Introduction to Performance Studies

This course asks students to reconsider the world around them through the lens of performance and performance studies. Beginning with a deep theoretical and historical dive into the origins of the field (separated into three units on Theatre/Audience, Anthropology/Ritual, and Philosophy/Performativity), we then explore various topics that broadens students’ understanding of performance in their everyday lives. We discuss the performance of gender, race, sexuality, politics, protest, spirituality, sports, and more, applying a language of performance studies to the quotidian. As an exercise in this style of thinking, students are tasked with bringing in and presenting on current events, framing the questions of their selected news article within a context of performance.