Short CV/Education and training

  • 1963 – 1970
    Studied theatre studies, Slavic studies, German philology, philosophy, psychology and education at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin and the University of Hamburg, Germany

  • 1971
    First state examination, afterwards student teaching, in the subjects of German and Russian to qualify for teaching at Gymnasium (grammar school), Hamburg

  • 1972
    Second state examination and teaching in Hamburg

  • 1973
    Appointed H2 professor at the Institute for German Language and Literature I, Goethe University Frankfurt

  • 1978 – 1979
    Business manager of the Institute for German Language and Literature I, Goethe University Frankfurt

  • 1983 – 1984
    Fulbright Scholar at Trenton State College, New Jersey, USA

  • 1985
    Visiting professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, for the course "Theatre" at the International Summer Institute for Structural and Semiotic Studies, USA

  • 1986
    Appointed C4 professor and chair in general and comparative literature at the University of Bayreuth

  • 1986 – 1990
    Business manager of the Institute for the Study of World Literature, founded in 1986 in the Faculty of Languages and Literature

  • 1990
    Appointed C4 University Professor of theatre studies at Mainz University

  • 1990 – 1991
    Given the task of organising the career-related complementary studies in the Magister degree course of studies in literature: "Applied Literary Studies" (qualification for careers in theatre, film, the media, journalism, etc.) at the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies

  • 1991
    Founding of the Department for Theatre Studies at Mainz University - Director of the department

  • 1992
    Max Kade Distinguished Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

  • 1992 – 1993
    Chairperson of the Integration and Appointments committee for Theatre Studies at the University of Leipzig

  • 1993
    Visiting professor in the German Department at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA

  • 1994
    Guest seminar at the Theatre Arts Academy in St. Petersburg, Belarus

  • 1996
    Appointed C4 University Professor of Theatre Studies at Freie Universität (FU) Berlin

  • 1999
    Visiting professor in the seminar programme of the Japanese Association of German Language Experts in Tateshina, Japan

  • 2000
    Thyssen Fellow at the Max Kade Centre for Contemporary German Literature, University of Washington, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

  • 2001 and 2002
    Visiting professor in the Department of Theatre, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

  • 2007
    Visiting professor at the National Academy of Drama, New Delhi, India

  • 2007
    Visiting professor at the Theatre Academy, Beijing, China

  • 2008
    Visiting professor at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

  • 2008 – 2012
    Visiting professor at the Universität Oslo, Faculty of Humanities, Ibsen Centre, Norway (Professorship II)

  • Since 2008
    University Professor of theatre studies

  • Since 2008
    Director of the International Research Centre "Interweaving Cultures in Performance"

  • Since 2008
    Director of the project "Aesthetic experience as liminal experience" within the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 626 "Aesthetic experience and the dissolution of artistic limits"

Selected publications

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Semiotik des Theaters, 3 Vols. Tübingen/Basel, 1983 (5th ed. 2007).

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Geschichte des Dramas, 2 Vols. Tübingen/Basel, 1990 (3rd ed. 2010), Translated into English, Hungarian, Slovakian.

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Kurze Geschichte des deutschen Theaters. Tübingen/Basel, 1993 (2nd ed. 1999).

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: The Show and the Gaze of Theatre. Iowa City, 1997.

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Das eigene und das fremde Theater. Tübingen/Basel, 1999.

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Ästhetik des Performativen. Frankfurt a. M., 2004 (5th ed. 2008).

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Theatre, Sacrifice, Ritual. Exploring Forms of Political Theatre. London/New York, 2005.

  • Fischer-Lichte, E., Kolesch, D., Warstat, M.: Metzler Lexikon Theatertheorie. Stuttgart/Weimar, 2005.

  • Fischer-Lichte, E., Dreyer, M.: Antike Tragödie heute. Berlin, 2007.

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Theaterwissenschaft. Tübingen/Basel, 2010.

  • Fischer-Lichte, E., Warstat, M., Littmann, A.: Theater und Fest in Europa. Perspektiven von Identität und Gemeinschaft. Tübingen/Basel, 2010 (forthcoming).

  • Fischer-Lichte, E.: Global Ibsen. Performing Multiple Modernities. London/New York, 2010 (forthcoming).


Selected projects

  • Approval of an application for an international Research Centre for the Humanities for research on "Interweaving theatre cultures in a globalising world", initially for six years, by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), to begin 1 Aug. 2008 and run until 31 July 2014, 2007

  • Approval of an application to continue with the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 447 "Cultures of Performativity" for an additional three years (until 31 Dec. 2010), 2007

  • Approval of an application for the International Research Training Group "InterArt" (initially for 4.5 years), 2006

  • Approval of an application for a German–Israeli joint project on "Poetics and Politics of the Future" for a period of three years, from the GIF, to begin 1 April 2007, 2006

  • Approval of an application for a joint research project: "Theatre and festival. Staging of community and identity" for three years from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), 2006

  • Approval of the DFG research project "The imaginary in artistic performances" (1 Jan. 2006 – 31 Dec. 2009), 2005

  • Approval of an application to continue with the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 447 "Cultures of Performativity" for an additional three years (2005 – 2007), 2004

  • Approval for the Collaborative Research Centre "Transformations of antiquity", initially for four years, to begin 1 Jan. 2005; Head of the project: "Transformations in the Greek theatre", 2004

  • Approval of an application to continue with the Research Training Group "Staging bodies" for the last three years, 2003

  • Approval for the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 626 "Aesthetic experience and the dissolution of artistic limits", initially for 4 years, to begin 1 Jan. 2003; Head of the project "Aesthetic experience as liminal experience", 2002

  • Approval of an application to continue with the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 447 "Cultures of Performativity" for an additional 3 years (2002 – 2004), 2001

  • Approval of an application to continue with the Research Training Group "Staging bodies" for an additional three years, 2000

  • Approval of the DFG Collaborative Research Centre SFB 447 "Cultures of Performativity" for an initial period of three years, to begin 1 Jan. 1999; Head of the project "Aesthetics of Performativity", 1998

  • Approval of an application to "catalogue the most significant materials belonging to the Walter Unruh Collection on the history of theatre" by the DFG, for a period of 4 years, 1997

  • Approval of an application for funding of a research project on "The structure and function of intercultural processes of exchange in contemporary popular theatre in Peru, Columbia and Mexico – Theatre as a model of intercultural understanding" within the framework of the research topic "The other and the own – Problems and possibilities in intercultural understanding", for a period of 4 years, 1997

  • Approval for the Research Training Group "Staging bodies", initially for three years, to begin 1 Oct. 1997, 1997

  • DFG Priority Programme "Theatricality – Theatre as cultural model in cultural studies", Initiator, co-ordinator and head of the project "Theatricality and the crises of representation", 1996 – 2002

  • Approval of an application for funding for a research project on "Developing Russian–German curricular elements in theatre history and performance analysis" by the Volkswagen Foundation within the framework of the Priority Programme "Common paths towards Europe – Foundations and examples of collaborative work between Central and Eastern Europe in the humanities and social sciences", 1995

  • Approval of an application to extend the Research Training Group "Theatre as a paradigm of modernity: Drama and Theatre in the 20th century (from 1880)" for an additional three years (1 April 1995 – 31 March 1998), 1994

  • Approval of the application to continue with the project "The staging of the other as cultural transformation. A comparative study of the productive reception of Far Eastern theatre through the theatre of the European Avant-garde (England, Germany, France, Russia)" by the DFG Individual Grants Programme for two years (until 31 May 1994), 1992

  • Approval for the DFG Research Training Group "Theatre as a paradigm of modernity: Drama and Theatre in the 20th century (from 1880)" for three years, 1991

  • Approval of an application to create the research group "European Theatre History" by the Werner Reimers Foundation, Bad Homburg. The group has produced two publications on the theatre of the 20th century (see publications), 1990

  • Head of the project "Intercultural tendencies in contemporary Chinese theatre", funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, 1989 – 1992

  • Member of the DFG Collaborative Research Centre SFB 214 "Identity in Africa" at the University of Bayreuth. Head of the project "Processes of cultural transformation in Nigerian Anglophone theatre", 1989 – 1991

  • Approval of an application to create a DFG Research Unit at the University of Bayreuth on "Changing world view". Project: "The staging of the other as cultural transformation. A comparative study of the productive reception of Far Eastern theatre through the theatre of the European Avant-garde (England, Germany, France, Russia)", 1989

  • Head of the "Performance analysis" area of the collaborative project "Productive media analysis based in semiotics" (for analysing images, film and performances) carried out by the area of Theatre, Film and Television Studies in the Institute of German Language and Literature I at Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt a. M., and by the Department of Visual Communication at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, and funded by the Hessian Ministry of Culture, 1981 – 1983

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the Excellence Council at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin, Germany

  • Editor or member of the academic advisory committees of journals and series

  • Member of the advisory board of the series New Directions in German Studies, since 2010

  • Member of the advisory board of Theatre Arts Journal: Studies in Scenography and Performance, since 2010

  • Member of the international advisory board of Konsthistorisk tidskrift / Journal of Art History (Routledge), since 2009

  • Member of the editorial board of Classical Receptions Journal (Oxford Journals, Oxford Univ. Press), since 2009

  • Director of the international institute for advanced studies in the humanities "Verflechtungen von Theaterkulturen/ Interweaving Performance Cultures" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), since 2008

  • Appointed panel chair of SH5 "Cultures and Cultural Production" of the European Research Council (ERC), 2008

  • Member of the advisory board of the Journal of Literary Theory (Walter de Gruyter), since 2007

  • Member of the editorial board of Dance Research: The Journal of the Society for Dance Research (Edinburgh Univ. Press, ed. by Susan Foster), since 2006

  • Spokesperson of the International Research Training Group "InterArt" (DFG), since 2006

  • Spokesperson of the research association "Theatre and Festival" (BMBF), 2006 – 2009

  • Appointed to the university council of the University of Hamburg, Germany 2006

  • Contributing editor of Theatre Research International (Cambridge), since 2005

  • Appointed to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), 2005

  • Member of the blue ribbon commission "Bavaria, the State of Science 2020", 2004 – 2005

  • Member of the university council for the State of Brandenburg, 2003 – 2007

  • Spokesperson of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Fine Arts and Aesthetics at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin, 2002 – 2009

  • Member of the advisory board of the company IWF Knowledge and Media in Göttingen, 2002 – 2005

  • Member of the editorial board of Didaskalia (King's College London), since 2001

  • Member of the scientific commission of the Federal State of Lower Saxony, 2001 – 2006

  • Member of the scientific advisory board for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the International University Bremen, 2001 – 2006

  • Member of the board of trustees of the Liszt School of Music, Weimar, 2000 – 2008

  • Member of the university development committee of Saxony, 2000 – 2001

  • Editor of the series Theatralität (Theatricality) (Francke Verlag), originating in the DFG Priority Programme of the same name, since 2000

  • Spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 447 "Cultures of Performativity" and head of the subproject B1, 1999 – 2010

  • Appointed to the academic advisory board of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Budapest, Hungary, 1999 – 2005

  • Member of the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat), 1999 – 2005

  • Appointed to the newly founded "Council to the Bavarian State Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs", 1998

  • Appointed to the Göttingen Academy of Sciences as a corresponding member of the Philological-Historical class, 1998

  • Appointed to the DFG selection committee for awarding the Leibniz Prize, 1998

  • Associate editor of Theatre Journal, 1997 – 2002

  • Spokesperson of the DFG Research Training Group "Staging bodies", 1997

  • Spokesperson of the DFG Priority Programme "Theatricality – Theatre as cultural model in cultural studies", 1996 – 2002

  • President of the International Federation for Theatre Research IFTR/ FIRT, 1995 – 1999

  • German member of the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation, 1994 – 1999

  • Appointed to the Academia Europaea (Section: Literature, Theatre, Media), 1994

  • Member of the senate and the executive committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG), 1993 – 1998

  • Spokesperson of the Research Training Group "Theatre as a paradigm of modernity: Drama and Theatre in the 20th century (from 1880)", 1992

  • Co-editor of the series Mainzer Forschungen für Drama und Theater (Mainz Research in Drama and Theatre), since 1991

  • Member of the board of trustees of the Rhineland-Palatinate foundation for innovation (Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Innovation), 1991 – 2007

  • Juror in the competition for the Else Lasker Drama Prize for pupils, which is awarded every two years, 1991 – 2006

  • President of the Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft (society for theatre studies in German-speaking areas), 1991 – 1996

  • Member of the executive committee of the IFTR (International Federation of Theatre Research), 1991 – 1995

  • Spokesperson of the German Research Foundation (DFG) Research Unit "Changing world views", 1989

  • Representative of the University of Bayreuth for a cooperative effort with the Media Academy in Kulmbach, Germany, 1988 – 1990

  • Member of the editorial board of the series La Escena, Buenos Aires, Argentina, since 1988

  • Member of the editorial board of the series Utrecht Publications in General and Comparative Literature, Utrecht, Netherlands, since 1987

  • Member of the international editorial board of the journal Assaph, Studies in the Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel, since 1986

  • Member of the scientific advisory board of the German Association for Semiotic Studies, 1984 – 1987

  • Member of the scientific advisory board of Zeitschrift für Semiotik (Journal of Semiotics), 1984 – 1987

  • Chairperson of the German Association for Semiotic Studies for the year 1983, as well as member of the executive committee of the German Association for Semiotic Studies, 1982 – 1984

  • Member of the academic advisory board to the International Association for Semiotics of Performing Arts (IASPA), 1981

Media coverage

Additional qualifications

  • Spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 447 "Kulturen des Performativen" (Cultures of Performativity)

  • Spokesperson of the International Research Training Group "InterArt"


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