Performance, Culture, and Identity

Performance, Culture, and Identity

Performance, Culture, and Identity

Performance, Culture, and Identity

Synopsis

These nine essays explore how performance reveals, shapes, and sometimes transforms personal and cultural identity. Particular chapters discuss ritual performances in sacred and secular spaces, the notion of performance and place in several disparate landscapes, and women as storytellers. Significant issues in performance studies are addressed, such as the politics of culture, cultural hegemony, the influence of a sense of place on cultural identity, and the moral dimension of performance.

Excerpt

This is the second volume of essays written by members of the Performance Studies Division of the Speech Communication Association. the first volume, Performance of Literature in Historical Perspectives, edited by David W. Thompson (1983), concentrated on the Western tradition of literature in performance. This second volume looks at nonliterary and folk performances, both non-Western and Western, and features the new ethnographic approach of scholars in performance studies.

Just as their colleagues in other humanistic and social science disciplines were finding performance to be a fruitful area of research, scholars in speech communication in recent years have also turned increasingly to processual, ethnographic, and performance-oriented studies of communication. Despite the interdisciplinary origins and nature of this study, each discipline brings its own impress to its study of performance. While the anthropologist might approach performance studies to reveal more about the social organization and beliefs of a culture, those coming from speech communication tend to look at the structure and aesthetics of the performance itself, as it is embedded in and informed by its social context. Thus, when those in performance studies, a field of communication concerned with the interpretation of texts through performance, began to analyze situated performances, they brought with them a predisposition to focus on texts. Yet the new emphasis on emergent, processual, and dynamic performances led these scholars to develop a broader conception of text as the communicative channels and signals activated in a performance, including those of both the performers and the audience, as well as the performance context. Since live performances are rarely transcribed into written texts, communication scholars, like their colleagues in folklore and other fields, had to record these texts with audiotape or videotape or film . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.