Performance is everywhere—on the stage, on the street, in our cultural practices, and in the everyday ways we “do” ourselves. In performance studies, we use performance as a means to critically engage with identity, technology, social structures, and everyday life. We teach students how to create original performance works, use performance as a framework for analysis, and mobilize it in the service of community engagement and social justice.

With these spaces and operations in mind, this area of the department offers students a series of interrelated courses in textual study; oral history and ethnography; and the theory of and practice in writing, designing, and directing performative events. Classroom experiences extend into a wide variety of performative opportunities at the co-curricular level, including seminars with visiting scholars; participation in regional and national conferences and festivals; campus performance/production work; joint ventures with local, regional, and nationally prominent authors; and social activism through performance work in the community.