Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

Breadcrumb Navigation



The study group comprised doctoral students, postdocs and principal investigators from four disciplines: theatre studies, art history, East European history and Slavic literature/film. Our interests converged around questions involving the visual and performing arts, in particular theories of performativity. Performativity and performance have become some of the most frequently cited concepts in the humanities and social sciences of the past twenty years. Although by no means synonymous, they are related and designate cultural expressions that are significant in terms of what they do rather what they refer to. This emphasis on doing rather than meaning could also be expressed as a shift from signs, semantics and signification – the usual stuff of humanistic endeavour – to performance, the so-called 'performative turn'. Viewing the world as a performance implies a shift of emphasis away from referentiality, immutability and legibility to ephemerality, process and spectatorship. Whether in politics, history, literary studies or art history, performativity leads inexorably to a focus on performances of any kind ranging from political ceremonies to museum installations, from weddings to demonstrations, from subjectivity toethnicity. Where there are actors and spectators (in the broadest sense of the terms) there is performativity.

Former group leaders:

Former members and projects:

  • Anna Baumgartner, M.A.
    Orientalism, adventure and exoticism. The Polish horse and battle scene painter Józef Brandt in Munich (1862-1915)
  • Mag.a Katalin Cseh-Varga
    Rebelling Play(Spaces) and Underground Networks. The "Second Public Sphere" of the Hungarian Avant-Garde.
  • Marija Đokić, M.A.
    A theatrical landscape for Belgrade (1841-1914). Cultural transfer between Ottoman, Serbian and European Theater Pactices
  • Helena Holzberger, M.A.
    Photography and Russia's Orient. Colonial and local pictorial worlds on the Central Asian periphery in the discourse of modernity (1870-1941)
  • Henriette Reisner, M.A.
    Early Soviet Animation as reflected on the Aesthetical and Political Debates
  • Dr. Berenika Szymanski-Düll