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Mw. dr. S. (Sruti) Bala

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Fotograaf: Christiaan Krop

  • Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18
  • Postbus 93065
    1090 BB Amsterdam
  • Profile

    Sruti Bala is Associate Professor at the Dept. of Theatre Studies of the University of Amsterdam, where she currently co-ordinates the MA Theatre Studies programme. She is affiliated to the  Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis and Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies.

    Sruti studies Indian classical percussion (Tabla) with Niti Ranjan Biswas.

  • News

    Politics and Performance - Speakers' Series (Feb - June 2021)

    online monthly series co-organised with Dr. Elize Mazadiego (Art History, UvA)

    with talks by Mara Ezcurra, Mark Fleishman, Jennifer Ponce de Léon, Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca, Ana Vujanovic - Full Programme and Registration 


    The Politics of Knowledge in Africa and African Scholarship on Decolonization

    Dahlem Humanities Centre Lecture with Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni (Univ Bayreuth)

    20 January 2021, 18hrs CET - Registration for online webinar


    Beyond Participation: Reaching Institutional Openings

    Online Symposium organised by University of Aarhus/University of Bern

    07 December 2020 - Programme


    Webinar: Guest lecture by Prof. Aaron Kamugisha, Univ of West Indies

    Caribbean Thought Against Neocolonial Citizenship

    26 Nov 2020, 15-17hrs CET (via Zoom) - Programme and registration details


    Webinar: Embodied Practices - Looking from Small Places

    Minor Constellations in Conversation Lecture Series

    19 Nov 2020, 14-16 hrs CET (Online), University of Potsdam, Minor Cosmopolitanisms Research Group - Programme 


    Lecture: Thoughts on Inviting Community Participation

    University of Arts Helsinki, Theatre Education Dept.

    30 September 2020, Online


    Presentation at Faculty Opening of the Academic Year 2020-21

    03 September 2020, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam



    ASCA Book Award 2019 for 'The Gestures of Participatory Art'

    Award announcement

    Recently published: The Gestures of Participatory Art (Manchester University Press, 2018)

    Reviews of the book:

    New Theatre Quarterly (2019) - reviewed by Gareth White

    Research in Drama Education (2019) - reviewed by Eugene van Erven

    Forum Modernes Theater (2020) - reviewed by Katharina Pewny

    NWO Research Project:
    Cultural Practices of Citizenship under Conditions of Fragmented Sovereignty

    The five-year research project "Cultural Practices of Citizenship under Conditions of Fragmented Sovereignty: Gendered and Sexual Citizenship in Curaçao and Bonaire" (funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO) in partnership with the University of Curaçao will investigate how citizenship is practiced under conditions of fragmented national sovereignty. Departing from the recognition that citizenship is not only a legal status legal status based on (birth)-rights and filial duties, but equally a notion tied to the histories of the nation-state, its claims to modernity, and its legacies of colonialism, slavery, and gender inequalities, the project examines citizenship in Curaçao and Bonaire in terms of practices and incipient struggles for political subjectivity. It asks how citizenship is practiced and culturally articulated by subjects facing multiple forms of systemic inequalities. The proposed research consists of two multi-disciplinary doctoral projects on citizenship in relation to sexual minorities and gender relations respectively.

    For updates, see our Project Website

  • Teaching
  • PhD supervisions


    Current PhD supervisions

    Zoénie Deng: Engaged Urban Art Practices in China
    (promoter: Prof. Dr. Jeroen de Kloet)

    Oluchi Igili: Legislative Theatre in Ondo State, Nigeria
    (promoter: Prof. Dr. Kati Röttger)

    Wigbertson Julian Isenia: Sexual Citizenship in the Dutch Caribbean
    (promoter: Prof. Dr. Rivke Jaffe, co-promoter: Dr. Rose Mary Allen) - part of NWO-funded project

    Aronnette Martis (University of Curaçao): Dance and Citizenship in the Dutch Caribbean
    (promoter: Prof. Dr. Wim Rutgers, co-promoter: Dr. Rose Mary Allen) - part of NWO-funded project

    Hari Prasad A. Sacré (University of Ghent): Decolonial and Intersectional Art Education in Belgium
    (promoter: Prof. Dr. Kris Rutten)

  • Publicaties


    • Bala, S. (Accepted/In press). Anti-colonial critique and imperial nostalgia in J. Slauerhoff’s play 'Jan Pieterszoon Coen' (1931). In E. Fischer-Lichte, H. Hartung, T. Jost, & C. Weiler (Eds.), Histories of Interweaving Performance Cultures London/ New York: Routledge.
    • Bala, S. (Accepted/In press). Interruption and Interpellation: Leaving the theatre in search of the theatre. In M. Gluhovic, S. Jestrovic, S. Rai, & M. Saward (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Performance and Politics Oxford: Oxford University Press.


    • Bala, S. (2020). Necessary Misapplications: The work of translation in performance in an era of global asymmetries. South African Theatre Journal, 33(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2020.1760126
    • Bala, S. (2020). Theatre and the risk of fire. Biblioteca Teatrale, 133, 39-51.
    • Bala, S. (2020). ‘Een kolonie moeten wij planten’: Over Jan Pietersz. Coen (1931) van J. Slauerhoff. In R. van der Zalm, A. Krans, B. Ramakers, & V. Zangl (Eds.), In Reprise: Tweeëntwintig Nederlandse en Vlaamse toneelstukken om opnieuw te bekijken (pp. 63-76). Amsterdam University Press.
    • Reznek, J., & Bala, S. (2020). ‘And while I am falling, I listen’: On translation processes in I turned away and she was gone (2014). Jennie Reznek in conversation with Sruti Bala. South African Theatre Journal, 33(1), 52-66. https://doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2020.1754896


    • Bala, S. (2019). What is the impact of theatre and performance? In M. Bleeker, A. Kear, J. Kelleher, & H. Roms (Eds.), Thinking through Theatre and Performance (pp. 186-199). (Thinking Through Theatre). London: Bloomsbury. [details]
    • Bala, S. (2019). Workshops: The modularization of TO pedagogy. In K. Howe, J. Boal, & J. Soeiro (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Theatre of the Oppressed (pp. 304-308). (Routledge Theatre and Performance Companions). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315265704, https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315265704-33 [details]
    • Fleishman, M. (Guest ed.), & Bala, S. (Guest ed.) (2019). Translation and Performance in an Era of Global Asymmetries. South African Theatre Journal, 32(1).
    • Fleishman, M., & Bala, S. (2019). Editorial: Translation and performance in an era of global asymmetries. South African Theatre Journal, 32(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2019.1641352 [details]
    • Rao, M. K., & Bala, S. (2019). 'When you hold your eyes wide open, you actually don't see fully': on translation processes in the solo performance Ravanama (2011). South African Theatre Journal, 32(1), 77-87. https://doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2019.1623490


    • Bala, S. (2018). The Gestures of Participatory Art. Manchester: Manchester University Press. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2017). Decolonising Theatre and Performance Studies: Tales from the classroom. Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies, 20(3), 333-345. https://doi.org/10.5117/TVGN2017.3.BALA [details]
    • Bala, S. (2017). Scattered Speculations on the 'Internationalization' of Performance Research. In S. Bala, M. Gluhovic, H. Korsberg, & K. Röttger (Eds.), International Performance Research Pedagogies: Towards an Unconditional Discipline? (pp. 55-65). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-53943-0_4 [details]
    • Bala, S. (2017). The Art of Unsolicited Participation. In T. Fisher, & E. Katsouraki (Eds.), Performing Antagonism: Theatre, Performance & Radical Democracy (pp. 273-287). (Performance Philosophy). London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95100-0_14 [details]
    • Bala, S., Korsberg, H., Gluhovic, M., & Röttger, K. E. (2017). International Performance Research Pedagogies: Towards an Unconditional Discipline? In S. Bala, M. Gluhovic, H. Korsberg, & K. Röttger (Eds.), International Performance Research Pedagogies: Towards an Unconditional Discipline? (pp. 1-19). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-53943-0_1 [details]
    • Lakshmi, C. S., & Bala, S. (2017). No more sewing machines! The challenge of a women's archive in India. In N. Willems, S. Holla, E. Buchheim, S. Bultman, M. Groot, E. Walhout, & I. de Zwarte (Eds.), Gender and archiving: Past, present, future (pp. 103-106). (Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis; Vol. 37). Amsterdam: Verloren. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2016). Applied Theatre und die Frage der Institutionskritik. In M. Warstat, F. Evers, K. Flade, F. Lempa, & L. Seuberling (Eds.), Applied Theatre: Rahmen und Positionen (pp. 274-288). (Recherchen; Vol. 129). Berlin: Theater der Zeit. [details]






    • Bala, S. (2011). 'Unsere Waffe ist die Beharrlichkeit': Auftreten, Konzept und Aktivitäten der gewaltfreien paschtunischen Armee der Khudai Khidmatgar (1929-1948). In R. Steinweg, & U. Laubenthal (Eds.), Gewaltfreie Aktion: Erfahrungen und Analysen (pp. 119-125). Frankfurt am Main: Brandes & Apsel. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2009). The performativitiy of nonviolent protest in South Asia (1918-1948). Mainz: Universitätsbibliothek Mainz. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2007). Embodying autonomy: Gandhi's fasts as a form of nonviolent protest. In F. E. Boucher, S. David, & J. Przychodzen (Eds.), La paix: esthétique d'une éthique (pp. 37-50). Bern: Peter Lang. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2006). Konzepte engagierten Schreibens. Berlin: Logos.


    • Bala, S. (Accepted/In press). Das Theater verlassen auf der Suche nach dem Theater. In M. D. M. Castro Varela, & L. Haghighat (Eds.), Double Bind postkolonial : Kritische Perspektiven auf Kunst und Kulturelle Bildung (Postcolonial Studies). Transcript.



    • Bala, S. (2015). Rashomon: Diversifying Perspectives on Spectatorship in the Theatre of the Oppressed. Zbornik radova Fakulteta Dramskih Umetnosti, 27, 31-42. [details]
    • Bala, S., & Zangl, V. (2015). Humor's Opponents: Artistic Activism and the Ludic Aesthetic. In P. Weibel (Ed.), Global activism: art and conflict in the 21st century (pp. 449-454). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [details]
    • Tellis, A., & Bala, S. (Eds.) (2015). The Global Trajectories of Queerness: Re-thinking Same-Sex Politics in the Global South . (Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex and Race; Vol. 30). Leiden: Brill Rodopi. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004217942 [details]
    • Zangl, V. (Guest ed.), & Bala, S. (Guest ed.) (2015). Special issue on humour in art and activism. European Journal of Humour Research, 3(2/3), 1-169.


    • Bala, S. (2014). Losse speculaties over de internationalisering van performance onderzoek. In S. Alting van Geusau, P. Eversmann, & R. van der Zalm (Eds.), Theaterwetenschap aan de Amstel: vijftig jaar onderzoek en onderwijs aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam (pp. 121-135). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2012). De-stultifying spectatorship in the theatre of the oppressed. In A. Klöck (Ed.), The politics of being on stage (pp. 229-246). (Schriften / Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig; No. 4). Hildesheim [etc.]: Olms. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2009). Khuda-i Khidmatgar: Pashtun non-violent resistance force (1929-1948). In I. Ness (Ed.), The international encyclopaedia of revolution and protest: 1500 to the present (pp. 1965-1970). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]
    • Reich, H., & Bala, S. (2009). Theaterräume als Methode der Wissensgenerierung in der Friedensarbeit: das Unsagbare zeigen. In M. M. Baumann, H. M. Birkenbach, V. Brandes, S. Dieterich, U. Gundermann, & U. Suhr (Eds.), Friedensforschung und Friedenspraxis: Ermutigung zur Arbeit an der Utopie: Festschrift für Reiner Steinweg zum 70. Geburtstag (pp. 193-205). Frankfurt am Main: Brandes & Apsel. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2008). Mirar algo a la luz de las candilejas: consideraciones teóricas acerca de la performance. Apuntes de Teatro, 130, 140-147. [details]
    • Bala, S. (2008). The dramaturgy of fasting in Gandhian nonviolent action. In M. Wagner, & W. D. Ernst (Eds.), Performing the matrix: mediating cultural performances (pp. 289-306). München: ePODIUM. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2019). Was wir von den Kritiker*innen Gandhis in Indien lernen können. Spinnrad: Zeitschrift des Internationalen Versöhnungsbundes (Österreichischer Zweig), 3, 6-9. [details]
    • Bala, S. (2019). [Review of: S. Saha (2018) Theatre & National Identity in Colonial India: Formation of a Community Through Cultural Practice]. Theatre Research International, 44(3), 321-322. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0307883319000427 [details]


    • Bala, S. (2018). Dekoloniseer het kunstonderwijs. Rekto:Verso, 79, 82-84. [details]







    • Bala, S. (2011). [Review of: P. Anderson, J. Menon (2009) Violence performed: local roots and global routes of conflict; J. Thompson, et al. (2009) Performance in place of war]. Theatre Survey, 52(1), 209-211. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0040557411000329 [details]
    • Bala, S. (2011). [Review of: P.A. Ybarra (2009) Performing conquest : five centuries of theater, history, and identity in Tlaxcala, Mexico]. Theatre Research International, 36(3), 303-304. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0307883311000368 [details]



    • Bala, S. (2009). Von den Chancen der Intervention in Krisen. Impuls (Internationales Theaterinstitut Zentrum Bundesrepublik Deutschland), 2009(2), 23-25. [details]


    • Bala, S. (2019). ASCA Book Award 2019: The Gestures of Participatory Art.
    • Bala, S. (2016). NWO Grant.
    • Bala, S. (2013). ASCA Article Award: "Performance Anxieties in Elfriede Jelinek's 'Neid' (Envy)".


    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (13-11-2019). Kritiek op eurocentrisme in het kunstonderwijs, Art Education Lecture Series, Arnhem.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (28-9-2019). Was wir von den Kritikern Gandhis in Indien lernen können, Etwas tun aber wie? , Linz.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (6-9-2019). Netherlands and the Black Atlantic Roundtable, The Netherlands and the Black Atlantic, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (keynote speaker) (5-9-2019). The Need for Legacy, Netherlands Theatre Festival 2019, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (11-6-2019). Welcome Table: Colonialism on Stage, Holland Festival, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (keynote speaker) (24-5-2019). Can the European translate?, There's No Going Back!, Rotterdam.
    • Bala, S. (speaker) (14-3-2019). The gestures of institutional critique, Performance Philosophy, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (keynote speaker) (9-10-2018). Artistic Approaches to Colonial Legacies, Afrovibes Festival, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (3-10-2018). Postcolonial Theory and Globalisation, Erasmus University College.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (24-9-2018). Sensing Race in the Theatre, Race and the Senses, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (8-9-2018). Een blik op de onzichtbare canon, Panel Discussion: The Need for Legacy, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (speaker) & Cremers, F. (speaker) (19-6-2018). Introductory talk for performance 'Legacy' by Nadia Beugre, Holland Festival , Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (12-6-2018). The theatrical scramble for "Africa" in 'Reverse Colonialism' (2017), Theatre as an Enriched Environment, Rome.
    • Bala, S. (speaker) (1-6-2018). Artistic representations of colonialism, Verschuivende perspectieven, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (7-5-2018). Research and the task of epistemic diversity, ISS The Hague.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (2-5-2018). Gayatri Spivak's critique of the sovereign subject in 'Can the Subaltern Speak?', Erasmus University College.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (22-3-2018). Representatie, Stereotypering en Typecasting in het theater, Representatie, Stereotypering en Typecasting, Utrecht.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (23-1-2018). Artistic Critiques of Sovereignty: Perspectives from the Dutch Caribbean, Freie Universität Berlin.
    • Bala, S. (keynote speaker) (13-10-2017). Notes on the Theatre Workshop, Back to the Senses, Helsinki.
    • Bala, S. (speaker) (4-10-2017). Colonial Conversations: Panel discussion with Jay Pather, Katlego Disemelo and Sruti Bala, Afrovibes Festival, Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (14-7-2017). The translator's note, Translation and Performance, Pondicherry.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (24-5-2017). Theatre and Participation, Texte.Zeichen.Medien, Erfurt.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (8-5-2017). Translation in/and Performance, Translation and Performance, Cape Town.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (4-5-2017). Cultural Analysis and the Making of Intended Mistakes, Studies in Performing Arts and Media Lecture Series, Ghent.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (22-3-2017). Desiring the stage: Female Theatre Artists in India, Dissident Desires , Amsterdam.
    • Bala, S. (keynote speaker) (18-11-2016). The Gestures of Participatory Performance, Research Seminar, Finnish Society for Theatre Research, Helsinki, Finland.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (16-9-2016). Female Theatre Artists in India and their Solitary Struggles On and Off-Stage, Sexing the City, Leiden.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (16-9-2016). Three Female Theatre Artists in India and their Solitary Struggles On and Off-Stage, HERA Final conference 'Sexing the City', Leiden, Netherlands.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (19-8-2016). The Gestures of Participatory Art, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication: UGC Special Assistance Programme on Visual Culture, University of Hyderabad, India.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (20-4-2016). On the necessity of working with inadequate concepts, After Performance: Symposium (King's College, London and National University of Singapore), London, UK.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (20-4-2016). After Performance, After Performance, London.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (16-7-2015). Postdramatic theatre, Dept. of Comparative Literature Lecture Series, Kasargod, Central University of Kerala.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (10-7-2015). Unsolicited gestures of participation in performance and public life, Annual Conference of the International Federation of Theatre Research, Hyderabad, India.
    • Bala, S. (speaker) (3-2-2015). The Micropolitics of Participatory Art, Weekly Colloquium, Freie Universität Berlin, International Research Centre "Interweaving Performance Cultures".
    • Bala, S. (speaker) (29-7-2014). The task of reparative translation in Elfriede Jelinek's 'Kein Licht', International Federation of Theatre Research Annual Conference, Feminist Working Group Presentation, University of Warwick.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) (31-1-2014). The Art of Unsolicited Participation, Conference: Politics of the Applied. Theatre and Art as Intervention, Free University of Berlin, Research Programme Aesthetics of Applied Theatre.
    • Bala, S. (invited speaker) & Zangl, V. (invited speaker) (25-1-2014). Humour, Art and Activism in the Global Moment, Global Activism Symposium, ZKM, Karlsruhe.


    • Bala, S. (participant) (18-5-2019). Other Radicals, Amsterdam (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (participant) (14-11-2018). Het boek gaat op! Nieuwe publicaties van Amsterdamse theaterwetenschappers (other).
    • Bala, S. (participant) (30-10-2018). Stuart Hall's Voice, Amsterdam (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (participant) (12-7-2018). International Federation for Theatre Research World Congress, Belgrade. Can the European translate?

      Can the European translate? (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (participant) (21-6-2018 - 24-6-2018). Dynamics of Interweaving Performance Cultures, Berlin (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) (6-6-2018 - 7-6-2018). Decolonial Desires, Amsterdam. Talk and seminar with Dr. Vanessa Agard-Jones, Columbia University (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) & Isenia, W. G. S. J. (organiser) (3-4-2018 - 6-4-2018). Critical Thinking in Curaçao and the Construction of Forgetting, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) & Allen, R. M. (organiser) (21-11-2017). Gender and Culture in the Dutch Caribbean, Curaçao (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) & Isenia, W. G. S. J. (organiser) (27-3-2017 - 28-3-2017). Sexual Politics in Colonial Curaçao, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) (13-10-2016). Dramaturgies of Whiteness, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) (11-10-2016). Symposium: Dramaturgies of Cultural Translation, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) & Zangl, V. (organiser) (10-3-2014 - 15-12-2014). Art and Activism - Lecture and Discussion Series, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Bala, S. (other) (2014 - 2015). Research Fellow, International Research Centre "Interweaving Performance Cultures" (other).
    • Bala, S. (organiser) & Zangl, V. (organiser) (18-9-2013 - 20-9-2013). Exploratory Workshop, Wassenaar. Humorous Approaches to Art and Activism in Conflict (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Deng, L. (2020). “Be water, my friend”: Non-oppositional criticalities of socially engaged art in urbanising China. [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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