Performance Theory


This course introduces students to contemporary theories of performance, with "performance" understood as both metaphor and event. From a multi-disciplinary perspective, students will consider how cultures produce meanings-and, indeed, perform those meanings-to create and/or disrupt their own social coherence. Theories likely to be studied include: J. L. Austin's speech-act theory and its engagement by John Searle and Jacques Derrida; Victor Turner's analysis of ritual as social process and Richard Schechner's use of it to transform "theater studies" into "performance studies;" Erving Goffman's sociology of the self and its relation to a post-structuralist model of subjectivity; Michael Fried's screed against minimalist art and its relation to Happenings, Body Art, Fluxus, and other mid- to late-20th century examples of "performance art;" and Judith Butler's influential revision of Austin's performative in her theory of queer "performativity."
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM

Section 01

Performance Theory
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