• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Performance Studies brings together, in a single volume, reviews 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 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.

Introduction: Performance and Ethnography, Performing Ethnography, Performance Ethnography
Introduction: Performance and ethnography, performing ethnography, performance ethnography

Performance and ethnography meaningfully come together as performance ethnography, which is ethnographic research embodied by the ethnographer, the fieldwork community, an audience, or any combination of these participants. Performance ethnography rests on the idea that bodies harbor knowledge about culture, and that performance allows for the exchange of that knowledge across bodies. The dense exploration of culture suggested by Clifford Geertz's “thick description”—that sensuous detailing of ethnographic experiences—is given flesh with performance ethnography as the ethnographer, the fieldwork community members, and the audience collaboratively exchange their understandings and experiences through performance.

This embodied knowledge, which had long been the hallmark of oral interpretation and theatre prior to the formation of the ...

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