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Digitality in Theatre Studies?! Forum of the AG ARCHIV with NFDI4Culture

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Digitality in Theatre Studies?! Forum of the AG ARCHIV with NFDI4Culture

In the context of digital humanities, research on theatrical arts and practices is facing particular challenges, concerning the future of the discipline as much as its resources. Since their preservation and usage increasingly depend on digital infrastructures, the research results need to be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable on a digital base in order to be perceived. The implementation of these FAIR principles is also a precondition for the DFG research funding, supported by the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), in development since 2021. In comparison to other subjects in the arts and cultural sciences, however, a research data infrastructure for dance and theatre studies is still in the beginning. The diversity of relevant materials and media fundamentally raises the question of what our research data are, and how they can be better accessed and shared by digital networks. In this context, archives and collections are confronted with tasks that would require a better preparation in terms of technical and legal equipment. Therefore, digitality is relevant on various levels: 1.) the digitization of objects and materials of all kinds; 2.) the methodically reflected indexing and the supply with standardized data; 3.) the digital media in which research takes place, is represented, and discussed, and 4.) the importance of the digital in contemporary artistic practice, including the documentation of rehearsals/performances. In this forum, we want to discuss how theatre and dance studies, in the near future, can succeed even better in shaping a networked infrastructure for research projects and the related data. This includes teaching adequate methods, integrating the expertise of memory institutions as well as perspectives from information technology and artistic practice.


Dr. Erhard Ertel, Head of the Media Laboratory at the Institute for Theatre Studies at HU Berlin (until 1999) and FU Berlin (until 2016), since then teaching appointments and research with a focus on methods of audiovisual theatre documentation, including at the Berlin Volksbühne of the Castorf era (1992-2017).

Jochen Lamb M.A., research assistant at the Institute for Film, Theatre, Media and Cultural Studies J. Gutenberg University Mainz, doctoral scholarship of the Studienstiftung, areas of research: Theatre technology, political theatre, structures of digital surveillance, figure and object theatre.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Münzmay, Professor of Musicology/Digital Humanities University of Paderborn, Co-Spokesperson TA 6 "Cultural Research Data Academy" (NFDI4Culture), areas of research: Digital Music Edition, Music in Media Contexts, Music Theatre, Improvisation.

Prof. Dr. Patrick Primavesi, Executive Director of the Institute of Theatre Studies at the University of Leipzig, spokesperson for the ARCHIV AG of the gtw, board member of the Tanzarchiv Leipzig e.V., TA 2 (NFDI4Culture), areas of research: History and theory of theatre and dance, archives, public sphere.

Dr. Nora Probst, Professor i.V. for Digital Humanities & Cultures of Digitality, University of Paderborn / Head of the Digital Humanities Department of the Theater Collection of the University of Cologne, areas of research: Data Modelling, Data Feminism, History of Science.

David Rittershaus M.A., research assistant of the interdisciplinary project Motion Bank, areas of research: Digital documentation of contemporary dance, choreographic processes, rehearsal ethnography, language in dance, theory and digital dance research.

Prof. Dr. Martin Jörg Schäfer, Professor of Theatre Research at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Hamburg, areas of research: Relationships between theatre and text, fictions of the political, breaking traditions and crisis narratives.

Franziska Voß M.A., Head of the Specialized Information Service for the Performing Arts (FID DK) at the University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg Frankfurt/Main, main fields of work: Digital Information Infrastructure for the Performing Arts / Spokesperson of the AG ARCHIV of the gtw.

The event will take place on Friday, 30th September from 1:30 to 3:00 pm.
Link and password on the website of the congress "MATTERS OF URGENCY"

Theater Studies