Review by Choice Review
Entwined as performance studies is with folklore, anthropology, social work, communication studies, cultural studies, theater, and so on, scholars of performance studies run the risk of demonstrating that the discipline has no defined boundaries at all. Witness this volume, which covers genocide in Bali, tourism in London, democracy, "liveness," queer theory, art history, UNESCO and cultural heritage, kinesthesia. But in fact all these subjects play their part in introductory argument, in which Davis (Northwestern Univ.) posits that performance studies is an all-encompassing discipline that "describes the world in its own image." Of greatest service to this claim are Della Pollock, who highlights the effect of performance studies on oral history; Amelia Jones, who demonstrates the performance turn in art history; and E. Patrick Johnson, who outlines how performance studies interacts with queer theory. Their particular successes hinge on articulating how performance studies helped them discover and present new perspectives on the material at hand. Many other contributors offer compelling essays, but they too often leave the uninitiated wondering exactly what angle of performance studies they are presenting. Eclectic by design and of necessity, this companion is a helpful guide to future studies. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. W. W. Demastes Louisiana State University
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