). He published amongst others: Das Theater des ‘konstruktiven Defaitismus’. Lektüren zur Theorie eines Theaters der A-Identität bei Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht und Heiner Müller. Frankfurt/M. und Basel 2002; Politik der Vorstellung (ed. with Joachim Gerstmeier), Berlin 2006; Schauplatz Ruhr, Berlin 2007 (ed. with Ulrike Haß); Was ist eine Universität? Schlaglichter auf eine ruinierte Institution, Bielefeld 2009. (ed. with Ulrike Haß); Heiner Müller sprechen, Berlin 2010. (ed. with Heiner Goebbels); Performing politics, Berlin 2012. (ed. with André Schallenberg and Mayte Zimmermann); Unterm Blick des Fremden. Theaterarbeit nach Laurent Chétouane, Bielefeld 2015. (ed. with Leonie Otto)
phone number: 0049/69/798-32065