What Happened to Theatre Studies?


  • Niels Lehmann Aarhus University




Theatre Studies, Pragmatization, Theorization, Expansion


In this article, the recent development of theatre studies is outlined in order to suggest a way forward under the heading of “theatre studies 3.0.” A double thesis is defended. Firstly, it is argued that the development of theatre studies is marked by a simultaneous tendency towards pragmatization, theorization, and expansion. Secondly, it is shown that these three strands of development may be seen as reactions to a more fundamental threefold change of the social semantics: a decline of the tradition of edification, an insistence of convergence of the theoretically and the practically oriented programmes
of education, and finally a loss of self-evident borders for disciplines. Having suggested what happened to theatre studies and why it happened, the article suggests that we follow a path called “theatre studies 3.0.” based on “an asymmetrical double strategy”.

Author Biography

Niels Lehmann, Aarhus University

Niels Lehmann is an associate professor of dramaturgy at Aarhus University. He has contributed to the area of theoretical dramaturgy by writing on a variety of subjects ranging from performance art, tragedy, pedagogical drama to the theory of aesthetics, deconstruction, and philosophy of difference in general. Since 2003, he has served as headof the Department of Aesthetic studies and the School of Communication and Culture. Currently, he is vice-dean for education at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University.


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How to Cite

Lehmann, N. (2019). What Happened to Theatre Studies?. Nordic Theatre Studies, 30(2), 8–21. https://doi.org/10.7146/nts.v30i2.112948



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