How do migrants influence culture, its institutions and the production of the art? How does the migration process feed back into the migrants’ mind-sets, activities and social relations? These are pivotal questions today as in the past. The nineteenth century was a period of significant mass migration, and theatre – one of the mass media of the day – was profoundly affected by it. The ERC funded project T-MIGRANTS will carry out the first systematic and in-depth analysis of nineteenth-century European theatre migrants. By reclaiming and positioning this group of agents, which has largely been ignored by national theatre historiographies, and by stressing their crucial but hitherto neglected influence on processes of modernity and global entanglement within theatre in and beyond Europe, the project will open up new ways of evaluating the influence of migration on culture and its institutions.
Focusing on migrations between 1850 and 1918 within Europe as well as out of Europe, the project pursues three interrelated key objectives:

1. To systematically collect, analyse and make digitally accessible a new stock of data on nineteenth-century migrants, their theatrical work and their international networks.

2. To contextualise European theatre migrants within the migration processes of the nineteenth century.

3. To investigate the pivotal consequences of theatre migrants on institutional and aesthetical level, including significant impulses towards cross-cultural flows and tensions within the theatre business.

The research of T-MIGRANTS is organised in five interrelated work packages which consist of individual case studies (WP 2-4) as well as a shared collection of data (WP 1) and the work on the Digital Platform (WP 5).