Dr. Franziska Trapp is a researcher at the University of Münster who founded theZirkus|Wissenschaft research project, a project which seeks to combine academic researcher with circus studies. On the forefront of circus studies in Germany, Trapp has organized two international conferences and has worked for various circus productions such as the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain and Cirque Bouffon and successfully completed the Certificate en dramaturgie circassienne (CNAC and ESAC). We asked Trapp to tell us about her dissertation, and her other circus-based projects, all of which tend to overlap in her mission to extend the world of circus studies to practitioners, academics and fans.
Kim Campbell: Please describe the nature of your research and how it led you to organize the UpSideDown Conference and book? Dr. Franziska Trapp: My dissertation, entitled Reading Contemporary Circus, is developing a model to analyze representations of contemporary circus in its historical and cultural context for the first time. It provides a dramaturgy of contemporary circus which, despite the diversity of representations, reveals generalizable characteristics of the genre. The core of my argumentation is based on the assumption that circus performances are readable as cultural texts. Therefore, I am approaching circus through the lens of semiotics, cultural poetics, dance and theatre studies. ...
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