Performance Studies focuses on performance as a method of textual study, as an aesthetic event, and as a social and rhetorical act. Exploring how performance operates as a way of knowing, of being, and of acting in our world, this area of the department offers a broad range of courses concerned with performances that occur in classroom spaces, theatre spaces, everyday spaces, and social spaces.

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.