Acting, Being, Doing, and Making: Introduction to Performance Studies

A hands-on approach to this interdisciplinary field. In addition to key readings in performance theory, we will attend theatre and concerts and sporting events, visit museums, attend community celebrations, observe people’s behaviors in restaurants and on the street. We will analyze live performance, adapting techniques applied to written texts to space- and time-based events. We will also practice ethnographic methods to collect stories to adapt for performance and address the role of the participant-observer as a corollary to the scholar-artist, which requires thinking about ethics and the inherent social responsibilities of this work.

Sample reading list:
Roach and ReineltCritical Theory and Performance
Phelan and LaneEnds of Performance
BialThe Performance Studies Reader

Reading/Writing assignments:
150-200 pages per week

Other information:
Performance studies examines performance expansively; from theatre, dance, music, visual art, and other “framed” performances, to an individual’s actions and behaviors in everyday life; from storytelling, folklore, and blogs to political speeches, rituals, and celebrations. Performance studies explores performance globally; includes both theoretical exploration and embodied practice; and borrows methods from anthropology and sociology, as well as from the arts and humanities.




Tuesday, 1:30 - 4:20 pm
185 Nassau Street, Room 219


Jill Dolan

Stacy Wolf