Berlin:Re-Staging Academia

Internationales Graduiertenkolleg

Freie Universität Berlin • Institut für Theaterwissenschaft • Grunewaldstr. 34 •
12165 Berlin • Tel +49-(0)30-838 503 14

This year’s symposium in Berlin will build on some of the themes of the last three
Joint Symposia while also opening up a new specific area for discussion. Entitled
Re-Staging Academia, we invite you to submit proposals reflecting on the concept of
academic work, its practices, ideas, and traditions. Even prior to the foundation
and establishment of universities, there have been many considerations, discussions,
and discourses about the notions of knowledge, teaching, and university (from Plato,
to Humboldt, to Nietzsche, Adorno, Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida – to name only a
few), which are still vivid today. We would like to revisit these discourses,
explore some of their central concepts and also link them back to the discussions
that arose in last year’s three Joint Symposia.

1. Communication: How is knowledge produced in academia? What kinds of communicative
logic are followed in academia? When and under which conditions is somebody entitled
to speak in academic contexts?

2. Re-enactment of power: Which structures of power do we obey when we act in
academia? How is it possible to reconcile thinking about discourses of power and
awareness of them while still remaining part of them? How and under which conditions
can institutional habits, conventions, and practices be altered? And does the term
“(re-)staging” primarily refer to a structure that obeys academic traditions,
hierarchical arrangements etc., or does it also imply potentialities of
(re-)designing spaces which unfold performative qualities, intensities, and creative

3. Reflection on artistic practices: Why do we engage ourselves in the arts? How can
we adapt artistic practices or our interests in them to academic ones?

4. Subjectivity and self-reflection: What does academia do to our bodies? What role
do emotion, passion, desire, and despair play within academic practices? How does
academia connect to our lives? How does it influence and change them? How can we
encourage subjective forms? How can we say “I” in academia and how can the assumed
gap between academic work and “private” life be bridged (or should it be at all)?
How does the passion for the subjects of our research arise and how can we take a
position toward them in the academic context? How can academic work adopt a
self-reflexive attitude?

We hope these questions provide some inspiration for your talks and papers and
perhaps provoke some more.

Please post your proposals until Monday, 19 September 2011 to!

We look forward to thinking and discussing with you in autumnal Berlin!

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