New Critical Theatre Studies

Intersectionality, Activism, Antiracism

Network for intersectional, decolonial and postcolonial theories, methods, and issues in theatre and performance studies

About the Network

We, the New Critical Theatre Studiesare a group of German-speaking theatre and performance researchers based in different parts of Europe. We built this network with the aim to draw attention to the lack of postcolonial, decolonial, and critical race theory in German-speaking theatre and performance studies. This lack manifests in the field’s ignorance towards harmful legacies of racialized and colonial practices and discourses that still influence and are perpetuated by theatre-making practices and academic discourse. It also shows itself in the ongoing exclusion and marginalisation of racialised artists and their creative practices in German-speaking countries. 


This is why we built this network as a tool of intervention: The Neue Kritische Theaterwissenschaft offers a platform for theatre researchers working with postcolonial, decolonial, and critical race theories to exchange ideas, to work and publish collaboratively, and to organise themselves in what is still understood to be a ‘niche’ and exists in the periphery. It offers tools and tutorials for a next generation of students on intersectional approaches and postcolonial and decolonial theories for the field of theatre and performance studies. Tools that until now are rarely taught in the German-speaking university classrooms but, as we know from our own teaching experiences, are in high demand in the current generation of theatre studies students. On our blog, we offer space and resources for students to publish or upload interviews with Black German theatre-makers and theatre-makers of Colour and discuss performances that address issues of race and representation, intersectionality, decoloniality that might not otherwise be reviewed by German mainstream media. In particular, we acknowledge the violent and racist structures of white academia and wish to offer our support to BIPOC theatre studies’ students: we encourage you to get in contact with us.


In recent years, there have been efforts to address the lack of diversity and antiracist practices in the German-speaking theatre system. These include attempts at increased representation, bias awareness and anti-racism training, as well as more publicised discourse on the urgent matters of decolonisation and antiracist activism. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for German-speaking theatre and performance studies. The research outputs and curricula of theatre studies in the German context is largely unaffected by an attention to the systemic nature of racialised discourses or legacies of colonial knowledge production. We believe that the question of decolonising the university the university is inseparably linked to defending the university’s role as a sphere of civic engagement and its responsibility to social and political struggles. We are therefore committed to understanding and practising academic research holistically - in and outside the academy, in and outside cultural spaces, in and outside classrooms of all kinds. Our ethos is anti-racist and feminist, and more broadly: intersectional.


Wir sind überzeugt davon, dass intersektionale Ansätze und der Gebrauch dekolonialer Methodologien und anti-rassistischer Praktiken in der Theaterwissenschaft nicht als eigene Unterdisziplin zum Tragen kommen sollten, sondern in die Breite theaterwissenschaftlicher Forschungsansätze und -praktiken einfließen müssen. Unser Ziel ist daher die langfristige Entwicklung von postkolonialen, dekolonialen und intersektionalen Methodologien für alle Bereiche der Theaterwissenschaft, sei es die Theatergeschichte, die Aufführungsanalyse oder selbst die Theatersemiotik. Dass wir uns dabei hauptsächlich auf die deutschsprachige Theaterwissenschaft fokussieren, schließt andere regionale theaterwissenschaftliche Diskurse nicht aus. Im Gegenteil, ähnliche Lücken können auch in der Theaterwissenschaft in z.B. den Niederlanden, Belgien und Dänemark festgestellt werden. Unser Fokus ist weniger ein geographischer und nationalstaatlicher als ein epistemologischer

How to participate?

We are delighted that you checked out our website and are interested in joining our network. We are open to anyone - researcher, student, teacher, creative practitioner - who shares our values and is interested in collaborating with us in the field of German-speaking theatre and performances studies.

Whether you are keen to offer your expertise and support to emerging researchers and students, or are interested in exchange and dialogue, or would like to benefit from a supportive community of researchers and teachers interested in topics that also motivate your research and thinking - get in touch! 


An important note on the word German-speaking: While we are interested in establishing this network across German-speaking academia, there is no requirement to conduct your research in German to be able or eligible to join us. 



Email adress

Tools and Resources:

How to make meetings awesome for everyone? (resource sheet)

Materialien für rassismus- und machtkritisches Denken und Handeln (website)a

What does a feminist classroom look like? (article)

Exercise: Privilege for Sale (website)

About decolonising theatre practice (resource sheet)

Who are you working for? An institution problematising their past (website)

Peggy McIntosh – White Privilege – Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (article)