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Grant worth millions awarded to theatre studies in Erlangen

prof-warstat / Foto: privat

Prof. Dr. Matthias Warstat (Photo: private)

Professor Matthias Warstat receives European research award

With a prestigious award and funding amounting to €2.3m, Prof. Dr. Matthias Warstat, head of the Institute for Theatre and Media Studies at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has reason to be pleased. The theatre professor belongs to the small group of outstanding researchers to be awarded an “Advanced Investigators Grant” from the European Research Council (ERC). Advanced Grants awarded by the ERC are reserved exclusively for groundbreaking research projects deemed of excellence.

“The award represents a great success for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in the face of international competition, and is a commendation for the university as a whole”, comments FAU President Grüske. “The award is proof of the highly advantageous environment provided by the faculty both in terms of research and study.”

The project
“The Aesthetics of Applied Theatre” – is the title under which Matthias Warstat is set to research an international comparison of the forms of applied theatre. Over the past decades, theatre has gained in significance in many areas of life around the world – in situations of crisis and conflict, social project work, corporate communication, the therapeutic treatment of traumas, and political campaigns. This kind of everyday and, more often than not, purpose-oriented theatre may at first appear to be at odds with theatre for the sake of art. It does however draw, in part, on similar aesthetic tools and medial framing. Theatre traditions from different cultural backgrounds are combined anew and sometimes radically exploited. How can the particular performance context of applied theatre be described? Which new forms of expression have evolved? And how does applied theatre interact with all that the modern arts have to promise, in terms of autonomy, negation and transgression? The project will explore these questions in Africa, North and South America, and the Middle East.

About the person
Matthias Warstat has been head of the Institute for Theatre and Media Studies at the FAU since November 2008. His main interests in terms of research and teaching are the theatre and cultural history of the modern age, the breaking down of artistic borders and the theatre of politics. In the past few years he has also completed papers on theatre pedagogy and theatre therapy. Warstat has been a member of the Junge Akademie at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German Academy for Natural Scientists, Leopoldina, since 2008. In 2007 he qualified as a professor at FU Berlin with a thesis on effect aesthetics in theatre under the title of “Crisis and Cure”. His dissertation on “Theatrical Communities” (2002) originated from the DFG priority programme “Theatricality as a Model in Cultural Studies”.

Further information for the media:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Warstat
Tel.: 09131/85-22427
matthias.warstat@thewi.phil.uni-erlangen.de

uni | media service | research No. 57/2011 on 24.11.2011

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