• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Opening Acts: Performance in/as Communication and Cultural Criticism offers new, rigorous ways to analyze communication and culture through performance. Editor Judith Hamera, along with a distinguished list of contributors, provides students with cutting-edge readings of everyday life, space, history, and intersections of all three, using a critical performance-based approach. This text makes three significant contributions to the field - it familiarizes readers with the core elements and commitments of performance-based analysis, links performance-based analysis to theoretical and analytical perspectives in communication and cultural studies, and provides engaging examples of how to use performance as a critical tool to open up communication and culture.offers new, rigorous ways to analyze communication and culture through performance. Editor Judith Hamera, along with a distinguished list of contributors, provides students with cutting-edge readings of everyday life, space, history, and intersections of all three, using a critical performance-based approach. This text makes three significant contributions to the field - it familiarizes readers with the core elements and commitments of performance-based analysis, links performance-based analysis to theoretical and analytical perspectives in communication and cultural studies, and provides engaging examples of how to use performance as a critical tool to open up communication and culture.

Introduction: Opening Opening Acts
Introduction: Opening opening acts
JudithHamera

Plato hated performers. Consider his dialogue Ion (1998). Here, the hapless rhapsode of the title, a solo artist who interprets the works of great poets like Homer for large audiences, provides a pliant patsy for the relentless Socrates. By the end of the dialogue, Ion seems to shrivel in the withering heat of Socrates' critique: The rhapsode is artless, irrational, a virtual disease vector of irrationality, and three removes from the Truth. Some might suggest that this doesn't bode well for the future of performance as a critical tool. Others, citing Socrates' massive rhetorical overkill, might argue that anything making Plato this nervous must have something going for it.

The Purposes of Opening Acts

When I served as the editor ...

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