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Professing Performance


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Today’s academic discourse is filled with the word ‘perform’. Nestled amongst a variety of prefixes and suffixes (re-, post-, -ance, -ivity?), the term functions as a vehicle for a host of contemporary enquiries. For students, artists, and scholars of performance and theatre, this development is intriguing and complex. By examining the history of theatre studies and related institutions and by comparing the very different disciplinary interpretations and developments that led to this engagement, Professing Performance offers ways of placing performance theory and performance studies in context. Shannon Jackson considers the connection amongst a range of performance forms such as oratory, theatre, dance, and performance art and explores performance as both a humanistic and technical field of education. Throughout, she explores the institutional history of performance in the US academy in order to revise current debates around the role of the arts and humanities in higher education.

This title shows the relationship between past institutional histories and tradition and current scholarly and artistic practices in performance, it shows hows both the opportunities and hazards of using performance as an interdisciplinary site of inquiry and it critiques rather than perpetuates the professional underpinnings of the opposition between the scholar and the artist.

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, 268 pages, 21.2cm x 13.8cm.
ISBN 978-0521656054