Founded in August 2008, the International Research Center investigates the interweaving of performance cultures and of cultures in performance in the broadest sense. The Center is connected to the Freie Universität Berlin’s Department for Theatre Studies and is thus part of the university. However, funding is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, allowing us to annually invite up to ten Fellows from across the globe.
Interweaving performance cultures primarily refers to all those processes and phenomena in which different cultures meet through performance: the juxtaposition of divergent performance styles and other forms of expression on stage; working groups and theatre or dance companies that are culturally heterogeneous in composition; global circulation of procedures; transnational networks of production; and similar conditions of presentation taking place around the world.
We do not expect these global exchanges to contribute to the homogenization of cultures. Instead we assume that the process of diversification will be enhanced through these encounters.
Furthermore, these practices and innovative modes of presentation explicitly refer to a political and social dimension. Questions of economic power, migration and identity politics, strategies of appropriation and translation – both from a contemporary and historical perspective – are inextricably linked to processes of interweaving. It is this very fusion of the aesthetic with the social and political realm that is of particular interest to us.
The Center serves first and foremost as a place for research – offering our Fellows a retreat to write and foster exchange. The Fellows are given the opportunity to work on projects of their own while participating in ongoing collective discussions and forums arranged by the Center. Regular meetings are held twice a week: a seminar in which we discuss the projects of the Fellows and a talk given by a notable theatre-maker, performer, writer, filmmaker, or other personality from the various cultural fields invited to speak to the fellows about their work.
The fellowships at the Research Center can range from three months to one year, although we appreciate if Fellows stay for the entire one-year period. It is also possible to split the residence periods – for example into two six-month periods – depending on time and availability. Our term starts in September.The center is housed in a charming villa in Berlin’s south-west district of Dahlem, where our Fellows are provided with comfortable, well-equipped workspaces. Our staff assists the Fellows with all administrative and practical problems.
Almost all our Fellows choose to stay at the nearby IBZ (Internationales Begegnungszentrum / International Center for Academic Exchange). We offer to book apartments for our prospective Fellows at the IBZ. We do not, however, pay the rent for this or any other accommodation.Our stipends vary between junior (post-docs) and senior fellows. If the home institution does not grant a sabbatical, we pay for a replacement. Ultimately, the amount of the stipend may be negotiated individually, but it will not exceed a certain limit.
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