Due to its ephemeral object of inquiry, Theater Studies with an emphasis on Digital Humanities have for a long time been focused on modeling metadata, constructing ontologies, or conducting network analysis. In contrast, other disciplines of cultural history in recent years have had exponentially growing data sets and started to adapt machine learning techniques to handle large amounts of text, image, or film data. This has resulted in innovative research strategies that can potentially facilitate new perspectives for theater studies as well. With this series of workshops. we want to complement the existing research on data models, repertoire data and agent networks with questions about the potentials and politics of computational methods for theater research. On the one hand, we hope that this will add to the ongoing debate on re-positioning theater studies within digital (research) cultures and, on the other hand, that it will strengthen the interdisciplinary dialogue. Throughout the year of 2022, we will hold a workshop series of five online events and invite two international speakers per workshop: one of them a colleague from a neighboring discipline who will present insights into the current state of DH-inquiries and talk about recent projects in this field; the other colleague will be a scholar of Theater or Performance Studies with overlaps regarding content and/or presented methods. The blog aims to present the participants, the progress and the output of the workshop, the hopefully vivid discussions on the potentials and challenges of computational methods for research into theater and performance, as well as the epistemological politics inevitably involved.

Nora Probst (University of Paderborn) and Ulf Otto (LMU Munich)