Jan Dammel

Doctoral Fellow


Campus am Neuen Palais
Am Neuen Palais 10
Building 1, Room 0.15
14469 Potsdam


by appointment only

Dissertation Project

Theatre and German Colonialism: Ideology, Resistance and Postcolonial Hierarchies

The research project seeks to investigate how theatre and performance have been used as key sites for the articulation of both imperial ideology and anti-colonial resistance against German colonialism on the African continent, focusing on Dar-es-Salaam, Windhoek and the former imperial metropole Berlin.

Situated at the intersection of theatre and postcolonial studies, the project sets out to scrutinize distinct ways in which theatre and performance have been deployed: Firstly, the ideological assertion of German Colonialism and particularly white supremacy, secondly, the affirmation of anti-colonial resistance against German Colonial Rule, and, thirdly, the negotiation of postcolonial hierarchies within contemporary North-South collaborative theatre projects. As a key premise, the project reflects on the epistemological underpinnings within Theatre and Performance Studies that have been entangled with colonialism and its multiple legacies.


I studied Theatre and Performance Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, l’Université Lille III and the Universiteit van Amsterdam, graduating in 2016 with an M.A. in Theatre Studies.

Between 2016 and 2017 I was involved with Berlin-based student initiatives pushing for the decolonization of universities. Since 2017, I have supported activities by Berlin Postkolonial as a volunteer, such as events, conferences and archival research on acts of anti-colonial resistance by citizens of former “German East Africa” residing in Berlin. I also worked in conference management for two years. In 2019, I joined the RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms.

Research Interests

  • Postcolonial Studies                 
  • Postcolonial Historiography
  • Tanzanian Theatre History
  • History of Theatre Studies
  • Theatre and (Anti-)Racism
  • Artistic Practices between Visual and Performing Arts

Conference Papers

"Negotiating Positions: Performance Analysis as a Collaborative Practice", THE YES CONFERENCE, Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen, February 13, 2016.

“Aktion im Kasten, Aktion mit dem Kasten’. Zu Peter Weibels tele-aktionen.“, Conference “Kunst (im) Fernsehen: Akteure, Formate und Rahmungen von Fernsehperformances”, Free University Berlin, September 06 –07, 2014.

Co-organized Events

·       Panel discussion on decolonial student movements, Humboldt-University Berlin, September 2017.

·       Symposium How To Dance with Art, Berliner Festspiele, July 2014.