Performance Studies: The Basics offers an overview of the multiple, often overlapping definitions of performance, from performance art, performance as everyday life, and rituals, to the performative dimensions of identity, such as gender, race and sexuality.
This book defines the interdisciplinary field of performance studies as it has evolved over the past four decades at the intersection of academic scholarship and artistic and activist practices. It discusses performance as an important means of communicating and of understanding the world, highlighting its intersections with critical theory and arguing for the importance of performance in the study of human behaviour and social practices.
Complete with a helpful glossary and bibliography, as well as suggestions for further reading, this book is an ideal starting point for those studying performance studies as well as for general readers with an interest in the subject.
Table of Contents
1 What Is Performance? 2 Performance Art 3 Performance and Performativity 4 Identity and Lived Experience 5 Performance Activism 6 Performance Research Methods 7 Performance Studies
Andreea S. Micu is an Associate Researcher at the Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University. She has taught classes in performance, culture and communication at Northwestern University, where she also obtained her doctoral degree in Performance Studies. Her writing about performance has appeared in both scholarly and general publications such as pARTicipatory urbanisms, Performance Philosophy and The New Alphabet School.
'If you are looking for rigorous, accessible and bracingly contemporary answers to the "what", "how" and "why" of performance studies, you will find them in Performance Studies: The Basics. This meticulous introduction outlines the field’s complex and contested genealogies, its theoretical infrastructures, and its methodological possibilities. It efficiently and evocatively captures performance studies’ scope, models its ethical commitments, and details its diversity: a "must-read" for students and faculty from high school to grad school.'
—Judith Hamera, Princeton University
'This book is a necessity and an inspiration to read from the high school classroom to the university seminar, from the dramatic stage to the lecture podium, and from those who are new to performance studies to those who founded the field. The brilliance of the book is its breadth and depth enhanced by its clarity. Micu opens new questions on the intersections of performance theory and everyday life, on performance history and social activism, and on how performance methods can both change and connect us in the ways we make social life and worlds. This book is a treasure. I wish Performance Studies: The Basics was available to me (or one just like it) during my fifty years of teaching theatre and performance studies. I am grateful to learn from it now.'
—D. Soyini Madison, Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University