Anika Marschall

Published: 14 November 2016

Performing Human Rights

University of Glasgow

Peforming Human Rights

Academic History:

Since 2015 PhD Theatre Studies (University of Glasgow)

2012 - 2015 MA Theatre Studies (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany)

2010 - 2012 BA Theatre, Film & Media Studies (University of Vienna, Austria)


Professor Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow

Dr Michael Bachmann, University of Glasgow

Dr Anselm Heinrich, University of Glasgow

Research Interests:

  • Contemporary Theatre Practices
  • Peformative Interventions
  • Human Rights
  • Asylum Policy
  • Refugee Crisis
  • Ecocriticism

Faced with an enormous influx of refugees, many European states currently fail to fulfil international legal obligations to protect human rights–even though they reject such accusations by invoking their lack of capacity to act in times of an exceptional crisis. In contrast. Contemporary theatre & performative political interventions claim agency & participation to enact human rights. In my research, I seek to trace, analyse & theorise the different agencies of theatre artists & performative political interventions in their attempts at challenging “our” contemporary understanding of human rights. In what ways does contemporary theatre perform the International Bill of Human Rights & reflect upon its inherent performativity? How does theatrical practice influence & contribute to the understanding of how human rights may be constructed beyond law? What is mobilised when theatrical practices probe legal boundaries? By examining the ethico-politcal implications related to different forms of theatre & cultural performance, I will propose & test theatre's efficacy as a performative form of jurisdiction.

Previous Research Projects:

Prior to embarking on my PhD I worked as copy editor for the academic peer-reviewed journal SYN in Vienna (Austria), & I curated exhibitions & public programmes for Kunsthalle Darmstadt, a major publicly funded museum for contemporary art based in Darmstadt (Germany). I helped to conceptualise & organise an exhibition on Irish artist John Gerrard. Working closely with the artist & the edited volume Simulation, Exercise, Operations (Urbanomic 2015) has shaped my scholarly understanding of aesthetic approaches to the contemporary military-industrial complex as well as my knowledge of how media performances might intervene in social power structures.

My Master's research focused on German theatre director Claudia Bosse, especially on her performances on the Arab Spring & their thinking through concepts that go beyond Western ideas of democracy. This led to my interest in developing a socio-politically relevant research topic combining theatre with political theory and ethics.


2015 - 2017 AHRC DTP Studentship

2015 - 2017 College of Arts Postgraduate Studentship, University of Glasgow

2014 - 2015 Deutschlandstipendium, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany


“Kategorisierung Flüchtling – Willkommenskultur und Handlungsmacht politischer Theaterinterventionen“, in: Re/Produktionsmaschine Kunst. Kategorisierungen des Körpers in den Darstellenden Künsten (forthcoming Transcript 2017). [“Category Refugee–Welcome Cultures and Agencies in Performative Interventions”]

“The State at Play? Notions of State(less)ness in Contemporary Interventionist Performances” Critical Stages, No.14 (2016).

“Zerstörungshumor' als Denkfigur in Antonin Artauds Theater der Grausamkeit” SYN. Magazin für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, No.8 (2014): 21–30. [“On Destructive Humour in Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty”]

“Texträume als Performanzerfahrung in Claudia Bosses 'dominant powers. was also tun?'“ DIENADEL. Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschrift für Kunst und Medien, No.2 (2013): 78–102. [“The Performative Experience of Text Spaces through Claudia Bosse's Performance dominant powers. what is to be done then?”]

Contact Details:


First published: 14 November 2016