Cultural Performance

Ethnographic Approaches to Performance Studies

Cultural Performance

This engaging book introduces the burgeoning and interdisciplinary field of cultural performance, offering ethnographic approaches to performance as well as looking at the aesthetics of experience and performance theory. Featuring case studies from a rich cross-section of academics, chapters explore performances from regions as far flung as Bhutan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, New Zealand and the USA. With cultural performances as varied as Catholic rituals, Maori ceremonies, Monster Truck rallies, musicals, theatre and singing performances, this fascinating text compares performance as art and performance as cultural expression. Ideal for students of performance or ethnography, this unique collection presents a clear framework for studying the themes, methodologies and developments of cultural performance.“/p> Kevin Landis is Associate Professor of Theatre in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA. Suzanne MacAulay is Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA.

The Politics of Cultural Performance

The Politics of Cultural Performance

The line between what is regarded by people as "traditional" and "modern" is constantly being altered by new configurations of power. These essays examine the ways in which such changes are both communicated and created through cultural performances in diverse ethnographic settings. Examples are drawn from a wide range of forms and expressions: divinatory sequences, spirit possession rites, state ceremonials, village feasts, pilgrimages, language-use and craft specialisms. It was Abner Cohen, to whom this volume is dedicated, who first suggested that a dialectical relationship existed between power and symbolism. This concept, as developed in his seminal work, has since become a growing area of study as reflected in this important collection. By questioning some of the directions, the authors make a major interdisciplinary contribution to the study of cultural performance as a key factor in power relationships. The principal stage is Africa, but comparative ethnographic data are drawn from Ireland, Italy, South Asia, and the United Kingdom.

Performing the Matrix

Mediating Cultural Performance

Performing the Matrix

Performing the Matrix. Mediating Cultural Performances presents a collection of case studies and analyses dealing with performances of the matrix that take up questions of identities and social thinking, visualization and perception, the discursive power of texts and historiographic paradigms, and artistic strategies of political intervention. Since 1999 The Matrix has become a popular catchword through the homonymous Wachowski brothers’ movie. As both a traditional concept and a popular phenomenon, ‹matrix› can take on a new value when reconsidered in the light of performance studies. A behind-the-scenes look at theatre, performance, political activism and events may reveal a productive mediating structure that can metaphorically be described as a matrix. This mediating structure and its materializations are fundamentally reshaping modern culture. Accordingly ‹politics of visibility›, ‹media networking›,‹telepresence› and ‹liveness› are considered to be understood as performances of the matrix. If so, how does this understanding of cultural performances ‹as always already mediatized› influence contemporary concepts of performance and media?

Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance

Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance

In the twenty years following Victor Turner's death, interventions on the interconnected performance modes of play, drama, and community (dimensions of which Turner deemed the limen), and experimental and analytical forays into the anthropologies of experience and consciousness, have complemented and extended Turnerian readings on the moments and sites of culture's becoming. Examining Turner's continued relevance in performance and popular culture, pilgrimage and communitas, as well as Edith Turner's role, the contributors reflect on the wide application of Victor Turner's thought to cultural performance in the early twenty-first century and explore how Turner's ideas have been re-engaged, renovated, and repurposed in studies of contemporary cultural performance.

The Anthropology of Cultural Performance

The Anthropology of Cultural Performance

Contemporary life in most nation-states is not truly cultural, but rather "culture-like," especially in large-scale societies. Beginning with a distinction between special events and everyday life, Lewis examines fundamental events including play, ritual, work, and carnival and connects personal embodied habits and large-scale cultural practices.

Indigenous Religion and Cultural Performance in the New Maya World

Indigenous Religion and Cultural Performance in the New Maya World

Based on more than thirty years of ethnographic fieldwork in Highland Guatemala, this study of Maya diviners, shamans, ritual dancers, and religious brotherhoods describes the radical changes in traditional Maya religious practice wrought by economic globalization and political turmoil. Focusing on the primary participants in the annual festival in the K’iche’ Maya village of Santiago Momostenango, the authors show how older religious traditionalists and the new generation of “cultural activist” religious practitioners interact within a single local community, and how their competing agendas for adapting Maya religiosity to a new and continually changing political economy are perpetuating and changing Maya religious traditions.

The Tuesday Club of Annapolis (1745-1756) as Cultural Performance

The Tuesday Club of Annapolis (1745-1756) as Cultural Performance

To be associated with the Tuesday Club of Annapolis was to reach the apogee of mid-eighteenth-century, upper Chesapeake male society. Founded by Dr. Alexander Hamilton, the club engaged in a range of self-conscious, stylized activities that, when viewed as "social performance," says Wilson Somerville, sharpen our understanding of the flux of cultural forces within British America and the place of such colonial groups in an emergent, transatlantic "bourgeois public sphere." Using a combination of literary, historical, and sociological approaches, Somerville first examines the aesthetic dimensions of club performance and then its social and political aspects as he places the club in five major contexts: as a group with a self-consciously dramatic deportment, as a literary guild that regulated themes and rhetorical forms, as a media station in an international knowledge network, as an institution that defined an ideal of sociability in relation to the Chesapeake household, and as a mock state within which members wielded authority. The club, says Somerville, provided a semi-private sphere of interaction that was distinct from members' daily social order. Through the club, members tried to understand, negotiate, and mitigate the tensions of their lives arising from contradictions between brotherhood and empire, autonomy and sociability, the provincial and the metropolitan, the public and the private, and the solemn and the frivolous. To appreciate the extent to which members made sense of their world through the club, says Somerville, one must attend not only to the various modes of written, oral, and musical expression members employed, but also to the pageantry and theatrics, the self mockery and role-playing that marked their activities, and even to club regalia and its seating arrangements. Drawing on a wide range of period resources, The Tuesday Club of Annapolis will diversify our approaches to the literature and culture of the colonies and further reveal the limits of nationalist and regionalist outlooks to their study.

Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular Entertainments

A Communications-centered Handbook

Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular Entertainments

This collection of thirty-seven entries selected from the more than 550 that make up the International Encyclopedia of Communications focuses on expressive forms and practices that are popular and participatory in nature: folklore forms such as folktale and riddle; cultural performances suchas ritual and festival; and popular entertainments such as puppetry and mime. Cross-references within each individual entry facilitate exploration within the volume, while bibliographies appended to each entry direct the reader to related literature. Covering basic concepts, analyticalperspectives, communicative media, expressive genres, and complex performance events, this concise yet comprehensive book is a handy reference for those interested in folklore and its growing role in drama, anthropology, and cultural studies.

Cross-cultural Performances

Differences in Women's Re-visions of Shakespeare

Cross-cultural Performances

This is a companion and successor to Women's Re-Visions of Shakespeare (1990), which the Times Higher Education Supplement lauded as a 'fascinating collection.' While the earlier volume focused on Shakespeare's cultural image, plots, and characters as reinterpreted by British and American women novelists and poets, Gross-Cultural Performances adds international scope and emphasis on the theater, race, and colonialism.

The Integrated News Spectacle

A Political Economy of Cultural Performance

The Integrated News Spectacle

"The Integrated News Spectacle" examines the rational organization of control of popular news forms. It uses spectacular media events - such as the mourning of Princess Diana, the Monica Lewinsky presidential scandal, and the Gulf wars of 1991 and 2003 - as entry points into a discussion of the broader context surrounding an integrated system of commodity production, distribution and exchange. James R. Compton critiques the generally accepted notion of tabloidization associated with media spectacles, and situates these dramatic narratives within a broad historical context. Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, David Harvey, and Pierre Bourdieu, this book explains how the power relationships associated with media events can best be comprehended by revealing the practical application of the logic of spectacle - a logic characterized by the transposable circulation and promotion of cultural commodities.