1st Edition

Writing Performance, Identity, and Everyday Life The Selected Works of Ronald J. Pelias

By Ronald J. Pelias Copyright 2018
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    Writing Performance, Identity, and Everyday Life invites the reader into Ronald J. Pelias’ world of artistic and everyday performance. Calling upon a broad range of qualitative methods, these selected writings from Pelias submerge themselves in the evocative and embodied, in the material and consequential, often creating moving accounts of their topics.

    The book is divided into four sections: Foundational Logics, Performance, Identity, and Everyday Life. Part I addresses the methodological underpinnings of the book, focusing on the ‘touchstones’ that inform Pelias’ work: performative, autoethnographic, poetic, and narrative methods. These directions push the researcher toward empathic engagement, a leaning toward others; using the literary to evoke the cognitive and affective aspects of experience; and an ethical sensibility located in social justice. Parts II–IV focus on artistic and everyday life performances, including discussions of the disciplinary shift from the oral interpretation of literature to the field of performance studies; empathy and the actor’s process; conceptions of performance; the performance of race, gender, and sexuality; and performances in interpersonal relations and academic circles.

    By the end, readers will see Pelias demonstrate the power of qualitative methods to engage and to present alternative ways of being. Pelias’ work shows us how to understand and feel the evocative strength of thinking performatively.


    Introduction: A Way In

    Part I: Foundational Logics

    Chapter 1. Performative Inquiry: Embodiment and Its Challenges

    Chapter 2. Writing Autoethnography: The Personal, Poetic, and Performative as Compositional Strategies

    Chapter 3. Performative Writing as Scholarship: An Argument, An Anecdote

    Chapter 4. Performative Writing: The Ethics of Representation in Form and Body

    Chapter 5. Writing into Position: Strategies for Composition and Evaluation

    Chapter 6. Pledging Personal Allegiance to Qualitative Inquiry

    Part II: Performance

    Chapter 7. A Paradigm for Performance Studies with James Vanoosting

    Chapter 8. Empathy: Some Implications of Social Cognition Research for Interpretation Study

    Chapter 9. Performance Studies: Meditations and Mediations

    Chapter 10. Performance Is…

    Chapter 11. Confessions of an Apprehensive Performer

    Chapter 12. Toward a Poetic Phenomenology of Performance with Lesa Lockford

    Chapter 13. Seductions

    Part III: Identity

    Chapter 14. The DEF Comedy Jam, bell hooks, and Me

    Chapter 15. My Body’s Placement: An Autoethnographic Account of Communicative Practice

    Chapter 16. Making My Masculine Body Behave

    Chapter 17. Jarheads, Girly Men, and the Pleasures of Violence

    Chapter 18. A Personal History of Lust on Bourbon Street

    Part IV: Everyday Life

    Chapter 19. Remembering Vietnam

    Chapter 20. The Critical Life

    Chapter 21. The Academic Tourist: An Autoethnography

    Chapter 22. Always Dying: Living Between Da and Fort

    Chapter 23. For Father and Son: An Ethnodrama with No Catharsis

    Chapter 24. Remains

    Chapter 25. The End of an Academic Career: The Desperate Attempt to Hang On and Let Go


    Ronald J. Pelias is currently teaching part-time in the theatre program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His most recent books exploring qualitative methods are Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations (2011), Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing (2014), and If the Truth Be Told: Accounts in Literary Forms (2016).

    If you’re new to Ron Pelias’ work, you’ll find treasure here: riches you will not tire of, that will reward you for what you give - time, attention, openness. If you’re already familiar with Pelias' work, or think you are, you might need to reconsider: the range, depth and sheer beauty of Pelias' writing will take you somewhere new. There’s treasure here for you too. This is a vibrant collection of texts from a giant of qualitative inquiry.

    Jonathan Wyatt, Senior Lecturer, Director of the Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry, The University of Edinburgh