The Ends of Performance
Focusing on the living arts--dance, theatre, music, performance art, ritual, and popular entertainment-- performance studies expands our understanding of "performance" as both a vital artistic practice and a means by which to understand social and cultural processes. Bridging the gap between cultural studies, performing arts, and anthropology, performance studies explores myriad ways in which performance creates meaning and shapes our everyday lives.
The broadest and most inclusive volume to date, The Ends of Performance both celebrates and critiques the institutionalization of the field. Only recently has the field given keen attention to the interpretive force and consequences of performance events, and it is these consequences that the The Ends of Performance articulates. Here performance studies illuminates the complex social and cultural formations of our time--the impact of virtual technology, the racialized discourses of legal and cultural citizenship, the impact of new medical discourses, and the medicalization of the body. Featuring work by leading theorists such as Joseph Roach, Diana Taylor, and Richard Schechner, excursions into performative writing by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Della Pollock, and texts by performance artists Orlan and Deb Margolin, The Ends of Performance illuminates the provocative intellectual ends which motivate these varied approaches to performing writing, and to writing performance.
About the Author
Peggy Phelan is the Ann O’Day Maples Chair in the Arts Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and English. Publishing widely in both book and essay form, Phelan is the author of Unmarked: the politics of performance (Routledge, 1993); Mourning Sex: performing public memories (Routledge, 1997; honorable mention Callaway Prize for dramatic criticism 1997-1999); the survey essay for Art and Feminism, ed. by Helena Reckitt (Phaidon, 2001, winner of “The top 25 best books in art and architecture” award, amazon.com, 2001); the survey essay for Pipilotti Rist (Phaidon, 2001); and the catalog essay for Intus: Helena Almeida (Lisbon, 2004). She edited and contributed to Live Art in Los Angeles, (Routledge, 2012), and contributed catalog essays for Everything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles (Mak Center, 2013), Haunted: Contemporary Photography, Video, and Performance (Guggenheim Museum, 2010); WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007); and Andy Warhol: Giant Size (Phaidon, 2008), among others. Phelan is co-editor, with the late Lynda Hart, of Acting Out: Feminist Performances (University of Michigan Press, 1993; cited as “best critical anthology” of 1993 by American Book Review); and co-editor with Jill Lane of The Ends of Performance (New York University Press, 1997). She contributed an essay to Philip Ursprung’s Herzog and De Meurron: Natural History (CAA, 2005).
She has written more than sixty articles and essays in scholarly, artistic, and commercial magazines ranging from Artforum to Signs. She has written about Samuel Beckett for the PMLA and for The National Gallery of Ireland. She has also written about Robert Frost, Michael and Paris Jackson, Olran, Marina Abramovic, Dziga Vertov and a wide range of artists working in photography, dance, architecture, film, video, music, and poetry. She has edited special issues of the journals Narrative and Women and Performance. She has been a fellow of the Humanities Institute, University of California, Irvine; and a fellow of the Humanities Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. She served on the Editorial Board of Art Journal, one of three quarterly publications of the College Art Association, and as Chair of the board. She has been President and Treasurer of Performance Studies International, the primary professional organization in her field. She has been a fellow of the Getty Research Institute and the Stanford Humanities Center. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. She chaired the Department of Performance Studies at New York University and the Drama Department at Stanford University.