This course provides a critical introduction to the various histories, theories and practices of performance art from the early twentieth century to the present. In particular, the course will chart the varied trajectories of performance art, exploring the central themes, ideas and movements that have shaped the field. Through a range of critical writings and case-studies of works of performance art, the course will explore a number of key themes including: the role of the body as a performance medium, performance art’s relation to documentation (in photographs, film and video), the mediation of live performance, the role of ritual and transgression in performance art, the collaboration and participation of audiences, and enactments of history and identity in performance.
Auslander, Philip. Theory for Performance Studies: A Student’s Guide, Routledge, London and New York, 2008
Jackson, Shannon. Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics, Routledge, London and New York, 2011.
Jones, Amelia. Body Art / Performing the Subject, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1998
Phelan, Peggy. Unmarked: The Politics of Performance, Routledge, London and New York, 1996
Ward, Frazer. No Innocent Bystanders: Performance Art and Audience, Dartmouth College Press, Hanover, New Hampshire, 2012