Festivalisation in focus – Gideon Morison successfully defended his PhD thesis on postcolonial Pan-African festivals (1977-2019)

We are pleased to announce that Gideon Morison, PhD student of the ERC project Developing Theatre, successfully defended his thesis this week.

In his doctoral dissertation, From Renaissance to Festivalisation. Festival Networks and Institutional Legacies of Selected Pan-African Cultural Productions, 1977-2019Nigerian-born Gideon Morison examined Pan-African postcolonial festivals as venues and crystallizations of various cultural projects initiated roughly since the mid-20th century to promote the “cultural renaissance of Africa” worldwide. 

There are three festivals in particular to which Gideon I. Morison gives in-depth consideration in his work: the First World Festival of Negro-Arts (Dakar, 1966), the Pan-African Cultural Festival, Algiers (1969), and the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in Lagos, 1977. Framed in specific themes and with clear objectives, these events aimed, as Gideon Morison argues, “to reclaim or decolonize the trajectory of intellectual discourses on black/African identity and heritage while also building institutions for promoting postcolonial visions for cultural, political and socio-economic development and progress not only in the continent but across black communities in the diaspora”.

The project has been supervised by Christopher B. Balme and Nic Leonhardt. We congratulate Gideon on his successful graduation and wish him all the best for his future endeavors!



ERC Project “Developing Theatre” – PhD theses successfully defended

We are very pleased to announce that Rebecca Sturm and Abdul Karim Hakib, both PhD students in the ERC project Developing Theatre. Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries After 1945, successfully defended their dissertations this week. Rebecca Sturm wrote about Theatre Experts for the Third World. East Germany’s ITI and the Globalization of Theatre in the Cold War. Karim Hakib‘s dissertation is on Theatre for Development. Historical and Institutional Perspectives.

Their work is the result of years of intensive international research in the context of the ERC project. Both dissertations break new ground in theatre studies, and so we can’t wait to see them published.

Very warm congratulations!



”We have a double pandemic here” – A conversation with Clara de Andrade & Gustavo Guenzburger from Brazil – A new episode of the Theatrescapes Podcast

Theatrescapes Podcast Logo

Theatrescapes Podcast LogoWe are happy to announce that we just launched a new episode of our Theatrescapes Podcast ! This time, Theatrescapes host Nic Leonhardt speaks with Clara de Andrade and Gustavo Guenzburger from Rio, Brazil, about the challenges COVID-19 as well the political situation in Brazil have brought to both their artistic and academic work since then. 

Clara de Andrade and Gustavo Guenzburger are theatre makers and theatre researchers from Rio, Brazil. The Centre for Global Theatre History has a long-standing relationship with the couple and UNIRIO. In early 2020, Clara and Gustavo were Visiting Fellows of the Centre and of the European Research Council (ERC) funded project “Developing Theatre”  at the Institute of Theatre Studies at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. When they were about to return in March, the pandemic broke out …

Clara de Andrade is a Brazilian actor, singer, teacher and researcher in Theatre Arts. Her main field of research is the transnational networks of the Theatre of the Oppressed and Theatre for Development. She has been working and researching at institutions such as UNIRIO, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris 3) and was Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Global Theatre Histories & Developing Theatre Project at LMU Munich.

Gustavo Guenzburger is a Brazilian artist, activist, teacher and researcher in Theatre Arts. His main field of interest are transnationality and modes of production in theatre. He has been teaching and researching at institutions such as UNIRIO, UERJ, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris 3) and was Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Global Theatre Histories & Developing Theatre Project at LMU Munich.

The Theatrescapes Podcast is produced by the Centre for Global Theatre Research and the ERC project Developing Theatre (GA No. 694559) Pat LMU Munich. 

The Podcast episodes  are available here, on iTunes, Google Podcast and Spotify

Please follow our updates here on this blog, on Facebook and Twitter.


Special thanks go to our colleague Aydin Alinejadsomeh who conjures everything around the technology.

We would also like to thank the Legon Palwine Band from Accra, Ghana, for letting us use their great music for the podcast!


Conference Philanthropy, Development and the Arts: Histories and Theories (23-25 July, 2018), Final Programme

The final programme of our conference Philanthropy, Development and the Arts: Histories and Theories is now online and can be accessed here: Philanthropy Conference_23-25 July 2018_ final programme


Monday, 23 July, 5pm –

Wednesday, 25 July, 5:30pm

conference venue:

Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung – Südliches Schlossrondell 23 –80638 Munich

Keynote speakers:

Monday, 23 July, 6pm:

Volker Berghahn (Columbia University, New York City): American Foundations, the Arts, and high Politics (1898–2018)

Tuesday, 24 July, 11am:

Inderjeet Parmar (City University of London): Foundations of the US-led Liberal International Order: From the ‘Rise to Globalism’ to ‘America First’

Registration is mandatory. Please register via e-mail to Gwendolin Lehnerer indicating your name and affiilation: gwendolinlehnerer@yahoo.com


#philanthropyconference2018 #DevelopingTheatre #PhilanthropyMunich #GTHCentre 

“Developing Theatre” – Presentation of our new ERC Research Project


Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 reads the title of our new ERC funded research project under the umbrella of the Centre for Global Theatre History.

On Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 12 (s.t.)-2pm the project’s leaders and researchers will introduce to the agenda of Developing Theatre at the Institute of Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80799 Munich, room #109. 


This new research project, sponsored by the European Research Council, proposes a fundamental re-examination of the historiography of theatre in emerging countries after 1945. It investigates the institutional factors that led to the emergence of professional theatre in the post-war period throughout the decolonizing world. The particular focus will be on the massive involvement of internationally coordinated ‘development’ and ‘modernization’ programs both East and West. The project will introduce the concepts of epistemic community, expert networks and techno-politics to theatre historical research as a means to historicize theatre within transnational and transcultural paradigms and examine its imbrication in globalization processes.

With contributions by Christopher Balme (PI), Nic Leonhardt (Associate Director & Senior Researcher), Gautam Chakrabarti (PostDoc), Rebecca Sturm (PhD candidate).

The project website will be online soon.

Contact: n.leonhardt @ lmu.de