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Theories of Performance invites students to explore the possibilities of performance for creating, knowing, and staking claims to the world. Each chapter surveys, explains, and illustrates classic, modern, and postmodern theories that answer the questions, "What is performance?" "Why do people perform?" and "How does performance constitute our social and political worlds?" The chapters feature performance as the entry point for understanding texts, drama, culture, social roles, identity, resistance, and technologies.
Written specifically for the undergraduate classroom, performance theories are explained in ways accessible to students, relevant to their lives, and richly illustrated with examples that encourage students to think more, to think harder, and to think differently about performances around them.
Elizabeth Bell (Ph.D., University of Texas, 1983) has taught Performance Studies for thirty years in three departments of communication (University of Texas at Austin, University of North Carolina, and University of South Florida). Her graduate courses include Performance Theory, Feminism and Performance, Texts in Performance, and Performance of Nonfiction; undergraduate offerings are Oral Tradition (a theory-based, large lecture class), performance classes in literary genres (poetry, prose fiction, poetic drama), and group performance. She is the co-editor of From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture (Indiana 1995).