Zirkus | Wissenschaft

Interdisciplinary GSPoL

From your PhD to your own academic project

The project Zirkus | Wissenschaft seeks to anchor circus—a relevant object of research for cultural studies—in university research and coursework. It also encourages and initiates research projects on this genre, as well as the production of bachelor, master, and doctoral theses from students and scholars alike in Germany.

The project explicitly aims to establish the University of Münster as a long-term international meeting place for circensic researchers from Germany and abroad as well as to set up an international scholarly network.

Zirkus | Wissenschaft is intended to raise the public’s awareness of the significance of the circus as a cultural good.

© Dmitry Shakhin


Zirkus | Wissenschaft strives to conceive of the circus genre in various ways. Based on diverse academic disciplines—such as Theatre Studies, Dance Studies, Semiotics, Sociology, History, Medicine, and Cultural Studies—different perspectives of circus are analyzed and placed within such contexts.


In light of the international nature of the circus genre in general, circensic research must also be international: The study of circus as an independent, institutionalized science does not yet exist worldwide. But in France, Canada, and Sweden, deeper examinations of the circus genre have already been established in university research. For this reason, Zirkus | Wissenschaft is closely connected to these international universities and scholars in the exchange of information.

The connection between science and praxis

Since circus has only recently become the object of scientific research, there must be a continual exchange between science and praxis, which is why Zirkus | Wissenschaft cooperates with diverse companies and circus producers.

Picture of Dr. Trapp


This project was initiated and is overseen by Franziska Trapp, doctoral student at the Graduate School Practices of Literature at the University of Münster and the University of Montepellier. In her dissertation, she analyzes narration in circus performances of the Nouveau Cirque.

Franziska Trapp
Graduate School Practices of Literature
University of Münster
Schlossplatz 34
48143 Münster