1. The relationship between the performing arts and society
    As researchers, we approach theatre, dance and performance as an event, which means that the performing arts should be understood in relation to their specific social and cultural contexts. This event-oriented understanding involves a dynamic approach to the interaction and communication between the stage and the auditorium that takes into account the audience’s different experiences, but also the material, organisational and cultural policy aspects that enable the events that our researchers analyse. Here we apply both contemporary and historical perspectives. Our research is also permeated and driven by a utopian desire to defend the importance of the performing arts for a functioning democracy. Therefore, we integrate research already in the education we offer. An example of this is the first undergraduate course, Contemporary Performing Arts, which thematises the relationship between the performing arts and the surrounding society.
  2. A broad and inclusive understanding of theatre
    Theatre scholars use an expanded and non-discriminating notion of theatre and our research focuses on amateur theatre, artivism, ballet and contemporary dance, children’s and youth theatre, burlesque, circus, feminist performance, independent ensembles, diva cult, puppet theatre, immersive theatre, Japanese Noh theatre, costume history, musicals, opera, performance art, political demonstrations, political theatre, popular culture, post-dramatic theatre, queer performing arts, performing arts criticism, spoken drama and Indigenous performing arts and performances, as well as theatrical events in the public space. This broad understanding of theatre is inspired by developments in the contemporary performing arts and is often positively highlighted by our international exchange students.
  3. Bodies
    The performing arts involve bodily practices. For theatre scholars, this means that our interest focuses on bodies and embodied actions in different spaces. Bodies express themselves in different ways; they age and are differently abled, perform a variety of gendered expressions and sexualities, have different class backgrounds, or might have technological implants, to name just a few. Bodies are also treated differently and are often subjected to violence and discrimination. To do justice to the complexity of bodies and bodily practices, our researchers use critical and interdisciplinary perspectives such as gender and queer theory, postcolonial studies and perspectives from children and youth culture in their projects. To this can be added affect theory, kinesthesia, and sensory studies. Theatre scholars have been instrumental in the development of these perspectives and have helped to anchor them in other research disciplines as well.
  4. A cosmopolitan research environment
    Theatre Studies, Dance Studies and Performance Studies as research areas constitute a cosmopolitan research environment. We have an internationally composed faculty body that speaks twelve different languages and actively uses these in their research. We have developed an International Master’s Program in Theatre and Performance Studies and are involved in a collaboration that provides a Nordic Master in Dance Studies. Theatre Studies has for several decades played a prominent role in the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). Many of us have been and are involved in the Association for Nordic Theatre Scholars (ANTS), Dance Studies Association (DSA), European Association for the Study of Theatre and Performance (EASTAP), Nordic Forum for Dance Research (NOFOD) and Performance Studies international (PSi). Our researchers and doctoral students are editorial board members of some of the leading journals in the discipline: Theatre Research International; Nordic Theatre Studies; Teatertidningen; double: Magazin für Puppen-, Figuren- und Objekttheater; alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage; Nordic Journal of Dance - Practice, Education and Research.

Read more about our researchers

Read more about our externally funded research projects

Research projects

Rebecca Brinch

  • Staging Migration: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reception in Swedish Children’s Theater / Att gestalta migration. Retorik, representation och reception i svensk barnteater (Swedish Research Council; projektledare: Anna Lund)
  • Pilotprojekt Migration, representation och mångfald i samtida scenkonst för unga, pilotstudie på temat barn, migration och integration (finansieras genom medel från Humanvetenskapliga området)
  • Aldrig våld – om barns rättigheter (samverkansprojekt, Barnrättscentrum, Stockholms universitet; projektledare: Rebecca Örtman)

Dirk Gindt

  • Circumpolar Performance Cultures: Transnational and Intercultural Perspectives on Contemporary Indigenous Performing Arts in Sweden, Canada and Greenland / Transarktiska performancekulturere: Transnationella och interkulturella perspektiv på urfolkens samtida scenkonst i Sverige, Kanada och Grönland

Rikard Hoogland

  • Albert Ranfts professionalisering och internationalisering av svensk teater under sekelskiftet 1900
  • Brechtian Theatre and the Post-Dramatic Turn 
  • Fria grupper och teaterfestivaler

Ellinor Lidén

  • Förutsättningar Förväntningar Föreställningar: Vidgade och begränsade generationsmöten i teaterhändelser i barnteater / Conditions Expectations Preconceptions: Expanding and narrowing generational encounters in theatrical events within children’s theatre

Josefine Löfblad 

  • Danskonstnären som historiker / The Dance Artist as Historian

Leo Marko

  • Tomrum och närvaro / Void and Presence

Tiina Rosenberg

  • Queer and Trans Feminisms in Contemporary Performance / Queer- och transfeminismer i samtida scenkonst

Daria Magdalena Skjoldager-Nielsen

  • Strategies for Audience Development in Swedish Public Theatres

Magnus Tessing Schneider

  • Enlightenment Anthropology and Italian Opera: The Revolutionary Theatre of Ranieri Calzabigi / Upplysningsantropologi och italiensk opera: Ranieri Calzabigis revolutionära teater
  • Histories: Assessing the Role of Aesthetics in the Historical Paradigm (The Velux Foundations, Syddansk Universitet)
  • Centre for Historical Performance Practice (CHiPP) (Aarhus Universitet)

Meike Wagner

  • Performing Citizenship. Social and Political Agency in Non-Professional Theatre Practice in Germany and Sweden
  • How to recreate the multi-sensory and interactive experience of European early-modern performance (Digitzation and 3D modelling)? Together with Universities of Nantes, Bourdeaux, Durham, Lausanne, Malta, Louisiana (USA), start up funded by the French National Research Agency
  • Cool Nature. Utopian Landscapes in Scandinavia 1750-1850. Project Development, Portal 1700
  • Toxic Cultures. Enunciability and Political Performativity of Hate Discourse in the Arts and Public Spaces. Together with Milena Grass (Santiago de Chile)
  • Strong Canons, Weak Histories. Curating the Legacies of European Performing Arts. Together with Susanne Foellmer (Coventry), Dorota Sosnowska (Warszaw), Martin Bernatek (Olmouc)