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The Cambridge Introduction to Performance Theory


Part of Cambridge Introductions to Literature

  • Date Published: March 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107696945

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About the Authors
  • What does 'performance theory' really mean and why has it become so important across such a large number of disciplines, from art history to religious studies and architecture to geography? In this introduction Simon Shepherd explains the origins of performance theory, defines the terms and practices within the field and provides new insights into performance's wide range of definitions and uses. Offering an overview of the key figures, their theories and their impact, Shepherd provides a fresh approach to figures including Erving Goffman and Richard Schechner and ideas such as radical art practice, performance studies, radical scenarism and performativity. Essential reading for students, scholars and enthusiasts, this engaging account travels from universities into the streets and back again to examine performance in the context of political activists and teachers, countercultural experiments and feminist challenges, and ceremonies and demonstrations.

    • Offers a comprehensive overview of performance theory's meanings and origins
    • Provides accessible and wide-ranging accounts of the key ideas and thinkers
    • Sets performance theory in its full historical and cultural contexts, bringing new insights to its theories and practices
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107696945
    • length: 246 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 151 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Definitions of Performance:
    1. Sociology and the rituals of interaction
    2. Theatre, ceremony and everyday life
    3. Ethnography, folklore and communicative events
    4. Cultural performance, social drama and liminality
    5. Performance as a new sort of knowledge
    Part II. The Emergence of Performance as Sensuous Practice:
    6. Situationism, games and subversion
    7. Hippies and expressive play
    8. Performance as a new pedagogy
    9. Architecture and the performed city
    10. New forms of activism
    11. Happenings and everyday performance
    12. Body art and feminism
    13. The arrival of performance art and live art
    14. Dance party politics
    Part III. Theorising Performance:
    15. Performance, postmodernism and critical theory
    16. What performance studies is: version 1: New York and Northwestern
    17. What performance studies is: version 2: oral interpretation
    18. How performance studies emerged
    19. Gender performativity
    20. Performance and performativity
    21. The relations between performance, theatre and text
    22. The magic of performance

  • Author

    Simon Shepherd, Central School of Speech and Drama, London
    Simon Shepherd is Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He has written on performance, theatre and culture for over thirty years and his books include Direction (2012), The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre (Cambridge, 2010), Drama/Theatre/Performance (with Mick Wallis, 2004), Studying Plays (with Mick Wallis, 1998) and English Drama: A Cultural History (with Peter Womack, 1996).

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