Performance Studies: The Basics offers an overview of the multiple, often overlapping definitions of performance, from performance art, performance as everyday life, and ritual 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 in 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 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 helpful a glossary, bibliography, and suggestions for future reading, this book is an ideal starting point for those studying Performance Studies as well as 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; Glossary of terms; Bibliography
Andreea S. Micu is an Associate Researcher in the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard. 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 have appeared in both scholarly and general venues 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