The SAGE Handbook of Performance Studies


Edited by: D. Soyini Madison & Judith Hamera

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  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
    • Performance and Theory

    Part I: Introduction: Performance Trouble

    Part II: Introduction: Performing History: A Politics of Location

    Part III: Introduction: Performance of and Beyond Literature

    Part IV: Introduction: Performance and Pedagogy

    Part V: Introduction: Performance and Ethnography, Performing Ethnography, Performance Ethnography

    Part VI: Introduction: Performance and Politics: Themes and Arguments

  • Introduction

    The SAGE Handbook of Performance Studies brings together, in a single volume, discussions of the major research in performance studies and identifies directions for further investigation. It is the only comprehensive collection on the theories, methods, politics, and practices of performance relating to life and culture. Edited by D. Soyini Madison and Judith Hamera, this Handbook serves artists, scholars, and students across the disciplines by delineating the scope of the field, the critical and interpretive methods used, and the theoretical and ethical presumptions that guide work in this exciting and growing area.


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    In deep gratitude to and in loving memory of Dwight Conquergood


    Sincere thanks to the section editors of, and contributors to, the Handbook of Performance Studies. Their diligence, vision, and enthusiasm on behalf of performance studies inspired and sustained the editors throughout this process.

    Judith Hamera wishes to thank D. Soyini Madison for the invitation to collaborate on this rich and profoundly important project. Working together has been a joy and a pleasure and I am left with an even greater regard for her intellectual and rhetorical precision, her fierce love of performance, and her rich good humor. I am very grateful for this opportunity.

    D. Soyini Madison wishes to thank Judith Hamera whose gracious judgment and extraordinary eloquence enriched the process and development of this handbook beyond measure. As a colleague and friend for two decades, her brilliance, still, never ceases to amaze me.

    Thanks, too, to Carl Selkin, dean of the College of Arts and Letters at California State University, for his unstinting support of performance and performance studies.

    Deep thanks to Alfred Bendixen, beloved partner in all things.

    Thank you to Mejai Kai Dyson and Torkwase Madison Dyson for your support and encouragement.

    The editors express sincerest thanks to the staff at Sage Publications, and particularly Todd Armstrong, senior acquisitions editor, and Deya Saoud, senior editorial assistant. They have made this project a pleasure from beginning to end. We truly appreciate their efforts and their complete professionalism.

    Dwight Conquergood, scholar, mentor, teacher, and dear friend, passed away as this handbook was being completed. His profound wisdom, generosity of spirit, and abiding love of performance inspired editors and countless others inside and outside of the academy over three decades. His contributions to the field, and to us personally, are impossible to overstate. We humbly offer this handbook as one turn in a larger and life-changing conversation about performance studies that began, for us, with his voice, his words, his care.

    Introduction: Performance Studies at the Intersections

    The ongoing challenge of performance studies is to refuse and supercede this deeply entrenched division of labor, apartheid of knowledges, that plays out inside the academy as the difference between thinking and doing, interpreting and making, conceptualizing and creating. The division of labor between theory and practice, abstraction and embodiment, is an arbitrary and rigged choice and, like all binarisms, it is booby-trapped.

    —Dwight Conquergood, 2002, p. 153

    Performance is often referred to as a “contested concept” because as a concept, method, event, and practice it is variously envisioned and employed. Three founding scholars of contemporary performance studies, Mary S. Strine, Beverly W. Long, and Mary Francis Hopkins, formally set forth the idea of performance as a contested concept in their classic essay, “Research in Interpretation and Performance Studies: Trends, Issues, Priorities.” They state,

    Performance, like art and democracy, is what W.B. Gallie (1964) calls an essentially contested concept, meaning that its very existence is bound up in disagreement about what it is, and that the disagreement over its essence is itself part of that essence. As Gallie explains, “Recognition of a given concept as essentially contested implies recognition of rival uses of it (such as oneself repudiates) as not only logically possible and humanly ‘likely,’ but as of permanent potential critical value to one's own use of interpretation of the concept in question” (pp. 187–188). Scholars in interpretation and performance in a valorized category, they recognize and expect disagreement not only about the qualities that make a performance “good” or “bad” in certain contexts, but also about what activities and behaviors appropriately constitute performance and not something else. (1990, p. 183)

    On multiple levels performance “means” and “does” different things for and with different people. On one level performance is understood as theatrical practice, that is, drama, as acting, or “putting on a show.” For some, this limited view regards performance as extracurricular, insubstantial, or what you do in your leisure time. In certain areas of the academy these narrow notions of performance have created an “anti-theatrical” prejudice (Conquergood) that diminishes performance to mimicry, catharsis, or mere entertainment rather than as a generative force and a critical dynamic within human behavior and social processes. However, in recent history, performance has undergone a small revolution. For many of us performance has evolved into ways of comprehending how human beings fundamentally make culture, affect power, and reinvent their ways of being in the world. The insistence on performance as a way of creation and being as opposed to the long held notion of performance as entertainment has brought forth a movement to seek and articulate the phenomenon of performance in its multiple manifestations and imaginings.

    Understanding performance in this broader and more complex way has opened up endless questions, some of which both interrogate and enrich our basic understanding of history, identity, community, nation, and politics. Performance is a contested concept because when we understand performance beyond theatrics and recognize it as fundamental and inherent to life and culture we are confronted with the ambiguities of different spaces and places that are foreign, contentious, and often under siege. We enter the everyday and the ordinary and interpret its symbolic universe to discover the complexity of its extraordinary meanings and practices.

    We can no longer define performance as primarily mimetic or theatrical but through the multiple elements that inhere within performance and within the dynamic of shifting domains of theory, method, and event. The triad of theory, method, and event has generally been understood as the following: performance theory provides analytical frameworks; performance method provides concrete application; and performance event provides an aesthetic or noteworthy happening. Although theory, method, and event are components of the grand possibilities of performance, Dwight Conquergood provides a more precise set of triads guiding us more comprehensively to the substance and nuances of performance through a series of alliterations: the i 's as in imagination, inquiry, and intervention; the a's as in artistry, analysis, and activism; and the c's as in creativity, critique, and citizenship. Conquergood states,

    Performance studies is uniquely suited for the challenge of braiding together disparate and stratified ways of knowing. We can think through performance along three crisscrossing lines of activity and analysis. We can think of performance (1) as a work of imagination, as an object of study; (2) as a pragmatics of inquiry (both as model and method), as an optic and operation of research; (3) as a tactics of intervention, an alterative space of struggle. Speaking from my home department at Northwestern, we often refer to the three a's of performance studies: artistry, analysis, activism. Or to change the alliteration, a commitment to the three c's of performance studies: creativity, critique, citizenship (civic struggles for social justice). (Conquergood, 2002, p. 152)

    Conquergood challenges us to understand the ubiquitous and generative force of performance that is beyond the theatrical. The question we shall now entertain is: How is this challenge most effectively debated and discussed in the academy?

    The Multidisciplinary Appeal of Performance: Performance as “Everywhere” in the Academy?

    Across various academic boundaries, performance is blurring disciplinary distinctions and invoking radically multidisciplinary approaches. From the established disciplines of history, literature, education, sociology, geography, anthropology, political science, and so forth—the rubric of performance has found its way into discussions and debate as a topic of interest and inquiry. Teachers and students are seeking to better understand this notion of performance as a means to gain a deeper understanding of their own fields of study, as well as a pedagogical method. The buzz over performance is nearly everywhere in the academy and as a result multiple paradigms and levels of analysis are formed. As these various subject areas adapt performance as an analytical framework and as a methodological tool, something greater has happened to the very concept of performance itself: new and complex questions arise relative to its definition, applicability, and effectiveness. These extended queries into performance have a broad membership ranging from those of us who, before now, never thought much about performance as a scholarly or pedagogical enterprise to those of us who have embraced the dynamic of performance for several decades. Both neophyte and veteran to performance are engaged in the infinite possibilities of performance and therefore expanding, complexifying, and enriching its meanings and practices.

    In understanding performance as radically interdisciplinary, how then do we begin to grasp what it is? How do we begin to describe and order the varied manifestations of performance? Are there fundamental principles of performance? We will briefly turn now to specific movements and paradigms to lay forth the broad contours of performance studies and to provide a working definition of performance ranging from the illocutionary movement in the nineteenth century to postmodern art and transnational narratives within this era of globalization and transnationalism.

    The Elocutionary Movement

    Although performance began in antiquity constituting varied cultural phenomena that ranged from mimesis, ritual, and ceremony, to everyday symbolic acts, one modern tradition that can be understood as part of the history and origins of performance studies, primarily in the United States and Europe, is the elocutionary movement. Elocution or the “art of public speaking” was of major importance in the nineteenth century United States and Europe. In an age where telephones, television, movies, CD players, and the Internet were nonexistent, it was the art of public speaking that became the powerful communicative and entertainment medium of public life and thereby influencing central aspects of community and nation (Conquergood, 2000). The elocutionary speaker was a performer who could leave his audience on the edge of their seats with the turn of an imaginative phrase or a compelling anecdote. The speaker could build the story or the argument to a peak that held the audience captive to the spoken word that was filled with the varying registers of a performing presence wrapped in dramatic gesture and utterance. The public speaker was a performer whose work was to make the audience listen and learn through a drama of communication.

    Elocution was a social event. The audience gathered to witness the speaker through a collective that brought friends and strangers together to meet and greet. This event was a moment of communal experience, listening and watching together, but also responding together to what they heard—from reserved claps of appreciation to uproarious laugher to the insulting taunts of hecklers—they listened and responded together. The event was also a ritual with its customary beginnings and endings; it was a ritual of information gathering, persuasion, affirmation, and change.

    Just as the art of effective public speaking was a creative force, it was also a force of hegemonic control. It both perpetrated and solidified power relations, as well as the valorization of a bourgeois decorum based on vocal qualities, gestures of gentility, social class, gender hierarchies, and the color of one's skin. Conquergood states,

    Elocution expressed in another key the body-discipline imposed on the bourgeoisie, a way for them to mark “distinction” from the masses…. Elocution was designed to recuperate the vitality of the spoken word from rural and rough working-class contexts by regulating and refining its “performative excess” through principles, science, systematic study, standards of taste and criticism…. elocution sought to tap the power of popular speech but curb its unruly embodiments and refine its coarse and uncouth features. It was the verbal counterpart, on the domain of speech, of the enclosure acts that confiscated the open commons, so crucial to the hardscrabble livelihood and recreation of the poor, and privatized them for the privileged classes. (2000, p. 327)

    Conquergood goes on to describe how the elocution of the privileged classes could not withstand such hierarchical exclusivity due to the ubiquitous nature of the spoken word. “The spoken word dimension of elocution provided for the ‘spillage’ from the enclosed written word that the unlettered poor swept up and made their own” (p. 329). “This spillage of elocution, now appropriated and also owned and enacted by the laboring classes and lumpen proletariat” was revisioned and reformed by the less privileged classes for their own “subaltern needs” (p. 329), audiences, and purposes. The elocutionary labor of enslaved Americans is testament to this juncture in the elocutionary movements, e.g., Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth are among such individuals, as well as scores of others: labor organizers, women and children's rights activists, abolitionists, and so forth.

    Nineteenth-century public life was profoundly influenced and shaped by the public dynamics of elocution as both hegemonic power and liberating power. The force of public speaking was a site of hierarchical knowledge, value, and bodies marked by whiteness, maleness, and homogeneity that consolidated and celebrated these identities and affiliations. But, it was also a site of liberating expression and a contested space—a site where troubled identities could claim their power and strengthen their hope. The elocutionary movement was less about public speaking and more about a public performance where audience and speaker were changing and changed by the urgent issues of the time and the compelling need to speak and witness. Elocution was empowered by a performance of persuasion and in many instances it moved and changed the nation.

    The Art of Interpretation

    The art of public speaking finds a close relation in the “art of Interpretation” (Bacon, 1979). Just as public speech—from the bourgeois classes, enslaved communities, and the lumpen proletariat—could move the hearts and minds of its audience and persuade the nonbelievers, the art of oral interpretation could bring a work of literature to life, putting flesh, bone, and breath to words and bringing them to life from the stagnant silence of the written page.

    Wallace Bacon, considered by some to be one of the forefathers of performance studies, articulated the relationship and evolution of elocution's “just and graceful management of the voice, countenance, and gesture” with that of oral interpretation and the performance of literature (as quoted in Conquergood, 2000, p. 326). Bacon celebrated and theorized in his work the performance of literary texts. He augmented and extended the art of reading and reciting a speech in public to the art of interpreting and enacting a literary text before an audience. Bacon states,

    The literary text is a manmade form, or “skin,” that separates it from its environment and makes it definable but also serves as its point of contact with the environment. By first observing (reading) that outer form, the reader seeks to get inside the skin of the work to the inner form, and comes to know it in much the same way as one comes to know another human being—by observing and listening, by relating what is learned to one's total experience, by talking about it with others, by “talking” with it. (1979, p. 157)

    Wallace Bacon further enlivened the art of interpretation through his articulation of “Otherness of the Other” (p. 40). For Bacon, this meeting of the art of interpretation with a literary text is an engagement with another way of being; it is to enter beyond the self and reach respectfully into another's world. “The reader giving rapt attention to the literary work is engaged with the sense of otherness” (emphasis mine). He goes on to further state, “For the interpreter, belief in the otherness of the text, full awareness of its state of being, is a major stage in mastering the art of performance.” Wallace Bacon was fond of the following quote in explicating what is meant by the Other:

    A person's sense of presence is likely to be most strongly marked and most incon-testably evident in his relationship, at certain heightened moments, with another human person. This is as it should be, for an individual sinks into a deadening egoism (however much he may gild it with idealistic verbiage or mitigate it by outward acts) unless he occasionally exercises and stretches his ability to realize another person as an independent presence to whom homage is due, rather than as merely an interruption of continuity in his environment. To know someone as presence instead of as a lump of matter or a set of processes, is to meet him with an open, listening, responsive attitude; it is to become a thou in the presence of his I-hood. (Wheelwright, 1962, p. 154)

    Wallace Bacon's interventions on elocution and the performance of literature led the field of performance to a more layered and extended conceptualization of the Other, and with it came an interest in integrating performance with paradigms from the social sciences as well as ways of conceptualizing social processes as performance. Bacon's Other had now inspired a movement that extended textual Others toward the politics of worldly Others.

    Performance as Social Behavior

    In performance as behavior, social life is described through an organizing metaphor of dramatic action or what the social critic Kenneth Burke describes as “situated modes of action” (1945, pp. 3–93). Burke asks the important question: “What is involved when we say what people are doing and why they are doing it?” Burke introduces the idea “dramas of living” by providing a dramatistic paradigm composed of five key concepts in response to his question. His pentad illuminates performance in the day-to-day motions of social life. His five key terms of dramatism are Act (names what took place in thought or deed), Scene (the background of the act, the situation in which it occurred), Agent (person or kind of person who performed the act), Agency (what means or instruments were used), and Purpose (the aim or objective). In explicating the implications of this pentad Burke states,

    Men may violently disagree about the purpose behind a given act, or about the character of the person who did it, or how he did it, or in what kind of situation he acted; or they may even insist upon totally different words to name the act itself. But be that as it may, any complete statement about motives will offer some kind of answers to these five questions: what was done (act), when and where it was done (scene), who did it (agent), how (agency), and why he did it (purpose). (Burke, 1945, p. xvii)

    Just as “situated modes of action” are framed through Burke's performance paradigm, we may also understand performance through modes of language and the action generated from the words spoken. In 1955 J. L. Austin presented his idea of speech act theory in his lecture entitled: “How to Do Things With Words” for the William James Lecture Series at Harvard University. Briefly defined, “speech-act” is action that is performed when a word is uttered. He stated that language does more than describe, it also does something that makes a material, physical, and situational difference: “I forgive you;” “You cannot enter;” “Guilty!” all do something in the world. They create a particular reality. Language can bestow forgiveness, a blessing, freedom, citizenship, marriage, a promise, etc. Language performs a reality; therefore for Austin language was not merely constantive, but performative. Austin's student, John R. Searle, expanded Austin's performative utterance to assert that language is not only performative at certain heightened moments or ceremonial events, thereby separating the performative from the constantive—but that all language is a form of doing. Searle believed that whenever there is intention in speaking there is also the performative. While Austin designated particular moments when words produced a speech-act, that is, when words performed, Searle (1969) argued that whenever words are spoken with intention (and they almost always are) words are performative.

    Jacques Derrida, however, disagreed with Austin and Searle's suggestion that a performative utterance creates a “doing” or a particular reality. According to Derrida, Austin ignores a reality and context that is beyond the present moment of speaking. Language is not the causal factor; the causal factors are repetition and familiarity. For Derrida, the idea that a speech-act makes something happen within a particular present moment is to deny the fact of a particular kind of history. Speech is citational; that is, what is spoken has been spoken many, many times before, and its effects are a result of its repetition and citational force, not a result of a unique or present moment when words are “newly” uttered. Derrida's critique of speech-act theory is captured in the idea of a “metaphysics of presence.” Derrida employs metaphysics of presence as a critical term to describe a thought system that depends on an unassailable foundation—an absolute or immutable truth claim. For Derrida, the term refers to the problematic or faulty belief in an essential truth that guarantees meaning. “For Derrida, all that we know and say is based upon what has gone before and what we have inherited from past actions. If something is done with words, it is because it has happened before and we know out of convention and custom to continue to do it” (Madison, 2005, p. 162).

    Through a performance studies lens these varying claims relative to language, meaning, and human behavior are not in contradiction, but form a dialectic and creative tension. Words are indeed performative, and they do have material effects. Obviously, words do something in the world, and they are reiterative (in terms of Derrida) in that speech, meaning, intent, and custom have been repeated through time and are therefore communicative and comprehensible because they are recognizable in their repetition.

    From the elocutionary movement, the interpretation of literature, and speech-act theory, we may extend the operation of performance as it functions in language, culture and social life by turning to the anthropology of experience and Victor Turner's three-part compilation of performance: cultural performance, social performance, and social drama. We will begin with experience.

    Performance as Experience or Experience as Performance

    Turner wrote that expressions are “the crystallized secretions of once living human experience” (1982, p. 17). Once an experience presses forward from the field of the day-today it becomes the incentive for expression; it is then no longer a personal reality but a shared one. What we experience may blossom into expression whether in the form of story, gossip, or humor on the one end, or poetry, novels, theatre, or film on the other. “The experience now made into expression is presented in the world; it occupies time, space, and public reality. Experience made into expression brings forth reader, observer, listener, village, community, and audience” (Madison, 2005, p. 151). In the evolution from experience to expression, we have simultaneously crossed the threshold of performance. Experience now becomes the very source of performance. Can we now conclude that performance must first find its origins in experience?

    The movement from experience to expression is not so neat or complete. Some argue that performance does not always begin with experience; indeed, they argue that it is experience that begins with performance. Conquer-good states that it is actually the reverse; it is the “performance that realizes the experience” (1986, pp. 36–37). Bakhtin states, “After all, there is no such thing as experience outside of embodiment in signs. It is not experience that organizes expression, but the other way around—expression organizes experience. Expression is what first gives experience its form and specificity of direction” (quoted in Conquergood, 1986, p. 85).

    In the discussions concerning what comes first, experience or performance, we come to recognize through the insights of Victor Turner that this is similar to the chicken or the egg question. In Turner's work we understand that both came first and second. Performance evokes experience, just as experience evokes performance. The reciprocal relationship between experience and performance is represented in Turner's three-part classification of performance: cultural performance, social performance, and social drama.

    Cultural performance: Anthropologist Milton Singer first introduced the term “cultural performance” in 1959, stating that these kinds of performances all possess a “limited time span, a beginning and an end, an organized program of activity, a set of performers, an audience, and a place and occasion” (1959, p. xiii). Cultural performances are therefore understood as more conventional forms of performance because they are framed by cultural conventions. Cultural performances include plays, operas, circus acts, carnivals, parades, religious services, poetry readings, weddings, funerals, graduations, concerts, toasts, jokes, and storytelling. In all these examples, self-conscious and symbolic acts are “presented” and communicated within a circumscribed space.

    Social performance: In social performance, action, reflection, and intent are not marked as they are in cultural performances. Social performances are the ordinary day-by-day interactions of individuals and the consequences of these interactions as they move through social life (Turner, 1982, pp. 32–33). Social performances are not self-consciously aware that their enactments are culturally scripted. Social performances become examples of a culture and subculture's particular symbolic practices. These performances are most striking when they are contrasted against different cultural norms, e.g., greetings, dining, dressing, dating, walking, looking, and so forth.

    Social Drama. In social harmony the working arrangements within a particular social unit are synchronized. When a social drama occurs there is a schism or break in the synchronization. The social unit is disturbed and the parties involved are in disagreement. Turner states,

    Social life, then, even in its apparently quietest moments, is characteristically “pregnant” with social dramas. It is as though each of us has a “peace” face and a “war” face, that we are programmed for cooperation, but prepared for conflict. (1982, p. 11)

    Turner defines social drama through a four-phase structure: breach, crises, redressive action, and resolution. In breach, “there is an overt nonconformity and breaking away by an individual or group of individuals from a shared system of social relations” (Turner, 1974, p. 38).

    It is in the second stage, of crises, where conflict becomes most apparent. The opposing forces are openly at odds, the masks are stripped away or magnified, and the conflict escalates. In crises the breach has enlarged; it is made public. In the third stage, redressive action, a mechanism is brought forth to squelch the crises from further disruption of the social system. This may be in the form of a mediator, of a judicial system, or of the opposing forces coming together themselves in an effort to resolve the crises.

    The final phase is resolution. It is here, according to Turner, where the “disturbed parties are reconciled and re-integrated back into their shared social system” (1974, 1982). The parties may reunite but with changes, or the other result is the recognition of a “legitimate and irreparable schism between the parties” that will separate them from the social system, or they may establish another social system (1982, pp. 8–19). In reintegration there is usually some kind of ritual act to mark the separation or a celebration of the union.

    For Turner, performance, whether it is cultural performance, social performance, or social drama, all takes place under the rubric of structure or antistructure. Structure is all that which constitutes order, system, preservation, law, hierarchy, and authority. Antistructure is all that which constitutes human action beyond systems, hierarchies, and constraints.

    These three realms outlined by Turner intend to encompass and order the full range of performance and its functions in culture and identity. However, Turner's explication of performance in social and cultural life is further complicated and deepened by the recent discussions and debates pertaining to the concept of “performativity.”


    For feminist critic Judith Butler (1988), performativity is understood as a “stylized repetition of acts” that are—like Derridean citation—“always a reiteration of a norm or set of norms” which means that the “act that one does, the act that one performs is, in a sense, an act that has been going on before one arrived on the scene” (Diamond, 1996, pp. 4–6). Performativity becomes all at once a cultural convention, value, and signifier that is inscribed on the body—performed through the body—to mark identities. In this view of performativity, gestures, posture, clothes, habits, and specific embodied acts are performed differently depending on the gender, as well as race, class, sexuality, and so forth, of the individual. How the body moves about in the world and its various mannerisms, styles, and gestures are inherited from one generation through space and time to another and demarcated within specific identity categories. These performativities become the manifestations and enactments of identity and belonging. This emphasis on performativity as repetition or citationality is useful in understanding how identity categories are not inherent or biologically determined, but how they are socially determined by cultural norms of demarcation. This is an important insight because it opens the possibility for alternative performativities and alternative ways of being. It causes us to reckon with the fact that these categories and therefore the responses and practices based on these categories are not a fact of life, but are based upon repetitions and fabrications of human behavior. The description of performativity as citationality is a critical move, but, for many performance scholars, it is only one dimension of articulating performativity. But, then the question becomes: “What gets lost in the reworking of performativity as citationality?” (Conquergood, 1998). We may understand performativity as citationality, but we may also understand performativity as an intervention upon citationality and of resisting citationality. Just as performativity is an internalized repetition of hegemonic “stylized acts” inherited by the status quo, it can also be an internalized repetition of subversive “stylized acts” inherited by contested identities. “Subversive performativity can disrupt the very citations that hegemonic performativity enacts” (Madison, 2005). Performance studies scholar Jill Dolan describes performativity as “the nonessentialized constructions of marginalized identities” (1993, p. 419). For Dolan, performativity in this light is not simply citation, but a symbiosis of identifying experience that is determined by compilations of differences: sex, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, geography, religion, etc. The postcolonial critic, Homi Bhaba, adds to the idea of subversive performativity by invoking the “performative” as action that disturbs, disrupts, and disavows hegemonic formations (1994, pp. 146–149).

    From Homi Bhabha's and Jill Dolan's descriptions of performativity, we may further clarify the meanings and functions of performativity through the contributions of Mary Strine (1998) and Kristen Langellier (1999) where performativity is a dynamic that comprises the interpenetrations of identity, experience, and social relations that constitute subjects and order context. In other words, performativity is the interconnected triad of identity, experience, and social relations—encompassing the admixture of class, race, sex, geography, religion, and so forth that is necessarily “contradictory, multiple, and complexly interconnected” (Langellier, 1999). In sum, performativities are the many markings substantiating that all of us are subjects in a world of power relations.

    The question then becomes, when we rework performativity beyond a “stylized repetition of acts” into the more deeply relevant evocation of performativity as “nonessentialized constructions of identity,” what does is it then actually look like? Performativities are significantly and powerfully layered in the day-today, yet they are heightened and embossed in cultural performances. It is in cultural performances where performativities are doubled with a difference: they are re-presented, re-located and re-materialized for the possibility of a substantial re-consideration and re-examination. Elin Diamond reminds us: “When performativity materializes as performance in that risky and dangerous negotiation between a ‘doing’ (a reiteration of norms) and a thing done (discursive conventions that frame our interpretations), between someone's body and the conventions of embodiment, we have access to cultural meanings and critique” (1996, p. 5). These performances that “materialize” performativity and that open meanings and critique, encompass film, music, theatre—the conventions of embodiment—but they also profoundly constitute and are constituted by the stories we tell one another and the narratives we live by. Langellier explains the necessary interpenetration of performance, performativity, and narration:

    Why add performativity to performance? By performativity, I highlight the way speech acts have been extended and broadened to understand the constitutiveness of performance. That is, personal narrative performance constitutes identities and experience, producing and reproducing that to which it refers. Here, personal narrative is a site where the social is articulated, structured, and struggled over (Butler, Twigg). To study performance as performativity is, according to Elin Diamond, ‘to become aware of performance itself as a contested space, where meanings and desires are generated, occluded, and of course multiply interpreted’ (4). In performativity, narrator and listener(s) are themselves constituted (‘I will tell you a story’), as is experience (‘a story about what happened to me’). Identity and experience are symbiosis of performed story and the social relations in which they are materially embedded: sex, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, geography, religion, and so on. This is why personal narrative performance is especially crucial to those communities left out of the privileges of dominant culture, those bodies without voice in the political sense. (1999, p. 129)

    In these more consciously subversive renderings of performativity we may now extend our discussion of performativity and take up connections between performance and transnational narratives.

    Performance and Globality

    The world has grown smaller. Air travel, the Internet, digital technologies, and telecommunication have brought far away places into our homes and lives, just as representations of who we are and what we do are brought into the lives and cultures of those sometimes so foreign to us that we can not locate or name their homelands on the map. The irony is that distance is no longer solely measured by kilometers or miles, but by time and access for those of us who reap the benefits of “first world” technologies and economies: how many hours flying time to Mozambique or how many cable stations on your TV, or the speed of your computer. Zygmunt Bauman reflects the fact that distance is compressed by time by a global elite class:

    Indeed, little in the elite's life experience now implies a difference between ‘here’ and ‘there,’ ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, ‘close by’ and ‘far away’. With time of communication imploding and shrinking to the no-size of the instant, space and spatial markers cease to matter, at least to those whose actions can move with the speed of the electronic message. (1983, p. 13)

    What are the implications for transnational narratives in this era of globalization or of “the no-size of the instant” for those of us who are particularly concerned about the transnational implications of performance? First, performance becomes the enactment and evidence of stories that literally and figuratively bleed across the borders that national boundaries “cut up” (de Certeau, 1974/1984, p. 12). For example, performing the local is enmeshed in what it means to be a U.S. citizen and that is enmeshed in the facts of U.S. foreign policy, world trade, civil society, and war. Second, we are who we are in our nations because of our placement—for better and worse—among other nations of the world and that literarily spills into the microstructures of our neighborhood, families, and lives. Third, as we travel to lands far and foreign, performance directs us to the symbolic universe of indigenous life. Signs and symbols hold meanings and histories, but more, they are the expressive formations of local knowledge and desire. Performance leads us to the social dramas, cultural performances, and embodied stories that make culture live. Performance travels transnationally between the local and global so we may be witnesses and co-performers of a politics of culture beyond our own borders. The idea of “territory” in this time of globalization has greater implications than ever before. The way the “local” is affected by transnational communication and affiliations has extended our understanding of “community,” “nation,” and “identity.” Conquergood states,

    According to Michel de Certeau, “what the map cuts up, the story cuts across” (1984:12). This pithy phrase evokes a post-colonial world crisscrossed by transnational narratives, Diaspora affiliations, and especially, the movement and multiple migrations of people, sometimes voluntary, but often economically propelled and politically coerced. In order to keep pace with such a world, we think of “place” as a heavily trafficked intersection, a port of call and exchange, instead of circumscribed territory. A boundary is more like a membrane than a wall … our understanding of local context expands to encompass the historical, dynamic, often traumatic, movements of people, ideas, images, commodities, and capital. It is not easy to sort out the local from the global: transnational circulations of images get reworked on the ground and redeployed for local tactical struggles. (2002, p. 145)

    The crossings between the local and the global form complex terrains of progress, struggle, and contestation. In this collection, we illuminate performance in its various constellations in ways that consider these crossings and evoke deeper questions about them. The possibilities and political implications from such a constellation of discussions represented in this volume is far reaching, because the authors implicate operations of power at multiple locations and within varied subjectivities. What does this mean? It means the writers in this volume have chosen to examine ethnographically, historically, theoretically, pedagogically, and imaginatively a range of spaces both hidden and apparent that are represented by the silences of the subaltern at one end and by the exegesis of the empowered on the other. This polyvocal range of locations raises questions relative to imbalances of power, forms of resistance, and the symbolic universe of expressive forms of discontent, desire, and alternative possibilities. The politics and praxis of performance open up the multivocality of expressions that are formed under necessity and duress, as well as pleasure and inspiration toward envisioning new and other realities in the everyday acts of both foreign and familiar locations. In performance as praxis, the form of knowledge itself is questioned. Performance asks us to identify and affirm knowledges that are contested, obscure, and often demeaned in the embodied acts and oral traditions of such locations.

    Performance and/as Representation

    Richard Schechner, another founder of performance studies, famously defined performance as “restored behavior” (1985, p. 33). Schechner brought his considerable experience and reputation as an experimental theatre director to performance studies, and his perspective has inspired scholars to examine the intricate conceptual and pragmatic connections between performance, repetition, and representation (see also Schechner, 2002).

    In Unmarked (1993) and The Ends of Performance (1998), Peggy Phelan offers a politicized reconception of relationships between these three terms. She writes,

    The pleasure of resemblance and repetition produces both psychic assurance and political fetishization. Representation reproduces the Other as the Same. Performance, insofar as it can be defined as representation without reproduction, can be seen as a model for another representational economy, one in which the reproduction of the Other as the Same is not assured. (1993, p. 3)

    For Phelan, this translates into a particular ethical stance toward performance and/as representation.

    What lies before the field of performance studies is precisely a discipline: a refusal to indulge the killing possessiveness too often bred in admiration and love. The lessons we most need to learn are lessons in mourning without killing, loving without taking. This is the end toward which performance aims. (1998, p. 11)

    Philip Auslander is also concerned with presence and absence in discussions of performance in/as representation. His focus is the issue of “liveness,” and particularly the notion that the live performance seems to have a self-evident realness and value that the purportedly secondary “mediatized” ones do not: “However one may assess the relative symbolic values of live events, it is important to observe that even within our hyper-mediatized culture, far more symbolic capital is attached to live events than to mediatized ones, at least for the moment” (1999, p. 59). Auslander argues that performance studies scholars must critically examine this hierarchy of values, and he actively interrogates the presumptions under-girding both the notion of “liveness” itself, and the symbolic capital that accrues to it.

    Conceptual reworking of, and interventions in, performance and/as representation appear in works by a wide range of artists. Indeed the interdisciplinary nature of performance studies itself is also reflected in this work, and in the backgrounds of the artists who produce it. This interdisciplinarity, along with irony, pastiche, and a suspicion of master narratives, has led some performance scholars to describe aesthetics in these pieces as “postmodern” (Carlson, 1996, pp. 123–143). Many of these same practices can also be found in the work of early twentieth century avant-garde theatre and performance practitioners (see Goldberg, 1979).

    Two examples of performances that actively engage and trouble conventional norms of representation are illustrative. The first is “Food for the Spirit,” completed in 1971 by artist and philosopher Adrian Piper (Jones, 1998, pp. 162–164). Piper is a light-skinned African American woman. In one photo-document from this “private loft performance,” she stands nude before a mirror, a camera held beneath her breasts (p. 162). Piper's performance exists betwixt and between the moment of “live” performance and the moment in which an audience removed from the event itself confronts the photo. In that liminal space, Piper simultaneously “exposes the assumption of whiteness implicit in the ‘rhetoric of the pose’” and challenges the stability and self-evidence of racial identity. She writes,

    I am the racist's nightmare, the obscenity of miscegenation. I am a reminder that segregation is impotent; a living embodiment of sexual desire that penetrates racial barriers and reproduces itself…. I represent the loathsome possibility that everyone is “tainted” by black ancestry: If someone can look and sound like me and still be black, who is unimpeachably white? (quoted in Jones, 1998, p. 162)

    Consider, too, the work of Spiderwoman, a performance company of three Native American sisters. Mindful of the ways Native Americans enter representation—as “vanished,” as archeological “specimens,” “noble savages,” or the loci of nostalgia, Spiderwoman exposes and critiques these constructions through burlesquing and parodying them. As Rebecca Schneider (1997) observes,

    Laughing, Spiderwoman is sending up something extremely serious. Who are the “primitives” that have been created by white nostalgia? Much of Spiderwoman's work is related to the issue of “Indianness,” adroitly played in the painful space between the need to claim an “authentic” native identity and their awareness of the appropriation and the historical commodification of the signs of that authenticity. Their material falls in the interstices where their autobiographies meet popular and aesthetic constructions of the “primitive,” specifically the primitivized American Indian. (p. 161)

    Performance studies scholars also create performances that rework and interrogate relationships between, and conventions of, performance and/as representation. This work is another example of performance at the intersections of method, of research, object of research, and method of representing research (Alexander, 2002; Jackson, 1998; Johnson, 2003; Jones, 1997).

    Performance studies scholars tease out and refashion relationships between performance and representation on the page as well as on the stage. In her influential essay “Performing Writing” (1998), Della Pollock discusses “Six Excursions into Performative Writing.” Such writing, she explains, is evocative, metonymic, subjective, citational, and consequential. It is particularly well suited to the complexities of setting bodies—and theories—in motion into language. A number of contributors to this handbook use performative writing in their essays, demonstrating that critique in performance studies, like performance itself, is inventive, generative, and “on the move” (Conquergood, 1995).

    Why a Handbook of Performance Studies?

    Many of the contributors in this volume cross subject areas; that is, they write from several categories at once. For example scholars and teachers of performance may integrate and overlap several areas, such as ethnography, theory, history, literature, and politics in various other combinations. However, for this collection, we have organized each of these domains as separate topical areas. The editors and contributors for each section all use multidisciplinary approaches; yet, they are experts within their specific domains with an accomplished record of research and teaching. They employ theories and paradigms from various other subject areas of performance to enhance and extend the core concepts within their specific domain of interest. As a result of the multidisciplinary nature of performance, and because, as editors, it is our intent to honor the rich tapestry that constitutes performance, in crossing a range of subjects this collection also crosses a range of readers. This book is meant for students, teachers, practitioners and all those interested in how to understand and employ performance, pedagogically, theoretically, and artistically. The thematic organization is as follows:

    Performance and Literature

    Performance and literature are intimately linked. Performance is a path by which we enter literary worlds. Performance is polyrhythmic as it conjoins the words, experiences, behaviors, imaginings, and bodies of the reader with those of the literary text. Chapters in this section discuss the use of performance as a critical, analytical tool for examining literature; the institutional formation of performance studies through its links with literature in the oral tradition, in oratory, and in the theatre; the relationship between performance, testimony and the personal narrative; and performance as, itself, a form of textual representation and artistic production.

    Performance and Pedagogy

    This section explores the productive intersections between critical pedagogy and performance. Each essay demonstrates that the production, consumption, and dissemination of knowledge are critical performances intimately linked to activism as well as to the formation of institutional practices and identities. This section examines performance as constitutive of pedagogical theory and praxis from varying sites that both trouble and honor the meanings and consequences of knowledge in action. Pedagogy is explored as embodied processes and as a politics of hope.

    Performance and Politics

    Performance implicates power in the situated nature of human interaction as well as in the symbols that simultaneously motivate, sustain, and contest its legitimacy. Performance requires locating the complexly layered micro and macro enactments of politics to identify human conditions and yearnings relative to power, authority, strength, and force. The essays included in this section explore the principles of politics as it encompasses freedom and human desire, particularly within the realms of race, sexuality, gender, globality, caste, and class.

    Performance and Ethnography

    Performance is variously and simultaneously employed as a theory, method, and event in research and travel to ethically enter the domains of Others. Performance and ethnography combine in this section to explore the value and ubiquity of performance within the ethnographic enterprise: in illuminating relations and theories of space, place, and Other; in the embodied, dialogical dynamics of fieldwork methods; and, in the scholarly representation and advocacy praxis of public performance. Therefore, the essays in this section examine the uses of performance in the analysis, engagement, and presentation of ethnography and its processes.

    Performance and History

    The relationship between performance and history goes far beyond studies of specific performers and specific periods, though these, of course, are vitally important. Included in this section are discussion of the theatrical construction of the nation, of the relationships between performance and forms of civic and social life, and performance as a heuristic guiding both archival methodology and historiography. Chapters in this section will explore varying aspects of the multifaceted relationship between performance and history.

    Performance and Theory

    Performance and theory conjoin to explicate the meanings and implications that inhere in human experience and social processes. Performance theory is employed across disciplines to decipher the multiple operations of performance (performativity and the performative) within a written text, a life world, and in domains of cognitive and imaginary expressions. The essays included in this section will examine the dynamics of performance theory, e.g., its taxonomies, interrogations, and queries. Moreover, the essays will reflect the performance turn in western academic theory as it invokes more embodied, subjunctive, and transgressive claims regarding the ontology of difference.


    This handbook serves as both a forum and as a response to a call for those who are interested in employing performance whether it is through the strategies of performance theory, the methods of performance ethnography, the politics of performance pedagogy, the illuminations of literature and performance, the revisionings of performance history, the claims in the politics of performance, or the overarching ways performance is performed as a staged event. All these dimensions of performance are deeply invoked while elements of each richly overlap with elements of the others. The politics, theory, pedagogy, literature, and ethnography of performance are distinct sites of inquiry; however the ways they naturally and inherently intersect with each other becomes a rich montage of meanings, questions, and claims. This volume opens a range of paradigms and meditations on performance to the reader in order to illuminate and clarify the various ways performance can be employed across subjects of interest and disciplinary divisions. Moreover, we have placed various arguments about and ideas of performance together in this collection to create a dialectic of comparisons and contrasts between and within performance studies conversations.

    Alexander, B. K.Skin flint (or, the garbage man's kid): A generative autobiographical performance based on Tami Spry's “Tattoo Stories.”Text and Performance Quarterly20(1)(2002). 97–114.
    Auslander, P.(1999).Liveness: Performance in a mediatized culture. New York: Routledge.
    Bacon, A. W.(1979).The art of interpretation. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
    Bauman, Z.(1983).Globalization: The human consequences. New York: Columbia University Press.
    Bhabha, H.(1994).The location of culture. New York: Routledge.
    Burke, K.(1945).A grammar of motives. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
    Butler, J.Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory. Theory Journal40(1988). 519–531.
    Carlson, M.(1996).Performance: A critical introduction. New York: Routledge.
    Conquergood, D.(1986).Between experience and meaning: Performance as paradigm for meaningful action. In T.Colson (Ed.), Renewal and revision: The future of interpretation (pp. 26–59). Denton, TX: Omega.
    Conquergood, D.Of caravans and carnivals: Performance studies in motion. The Drama Review39(4)(1995). 137–141.
    Conquergood, D.Rethinking elocution: The trope of the talking book and other figures of speech. Text and Performance Quarterly20(2000). 325–341.
    Conquergood, D.Performance studies: Interventions and radical research. The Drama Review46(2)(2002). 145–156.
    de Certeau, M.(1984).The practice of everyday life (S. Rendall, Trans.). Berkeley: University of California Press. (Original work published in 1974)
    Diamond, E. (Ed.). (1996).Introduction. Performance and cultural politics (pp. 1–2). New York: Routledge.
    Goldberg, R.(1979).Performance: Live art, 1909 to the present. New York: Abrams.
    Hamera, J.An answerability of memory: “Saving” Khmer classical dance. The Drama Review46(4)(2002). 65–85.
    Jackson, S.White noises: On performing white, on writing performances. The Drama Review42(1)(1998). 49–65.
    Johnson, E. P.Strange fruit: A performance about identity politics. The Drama Review47(2)(2003). 88–116.
    Jones, A.(1998).Body art: Performing the subject. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Jones, J.Sista docta: Performance as critique of the academy. The Drama Review41(2)(1997). 51–67.
    Langellier, K.Personal narrative, performance, performativity: Two or three things I know for sure. Text and Performance Quarterly19(2)(1999). 123–144.
    Madison, S.(2005).Critical ethnography: Method, ethics, and performance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    Phelan, P.(1993).Unmarked: The politics of performance. New York: Routledge.
    Phelan, P.(1998).Introduction: The ends of performance. In P.Phelan & J.Lane (Eds.), The ends of performance (pp. 1–19). New York: NYU Press.
    Pollock, D.(1998).Performing writing. In P.Phelan & J.Lane (Eds.), The ends of performance (pp. 73–103). New York: NYU Press.
    Schechner, R.(1985).Between theatre and anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
    Schechner, R.(2002).Performance studies: An introduction. New York: Routledge.
    Schneider, R.(1997).The explicit body in performance. New York: Routledge.
    Searle, J. R.(1969).Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
    Singer, M. (Ed.). (1959).Traditional India: Structure and change. Philadelphia: American Folklore Society.
    Strine, M.(1998).Articulating performance/performativity: Disciplining tasks and the contingencies of practice. In J. S.Trent (Ed.), Communication: Views from the helm for the 21st century (pp. 312–317). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
    Strine, M. S., Long, B. W., & Hopkins, M. F.(1990).Research in interpretation and performance studies: Trends, issues, priorities. In G. M.Phillips & J. T.Wood (Eds.), Speech communication: Essays to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Speech Communication Association (pp. 181–204). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
    Turner, V.(1982).From ritual to theatre: The human seriousness of play. New York: Performing Arts.
    Wheelwright, P.(1962).Metaphor and reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • About the Editors

    D. Soyini Madison is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the area of Performance Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her PhD from Northwestern University in 1989 under the direction of Dwight Conquergood. She is author of Critical Ethnography: Methods, Ethics, and Performance (2005) and editor of The Woman That I am: The Literature and Culture of Contemporary Women of Color (1994). Madison's several publications in journals and edited volumes focus on black diaspora performances and the intersections between the global political economy and human rights. She is recipient of several university teaching awards including the Tanner Award for “outstanding and inspirational” teaching.

    Madison lived in Ghana, West Africa as a Senior Fulbright Scholar conducting field research on women's human rights, traditional religion, and globality from 1998 to 2001. She received a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship in Belagio, Italy in 2004 for her current book project, “The White Girl Upstairs”: Ethnography, Performance, and Human Rights, based on her field research in Ghana. Madison has also adapted and directed ethnographic and oral historical materials for I Have My Story to Tell, a performance reflecting the labor struggles of UNC service workers, and for Mandela, the Land, and the People. She is currently working on an ethnographic performance entitled Water Rites based on local human rights activism in the global South and the struggle against the privatization of waters.

    Judith Hamera received her BA (1980) in Mass Communication from Wayne State University and her MA (1982) and PhD (1987) in Interpretation and Performance Studies respectively from Northwestern University. She is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. She has served as editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, the journal of the National Communication Association Division of Performance Studies. She is the author of Dancing Communities: Performance, Culture, and Community in a Global City (forthcoming) and editor of Opening Acts: Performance in/as Communication and Cultural Studies (2005). Her essays have appeared in Cultural Studies, TDR: The Drama Review, Modern Drama, Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Topics, and Women and Language. She is the recipient of the National Communication Association's Lilla Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies, and was named President's Distinguished Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, in 2004.

    About the Contributors

    Bryant Keith Alexander is Professor of Communication Studies and is currently the acting chair of the Department of Liberal Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. His research in performance, cultural, and pedagogical studies appears in a wide variety of journals and books. He is a contributing author to the Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.), and is the coeditor of Performance Theories in Education: Power, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity. He is currently finalizing a book-length project entitled Contesting Performances: Ethnographic Explorations of Culture, Subjectivity, and Social Relations.

    Michael S. Bowman teaches performance studies at Louisiana State University, where he is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication Studies. He serves as the current editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, the National Communication Association journal of performance studies.

    Ruth Laurion Bowman is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Louisiana State University, where she teaches courses in performance studies and is the producing director of the HopKins Black Box, an experimental lab theatre. Her essays have appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Topics, and various collections.

    Barbara Browning is the author of Samba: Resistance in Motion (1995), which received the De la Torre Bueno Prize for the best book on dance in that year, and Infectious Rhythm: Metaphors of Contagion and the Spread of African Culture (1998). Her research concerns African diasporic expressive culture, and the conjunction of medical anthropology and performance analysis. From 2001 to 2005 she served as the Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at NYU. Browning is a member of the governing boards of the Society of Dance History Scholars and the Congress on Research in Dance. She is also a member of the editorial collective of the journal Women & Performance.

    Gay Gibson Cima is Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Initiative at Georgetown University. Her book manuscript, Early American Women Critics: Performance, Politics, Religion, Race, is under contract with Cambridge University Press. She has published widely on feminist performance history, dramaturgy, and criticism in a number of critical anthologies and journals. Her book Performing Women: Female Characters, Male Playwrights, and the Modern Stage was published in 1993. She is Secretary of the American Society for Theatre Research and a member of the American Council of Learned Societies Conference of Administrative Officers.

    Jan Cohen-Cruz is a scholar/practitioner of activist and community-based performance. An Associate Professor in the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Drama Department, she coordinates a minor in applied theatre, guiding young artists who facilitate cultural projects in city neighborhoods. She coedited Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism and edited Radical Street Performance: An International Anthology. Her book on community-based performance in the United States, Local Acts, was published in March, 2005. Another edited text with Mady Schutzman, A Boal Companion, should be available in late 2005.

    Dwight Conquergood was former chair of the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University where he served as Director of Graduate Studies and Interim Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts. He was also a member of the Research Faculty for the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research. He served as site consultant for the International Rescue Committee and other human rights organizations. Professor Conquergood conducted several workshops for public defenders and consulted pro bono on capital cases involving indigent, minority, and immigrant defendants. He taught at the Bryan R. Shechmeister Death Penalty College, School of Law, Santa Clara University. His research interests were in cultural studies and performance ethnography. He conducted ethnographic fieldwork in refugee camps in Thailand, the Gaza Strip, and with street gangs in Chicago. In addition to numerous publications in journals and edited volumes, he coproduced two award-winning documentaries based on his ethnographic field-work: Between Two Worlds: The Hmong Shaman in America (1985), and The Heart Broken in Half (1990). Before his death in November 2004, he was completing a book on performance ethnography grounded in his long-term transnational field research with refugees and new immigrants in Chicago.

    Tracy C. Davis is Barber Professor of the Performing Arts at Northwestern University. She is general editor of the Cambridge University Press series Theatre and Performance Theory and recently joined TDR as a consulting editor. A book on nuclear civil defense practices in Canada, Britain, and the United States. is in process. This study explores the staging of preparations for catastrophe by various populations within governmental, scientific, engineering, and social communities as they coordinate civil defense exercises affecting neighborhoods, cities, and nations on local and international scales.

    Norman K. Denzin is Distinguished Professor of Communications, College of Communications Scholar, and Research Professor of Communications, Sociology, and Humanities at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of numerous books including Performance Ethnography: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture, Screening Race: Hollywood and a Cinema of Racial Violence; Performing Ethnography; and 9/11 in American Culture. He is past editor of The Sociological Quarterly, coeditor of The Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd ed.), coeditor of Qualitative Inquiry, editor of Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies, and series editor of Studies in Symbolic Interaction.

    Greg Dimitriadis is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Adjunct Professor of American Studies at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He is author, coauthor, or coeditor of nine books, including Performing Identity/Performing Culture: Hip Hop as Text, Pedagogy, and Lived Practice.

    Jill Dolan holds the Zachary T. Scott Chair in Drama in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author the The Feminist Spectator as Critic (1989), Presence and Desire: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, Performance (1993), Geographies of Learning: Theory and Practice, Activism and Performance (2001), and Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre (2005). Her research projects include a critical memoir on lesbian feminism in the United States and a critical history of queer theatre since the 1960s. She coedits, with David Roman, the Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/QueerDrama/Theatre/Performance series at the University of Michigan Press. She is the past president of the Women and Theatre Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), and a past president of ATHE itself. She is former Executive Director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her articles have been published in Theatre Journal, The Drama Review, Modern Drama, and Theatre Topics, among other publications. She heads the Performance as Public Practice MA/PhD Program at UT-Austin.

    Paul Edwards is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University and the recipient of the 2002 NU Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award. He has directed more than 40 original stage adaptations of fiction for campus and professional settings. His adaptation of John Barth's The End of the Road received a 1993

    Joseph Jefferson Citation (for non-Equity production); his adaptation of Geoff Ryman's Was received a Joseph Jefferson Award (for Equity production) and an After Dark Award. From the National Communication Association he has received two awards: the Leslie Irene Coger Award, honoring lifetime achievement in performance, and the Lilla A. Heston Award for outstanding scholarship in performance studies. His essays and monographs have appeared in such publications as Shakespeare Quarterly, Text and Performance Quarterly, and Theatre Annual.

    Derek Goldman is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Georgetown University and is Founding Artistic Director of the StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, an award-winning professional theatre company that has produced over 50 productions in 13 years. He has also directed Off-Broadway and at numerous other venues including the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, and he has had more than a dozen of his own plays and adaptations produced professionally. Current projects include his adaptation of Studs Terkel's Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith (Steppenwolf); his jazz musical My Swan: the Passions of F. Scott Fitzgerald (New York), and Hymn to Elsewhere, an original piece inspired by the life and work of Salman Rushdie and the iconography of The Wizardof Oz.

    Bruce Henderson is Professor of Speech Communication at Ithaca College, where he also served as department chair for five years and is currently coordinator of Health Communication. He is co-author with Carol Simpson Stern of Performance: Texts and Contexts and also serves as an Associate Editor of Text and Performance Quarterly. He has written about modern poetry, children's literature, queer theory, and disability studies.

    Shannon Jackson is Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is head graduate advisor of the doctoral program in Performance Studies, core faculty of the Art Research Center, and affiliated faculty in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. She has published Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, Hull-House Domesticity (2000), Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity (2004), and dozens of articles in edited collections and journals of theatre, performance, and cultural studies. Jackson has received publication awards from the American Studies Association, the American Society for Theatre Research, and the Association for Theatre in Hgher Education, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the Spencer Foundation.

    E. Patrick Johnson is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Departments of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. He is author of Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity and coeditor (with Mae G. Henderson) of Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled, Sweet Tea: An Oral History of Black Gay Men of the South.

    Joni L. Jones/Olorisa Omi Osun Olomo is an Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Theatre and Dance, and Associate Director of the Center for African and African-American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is an artist/scholar who is currently engaged in performance ethnography around the Yoruba deity Osun, and is writing a collaborative ethnography on the use of a jazz aesthetic in theatre. While on a Fulbright Fellowship in Nigeria (1997–98), Dr. Jones taught at Obafemi Awolowo University and contributed theatre for social change workshops to the Forum on Governance and Democracy in IleIfe. Her articles on performance and identity have appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, The Drama Review, Theatre Topics, and Black Theatre News. Her performance ethnography includes Searching for Osun, sista docta, and Broken Circles: A Journey Through Africa and the Self.

    Kristin M. Langellier is Mark and Marcia Bailey Professor at the University of Maine where she teaches communication, performance studies, and women's studies. Her research interests are narrative performance, family storytelling, and Franco American cultural identity. Her numerous publications include Storytelling in Daily Life: Performing Narrative (2004), coauthored with Eric E. Peterson. She is a former editor of Text and Performance Quarterly.

    Jon McKenzie is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he teaches courses in performance studies and civil disobedience. His works include Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance (2001), the essays “Democracy's Performance,” “Laurie Anderson for Dummies,” and “Towards a Sociopoetics of Interface Design: etoy, etoys, and TOYWAR,” and a 1996 broadcast commemoration of the 1986 shuttle disaster titled “CINC: A Challenger Radio Drama.” Jon's texts have been translated into Croatian, French, German, Japanese, Polish, and Portuguese. He has also worked in the new media industry as a writer and information architect.

    Lisa Merrill is Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Rhetoric, and Performance Studies at Hofstra University. Merrill is a gender and performance historian and specialist in American studies. Her research focuses on nineteenth century theatrical and everyday performances of nationality, race, gender, and sexuality and their reception. Merrill is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities senior scholar award, the Lilla Heston Prize for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies, and visiting fellowships and professorships at Cambridge University, England; La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; and Northwestern University, United States. Her most recent book, When Romeo Was a Woman: Charlotte Cushman and Her Circle of Female Spectators was awarded the Joe A. Callaway Prize for Best Book in Theatre or Drama by an American author.

    Lynn C. Miller is Professor of Theatre and Dance in the Performance as Public Practice program at the University of Texas at Austin. Miller is the coeditor of Voices Made Flesh: Performing Women's Autobiography (2003) and author of the novels The Fool's Journey(2002) and Death of a Department Chair (in press, 2006). Miller has adapted the works of many contemporary writers for the stage and has toured performances of Edith Wharton, Gertrude Stein, and Katherine Anne Porter. Miller teaches courses in adaptation of literature for stage and screen, performing autobiography, performance art, and performance and culture. Currently, she's writing a libretto for her play (coauthored with Laura Furman), Passenger on the Ship of Fools, which has been performed in Saratoga Springs and at Louisiana State University.

    José Esteban Muñoz is Chair of the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He is author of Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics (1999) and the coeditor of several volumes including Pop-Out: Queer Warhol and Everynight Life: Music and Dance in Latin/o America. He is completing two manuscripts, Feeling Brown: Ethnicity, Affect and Performance and Cruising Utopia.

    Eric E. Peterson is Professor at the University of Maine where he teaches in the Department of Communication and Journalism. His research and teaching interests are in narrative performance, media consumption, nonverbal communication, and communication diversity and identity. He is coauthor with Kristin M. Langellier of Storytelling in Daily Life: Performing Narrative (2004) and coeditor of Public Broadcasting and the Public Interest (2003).

    Della Pollock is Professor of Communication Studies in the areas of performance and cultural studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hll. She is the author of Telling Bodies Performing Birth (1999) and editor of Exceptional Spaces: Essays in Performance and History (1998) and Remembering: Oral History Performance (2005). She coedits the journal Cultural Studies with Lawrence Grossberg.

    Sandra L. Richards's teaching interests center on American drama, African-American and African theatres, and black feminist theories. She has taught dramatic literature and directed African-American, Caribbean, and African plays at Stanford University, San Francisco State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Benin (Nigeria), where she was a Fulbright lecturer from 1983 to 1985. She has published articles on such African-American playwrights as Amiri Baraka, Ntozake Shange, August Wilson, and on Nigerian dramatists Wole Soyinka, Bode Sowande, and Zulu Sofola in Theatre Journal, New Theatre Quarterly, and in the collections Critical Theory and Performance and Performance and Performativity. Her full-length study, Ancient Songs Set Ablaze: The Theatre of Femi Osofisan, was selected by Choice as one of the outstanding academic publications of 1997. Other collections in which her work has appeared include Horror and Human Tragedy Revisted, African Drama and Performance, and The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Self-Fashioning. From 1998 to 2001, Richards served as the Chair of the African American Studies Department, and from 2001 to 2004, she held the Leon Forrest Professorship of African American Studies, both at Northwestern University. Currently, she is researching issues of cultural tourism to slave sites throughout the Black Atlantic.

    Rebecca Schneider is Associate Professor and Head of the MA and PhD programs in Theatre and Performance Studies at Brown University. She is the author of The Explicit Body in Performance as well as numerous essays, most recently “Solo Solo Solo” in After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance. She is a contributing editor to TDR and coeditor, with Gabrielle Cody, of Re: Direction: A Theoretical and Practical Guide on twentieth century directing theory and practice.

    Mady Schutzman is a writer, scholar, and theatre artist. She is author of The Real Thing: Performance, Hysteria, and Advertising and coeditor with Jan Cohen-Cruz of two anthologies on the work of Augusto Boal. Her performative essays have been published in journals ranging from The Drama Review to The Journal of Medical Humanities. Schutzman's current research focuses on humor as resistance and divinatory practices. She teaches and serves as Assistant Dean of the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts.

    Nathan Stucky is the Chair of the Department of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he writes and directs performances and teaches courses in performance studies. He is coeditor of Teaching Performance Studies, and he formerly edited Theatre Annual: A Journal of Performance Studies. Hs essays have appeared in Cultural Studies<-»Critical Methodologies, Text and Performance Quarterly, Communication Education, Journal of Pragmatics, and The Journal of Language and Social Psychology.

    Jacqueline Taylor is the Director of the DePaul Humanities Center and teaches performance studies, women's studies, and gender and communication at DePaul University. She is the author of Grace Paley: Illuminating the Dark Lives, and of chapters in Queer Words, Queer Images and Readings in Cultural Contexts. Her essays have been published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Southern Speech Communication Journal, and Women's Studies in Communication. Her coedited volume (with Lynn C. Miller and M. Heather Carver), Voices Made Flesh: Staging Women's Autobiography contains fourteen scripts and essays on women's autobiographical performance.

    Kristin Bervig Valentine is Professor Emeritus of Communication and Women's Studies at Arizona State University. Her research within communication is focused on performance studies and ethnography. For more than 30 years she has been a volunteer teacher for incarcerated women and continues to work for alternatives to prisons. Valentine has published earlier information about her work with incarcerated women in Women's Studies in Communication, 21 (1998) and will contribute to a white paper on incarcerated persons to be published by NCA in 2006.

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