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Performance: A Critical Introduction [Paperback]

Marvin Carlson

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Book Description

Dec 9 2003 0415299276 978-0415299275 2
This comprehensively revised, illustrated edition discusses recent performance work and takes into consideration changes that have taken place since the book's original publication in 1996. Marvin Carlson guides the reader through the contested definition of performance as a theatrical activity and the myriad ways in which performance has been interpreted by ethnographers, anthropologists, linguists, and cultural theorists. Topics covered include:
*the evolution of performance art since the 1960s
*the relationship between performance, postmodernism, the politics of identity, and current cultural studies
*the recent theoretical developments in the study of performance in the fields of anthropology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and technology.
With a fully updated bibliography and additional glossary of terms, students of performance studies, visual and performing arts or theatre history will welcome this new version of a classic text.

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This is vintage Carlson - erudite, concise, precise and engaging..
–Maria Shevstova, Theatre Quarterly

About the Author

Marvin Carlson is the Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has received the ATHE Career Achievement Award, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the Calloway Prize and the ASTR Distinguished Scholarship Award. He has published widely in theatre history and theory, performance studies and dramatic literature.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much the only coherent overview of "Performance Art" Nov. 30 2008
By Mike - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I was taking a modern drama class. The course readings were baffling and the plays were fashionable nonsense in a fashion I didn't understand.

This book tells you what the relevant ideas are for understanding (inasmuch as inscrutable irrationalist art can be understood, at least) "performance" succinctly. It identifies the theorists associated with various performance styles, and relates major events in the history of "performance art".

The style is reminiscent of Russell's History of Western Philosophy. It's mildly informal (but richly informed), fairly dry, very succinct, and ultimately so compact as to be almost bullet-point like. A true rarity in a field filled with obscurantism. This guy is a knowledgable and phenomenal writer to essentialize an entire field full of baffling primary sources so well and transform it into a textbook.

An absolute must buy if you have to take a modern drama or performance class.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb--and comprehensive Aug. 23 2013
By William Grange - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Carlson has organized the book with a mind to setting forth the historical precedents for what has come to be known as "performance studies." There is a wealth of information here, but there are also cultural contexts which reveal the various strands of sociology, psychology, and political philosophy which form and support the idea of "performance." Superbly well written and brilliantly researched.

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