In February it was decided that theatre studies would keep its position as a major at the University of Helsinki. A cutback was warded off, but only until 2026, after which the fate of Finland’s only theatre studies program remains uncertain.
Finland likes to profile itself as a land of theatre, one with an all-encompassing creative field. But why is the need for an active academic environment that maintains an active scholarly discussion with historical and theoretical contexts? Why are theatre studies not prioritised more?
LUST wants to join the discussion on the future of theatre studies in Finland by asking for what, exactly, it’s needed. The event begins with a speech by theatre scholar André Eiermann on how theatre studies are used in the creation of performing arts, after which we continue with a speech by Hanna Korsberg, professor in theatre studies at the University of Helsinki. We finish with a discussion on how we can strengthen theatre studies in Finland. We also ask: Why does this field of study not have a Swedish-speaking program?
With: André Eiermann, Hanna Korsberg, Linnea Stara, Clas Zilliacus
Organiser: LUST in collaboration with Hangö Teaterträff
André Eiermann is professor of theatre at Universitetet i Agder, where he has been employed since 2018. He has studied at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (Germany), and at the Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies (theatre studies) at Universitetet i Bergen. Before his appointment at Universitetet i Agder, he worked as a substitute professor of the theory and history of theatre at Universität der Künste Berlin (2015-2016), as a substitute professor for theatre studies at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main (2010-2011), and as postdoc at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (2009-2010 & 2011-2012), where he also received a PhD in 2008 with the thesis Postspektakuläres Theater – Die Alterität der Aufführung und die Entgrenzung der Künste (2009). In addition, Eiermann has been active as performing artist since 2001, and has since 2013 collaborated as a dramaturge with various other artists, both in the Norwegian and the international context.
Hanna Korsberg has been Professor of Theatre Research at the University of Helsinki since 2008. Her research interests include the relationship between theatre and politics in Finland, a topic which she has studied in two monographs. She is also the author of several articles discussing theatre history, historiography and performance. She has been an active member of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) Historiography Working Group since 2001, an executive committee member in 2007–2015 and Vice President during 2015–2019. She has served as a member of the advisory boards for Contemporary Theatre Review and Nordic Theatre Studies. She is also a member of the Teachers’ Academy at the University of Helsinki.
LUST – Långsiktig Utveckling av Svenskspråkig Teater is a non-profit organisation that works to develop the professional theatre field in Finland through Swedish-language theatre.