Decolonial research methodologies on scenic arts

Fabiana de Amorim Marcello, Professor, Associate editor, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

The analysis methodologies we use in scenic arts are in a notorious discrepancy in relation to the decolonial practices. In a way, this is because the methods employed in performing arts come from the European traditions of classical disciplines that have long been hegemonic in arts and humanities. Thus, most of the methodologies we work with come from History, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Philosophy and Literature. Notwithstanding the importance of such disciplines for the confluence of interdisciplinary knowledge, however, historically, they have been erected under the imprint of colonialism. Such questions are not absent even within the debates held in each of them.

In fact, their research practices were imported into the performing arts, making them often hostage to Eurocentric methods and practices. The contrast of these methodologies with “decolonial” research objects – like dramatic texts, spectacles, performances, pedagogical practices, etc. – can be an obstacle to the production of epistemologically valid knowledge in the decolonial attacks.

Thus, one of the decisive questions for a decolonial research is to know how we can, at present, propose methodological alternatives to the research models with which we already become so comfortably (and almost “naturally”) accustomed to work with (GÓMEZ; MIGNOLO, 2012). Hence, we ask ourselves: do objects with parts of a counter-hegemonic perspective need not be equally addressed by counter-hegemonic methodologies?

The work of the French researcher Lîlâ Bisiaux, entitled “Epistemic and aesthetic displacement of decolonial theater”, published in the Brazilian Journal on Presence Studies (v. 8, n.4), brings to the debate the heart of this question. In the following video, she talks about her research and the issues that have clashed with history and aesthetics to rethink, through decolonial approaches, the analysis of theatrical works.


GÓMEZ, P. P. M. and MIGNOLO, W. Estéticas decoloniales. Bogotá: Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, 2012.

To read the article, access

BISIAUX, L. Déplacement Épistémico-Esthétique du Théâtre Décolonial. Rev. Bras. Estud. Presença [online]. 2018, vol.8, n.4, pp.644-664. ISSN 2237-2660. [viewed 11 October 2018]. DOI: 10.1590/2237-266078793. Available from:

External link

Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença – RBEP:

About Fabiana de Amorim Marcello

Fabiana de Amorim Marcello

Fabiana de Amorim Marcello

Fabiana de Amorim Marcello holds a PhD in Education from the Universidae Federal do Rio Grande do Sul where she is a tenured Professor at the Postgraduate Program in Education. She develops researches and supervise theses and dissertations focusing on the concepts of childhood and/or image, in its multiple unfolding (cinema, visual arts, media). She is a CNPq Productivity Fellow.  e-mail:

About Lîlâ Bisiaux

Lîlâ Bisiaux

Lîlâ Bisiaux

Lîlâ Bisiaux is a PhD student in Performing Arts, under the direction of Emmanuelle Garnier, at the Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France. E-mail:





Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

MARCELLO, F. A. Decolonial research methodologies on scenic arts [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2018 [viewed ]. Available from:


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