Performance studies the battle of

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Performance studies the battle of

Performance Studies Second Edition Performance studies is an interdisciplinary field of research that draws from the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts. It focuses on the pervasiveness of performance as a central element of social and cultural life, including not only theater and dance but also such forms as sacred rituals and practices of everyday life, storytelling and public speaking, avant-garde performance art, popular entertainments, microconstructions of ethnicity, race, class, sex, and gender, world fairs and heritage festivals, nonverbal communication, play and sports, political demonstrations and electronic civil disobedience, sex shows and drag performance—potentially any instance of expressive behavior or cultural enactment.

Within this field, performance entails the presentation or "reactualization" of symbolic systems through both living and mediated bodies. The paradigm of performance studies has been surveyed in numerous essays and book chapters by writers such as Dell Hymes, John J. Reinelt and Joseph R.

A Critical Introductionand a critical anthology, Performance: The intellectual roots of performance studies in the United States can be found in the s and s, at a moment when theorists in the social sciences—linguistics, anthropology, and sociology—began to employ theater as a model for studying uses of language, ritual, and everyday interactions.

While Burke set forth a "dramatist" model for analyzing the motives behind phenomena ranging from communicative actions to the history of philosophy, Turner developed a theory of "social drama" to understand ritual processes in resolving conflicts and crises in agrarian African communities.

Goffman likewise proposed a dramaturgical approach for studying how people negotiate everyday interactions through carefully managed social performances. In the s, experimental theater directors moved in the opposite direction: Directors such as Jerzi Grotowski, Eugenio Barba, and Peter Brook began exploring the boundaries between theater and ritual and between art and life.

Influenced by the writings of Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud, such artistic experiments frequently employed performance models from indigenous traditions around the world, drawing artists to research in folklore and anthropology.

Inspired by an avant-garde performance-art tradition that stretched back to Dada, innovative new art forms included the dance of Merce Cunningham and Yvonne Rainer, the Happenings of Allan Kaprow, and performance events by Carolee Schneemann, Nam June Paik, and others.

Performance studies the battle of

In the late s and s these developments in the arts and social sciences converged to produce and formalize the field of cultural performance.

The performing arts provided a perspective for framing and analyzing social, personal, and communicative phenomena, while the social sciences provided conceptual tools for theorizing the social and psychological dimensions of performance.

More specifically, theater provided a formal model for identifying and describing cultural performances across the landscape of social life, while ritual provided a functional model for understanding the role these activities might play in even wider social processes. Working across disciplinary traditions, a loose but dedicated community of researchers emerged, generating papers, panel sessions, and special conferences, such as the Burg Wartenstein Symposium, from which emerged the following definition of cultural performance: This definition identifies three functions that scholars have regularly attributed to cultural performance: Seeking to define cultural performances not simply as entertainment, performance scholars thus came to stress what Schechner called the "efficacy" of performance, its capability to feed back into and transform social life.

Celebrating the efficacy of cultural performances, scholars tended to privilege forms that in some way resisted or were outside mainstream Western cultural traditions, forms such as experimental, regional, and political theater, performance art, street demonstrations, low-brow popular entertainments such as vaudeville and sideshows, marginal practices of everyday life, and ritual, dance, and festival traditions from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

And the new field of performance studies not only focused on marginalized objects of study but also saw itself as an alternative to conventional fields of research: Suspicious of established disciplines—and of the Establishment—performance scholars came to see their place as necessarily between conventional fields of study.

Indeed, even after the first official performance studies programs had been established in the s at New York University and Northwestern University, Dwight Conquergood would stress the liminality of performance studies, while Joseph Roach contended that it constituted not a discipline but rather an "inter-discipline" or a "post-discipline.

This practical work was informed by an eclectic though focused interest in the social sciences, in particular psychology and anthropology.

A Digital Journal of Irish Studies

During the early decades of performance studies research, scholars valued three crucial components of performance: Perhaps most important was physical embodiment. Paradoxically, although Burke, Goffman, and Turner had been essential to the formation of performance studies, these theorists all relied on rather traditional models of theater, models that artists and performance studies scholars had been learning to reject in favor of the more innovative embodiments of experimental theater and performance art.

Researchers have come not only to value the performances of nontraditional theater but also to seek to break with the overwhelmingly text-based study of drama.Sensory studies arises at the conjuncture (and within) the fields of anthropology • sociology • history • archeology • geography • communications • religion • philosophy • literature • art history • museology • film • mixed media • performance • phenomenology • disability • aesthetics • architecture • urbanism • design Sensory Studies can also be divided.

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Performance studies the battle of

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