Profile of the Institute and Contents of Studies

The Department of Theatre Studies in Bochum approaches the scenic arts in the whole range of this branch of the fine arts: theatre, dance, music-theatre, performance, puppetry, audio drama, scenography, conceptual art, installation art, site specific artistic works, interactive art in the public square, as well as the manifold intersections and dissolutions of boundaries amongst the different art forms. At our department, we accompany these manifestations in the scenic arts in a critically reflective manner and try to obtain a resulting analysis which reflects upon our association with contemporary times and also seeks a dialogue between the academic and artistic worlds.

Theatre Studies in Bochum broadens the established areas of the field – history, theory, aesthetics and the analysis of scenic arts – through the inquiry about the location and function of art in social, political and historical interrelationships. In the sense of contemporary analysis of the development of art and society, the investigation of aesthetic forms (in the broadest sense) is here as important as questions about the economic and political steering processes in cultural contexts. Given our knowledge about the ongoing interdisciplinarity amongst the scenic arts since the Antiquity, we strive to develop theoretical structures and methodologies which consider the scenic arts in their contextual relationship to societies and the media. This can refer to ritualistic, religious, historical, psychoanalytical, political, and philosophical aspects.

Our department also cultivates an intense exchange with artists and theatre centers in our region (the Ruhr) and more broadly in the Federal State of NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia) which focuses upon artistic research, poses questions relating to the processes of social transformation and directly participates in shaping the academic discourse around the artistic works. A special consideration for us is the development of independent theatre work and the support of “young professionals” in the scenic arts. Through the exchange between our students and artists/artistic centers of the region, we offer a broad crossover between theory and practical experience in the field of our studies. Since 2012, this has gained its concrete realization by the integration of an applied master’s degree in Scenic Research into our curriculum.