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Symposium: UNDOING MASTERY in Wissenschaft und Praxis

Feb 25, 2022 - Feb 26, 2022
Undoing Mastery

Undoing Mastery

A symposium on the 25th & 26th of February 2022 at Refugio Berlin and online 

Mastery – a term that encompasses different manifestations and layers of meaning. On the one hand, it is inseparably linked to the history of colonialism, the exercise of power and domination, to systems of oppression. On the other hand, mastery may also be used in the sense of expertise or command of a language, an everyday practice or a trade. What then is the relationship between the different meanings and the uses of the term? In Unthinking Mastery (2018), literary scholar Julietta Singh points to the connection between mastery as enacted by colonisation, and other forms of mastery which we tend to think of as harmless, worthwile, even virtuous. Mastery is conspicuous at times; at others, it hides in plain sight Rather than a given, preexisting state of being, mastery must be enacted, reproduced and actualised by bodies in affective relation. Mastery requires action, execution and implementation. Mastery is “a certain form of human living that is woven tightly into the fabric of our worldviews” (Singh 2018: 173).

Undoing Mastery can be understood as the quest for practices that disrupt, stay or reverse these performances of power. Motivated by a sense of unease with the Hegelian dialectic of lordship and bondage, of master and servant, Undoing Mastery seeks to contest, subvert and obstruct the telos of command and domination. Our approach to this complex endeavor will take theatre as exemplary object, understood here as the dovetailing of institution, art form, technological dispositive and discursive process. What are the various forms of mastery inscribed in the theatre? What practices of undoing are conceivable; what practices have been tried?

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The symposium will be a hybrid event: it will take place in presence at Refugio Berlin and digitally. There will be panels in German and English; the panel on the 25th of February at 6:30pm will additionally be translated into German Sign Language (please note in the registration if you wish to take advantage of this offer). 

Participation in presence at:

Refugio Berlin, large hall
Lenaustraße 3-4
12047 Berlin https://refugio.berlin/ 

The 2G+ rule applies at the symposium: The participation in presence is only possible after the proof of a full Covid-Vaccination (or proof of recovery) and an additional negative test from the same day. Wearing an FFP2 mask on site is mandatory.


Participation online:

In any case we kindly ask you to register by Wednesday, 23.2.22, indicating whether you would like to participate in presence or online, by email to: marisa.burkhardt@fu-berlin.de.

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P R O G R A M M E:


Friday, 25.2.2022 


1 pm Begrüßung (dt.)

Karina Rocktäschel, Theresa Schütz, Doris Kolesch


1:15 pm Theaterwissenschaftliche Forschung I – Aktuelle Perspektiven (engl.)

Pedzisai Maedza

Jan Dammel

Moderation: Karina Rocktäschel


2:15 pm Break


2:30 pm Theaterwissenschaftliche Forschung II – Aktuelle Perspektiven (dt.)

Azadeh Sharifi

Lisa Skwirblies

Moderation: Karina Rocktäschel


3:30 pm Coffee Break


4 pm Aesthetic Enlightenment and the Art of Decolonization (engl.)

Nikita Dhawan

Moderation: Doris Kolesch


5 pm Break


5:15 pm To PerforMemory – Wie Tanz Wissen schafft (dt.)

Layla Zami

Moderation: Mariama Diagne


6 pm Break


6:30 pm Festivals kuratieren – Ein Erfahrungsaustausch (dt. + DGS)

Angela Alves

Martine Dennewald

nOu Kollektiv (Helene Röhnsch & Caro Zieringer)

Katharina Wisotzki

Sri Hartini Santo

Moderation: Theresa Schütz


8 pm Break


8:30 pm The Breaks – Author Reading (engl.)

Julietta Singh

Moderation: Omar Kasmani



Saturday, 26.2.2022 


12 pm Transnational Alliances (engl.)

kainkollektiv (Mirjam Schmuck und Fabian Lettow)

Flinn Works (Sophia Stepf) und Anuja Ghosalkar

Moderation: Julius Heinicke


1:30 pm Lunch Break


2:30 pm Auf den Weg machen mit… [only in presence] (dt.)


Julia*n Meding

Sean Patten (Gob Squad)

Bewohner*innen des Refugio


3:30 pm Break


4 pm Verlernen von Dominanzkultur – Ein Austausch (dt.)

Sabine Hark

Luce deLire

Studierende der FU Berlin