A new name . . .
celebrating the full scope of our program:

The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies

What is Performance Studies?
Performance Studies: Living, Looking, Learning


“Performance Studies,” the new addition to the name in Kennesaw State University’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, celebrates the program’s diverse educational and artistic objectives, positions the university with the best contemporary schools of the arts, and gives students broader scholastic, personal, and professional choices.

But what is “Performance Studies”?

Imagine, if you will, a powerful link:
—A link between cultural anthropology, sociology, drama, oral interpretation of literature, literary criticism, folklore, mythology, and psychology;
—A link between the creative process of making art and the critical process of analyzing performances, both those staged performances, such as plays in which a trained artist applies a skill, and community events, those ritual-like performances of everyday life;
—A link between ‘performing’ our professional and social roles, telling a joke or a folktale, and staging community spectacles such as parades, circuses, sports, weddings, the Olympics, and public hangings, all of which follow a set order that combines the visual and the auditory and conveys meaning.


Performance Studies links together:

looking, meaning the trained observation;
at living, the recurring patterns that define a culture;
and learning, the expanded understanding of the social customs around us.

Providing such a link is a major undertaking, but the change in name not only describes what the KSU curriculum has featured for several years but also documents what the Kennesaw State University College of the Arts stands for.

The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies here at KSU features performance as an art form, as a field of study, and as a method of inquiry (or a way of knowing) in Introduction to Performance, Performance Art, Adapting and Staging Literary Texts, its courses in storytelling (including Storytelling I: Folktale and Legend; Storytelling II: Myth and Epic; Storytelling III: Personal Narrative), Theatre and Performance History sequence, and our Senior Seminar in Theatre and Performance Studies. Our theatre seasons extend what is learned in our classrooms with public performances of literary works adapted for the stage, performance art cabarets, storytelling festivals, and spoken word poetry nights.

Look and learn with us, won’t you?

Quick links to our department and university are 770-499-3123 and www.kennesaw.edu. And think about it:a telephone call is a kind of performance—a repeatable interaction with expected and required language, the handling of an object, a beginning-middle-and-end structure, an objective, and an emotional or intellectual effect on another.


*The following bibliography links you with additional information about performance studies.

Carlson, Marvin. Performance: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 1996.

Counsell, Colin and Laurie Wolf. Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook. London: Routledge, 2001

Dailey, Sheron J. The Future of Performance Studies: Visions and Revisions. Annandale, VA: National Communication Association, 1998.

Edwards, Paul. "Unstoried: Teaching Literature in the Age of Performance Studies." Theatre Annual: A Journal of Performance Studies 52 (Fall 1999): 1 – 147.

Kennedy, Dennis, ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance. Oxford UP, 2003.

Pelias, Ronald J. and James VanOosting. "A Paradigm for Performance Studies" Quarterly Journal of Speech 73 (1987): 219-231.

Pollack, Della. ed. Exceptional Spaces: Essays in Performance and History. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1998.

Schechner, Richard. Performance Studies: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Stern, Carol Simpson and Bruce Henderson. Performance: Texts and Contexts. New York: Longman, 1993.

Stucky, Nathan and Cynthia Wimmer. Teaching Performance Studies. Southern Illinois UP, 2002.

Thomspon, David W., ed. Performance of Literature in Historical Perspectives. Lanham: UP of America, 1983.

Additionally, recommended journals devoted to performance scholarship:

New Theatre Quarterly

Performance Research

Performing Arts Journal

Text and Performance Quarterly (Formerly Literature in Performance)

TDR: A Journal of Performance Studies

Women and Performance

You may also wish to visit these websites:

•Association of Theatre in Higher Education Performance Studies Focus Group

•National Communication Association Performance Studies Division

•Performance Studies International http://www.psi-web.org

McCoy's Brief Guide to Internet Sources in Theatre and Performance Studies


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