Performance and...

Jocelyn Spence, Patrick Duggan

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In titling our chapter 'Performance and...' our intention is not to privilege performance studies over theatre studies or drama but rather to call to attention the longstanding proposition that performance (studies) 'resists or rejects definition' (Schechner, Richard, 1998, 'What Is 'Performance Studies' Anyway?' in: P. Phelan and J. Lane (eds.), The Ends of Performance, NYU Press, p. 360) and as such highlight the potential it holds for interdisciplinary scholarship and the way in which the idea of performance has been conceived fluidly and expansively, both key concerns of all the volumes reviewed here. We are, we hope, at a point in the development of performance and theatre studies where there is an understanding, acceptance and exploration of the mutually constructive and beneficial interweaving of these two 'traditions' of scholarship within the broader field of drama. In the books we look at, both 'theatre' and 'performance' are brought to bear on the matters at hand almost interchangeably, with established text-based dramas taking their place alongside works in the performance art tradition to further arguments pertaining to a variety of disciplines. Such plurality of approach is a defining feature of the works we have chosen to discuss and binds them to a common purpose: the exploration of drama/theatre/performance in, with and between other disciplines and discourses in the pursuit of illuminating the world around us in more meaningful ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-293
Number of pages25
JournalYear's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2016


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