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The Archive & the Repertoire-P [Paperback]

Diana Taylor , Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 12 2003 John Hope Franklin Center Book
In The Archive and the Repertoire pre-eminent performance studies scholar Diana Taylor provides a new understanding of the vital role of performance in the Americas. From plays to official events to grassroots protests, performance, she argues, must be taken seriously as a means of storing and transmitting knowledge. She shows how the repertoire of embodied memory - conveyed in gestures, the spoken word, movement, dance, song, and other performances - offers alternative perspectives to those derived from the written archive and is particularly useful to a reconsideration of historical processes of transnational contact. The Archive and the Repertoire invites a re-mapping of the Americas based on traditions of embodied practice. Taylor considers contemporary performances from North and South America. Among these are public demonstrations in Argentina over DNA and photographic identification of "the disappeared;" plays of Peru's leading theatre collective, Yuyachkani; performance artists Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Pena's show Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit..., astrological readings by Univision personality Walter Mercado, the theatre of mourning surrounding Princess Diana's death, and Brazilian artist Denise Stoklos' Civil Disobedience. Through these studies and meditations on the media's representation of the Twin Towers disaster, New Yorkers' participation in the crisis through memorials and photography, and her own role as a witness to the events of 9/11, Taylor highlights the crucial role of performance in culture.

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Review

"While I am trained to appreciate Taylor's analyses of Latino/a theatre and performance, I was most moved and surprised by her discussion of September 11 in chapter 9. As Taylor shows, the abundance of media attention and commentary produced after the destruction of the Twin Towers obscured the lives of nonheroes and nonvictims and turned all of them into spectators. Her testimony as scholar and participant in the events surrounding the attack is enlightening, but also refreshing."--Margo Milleret, Theatre Journal "[A] timely collection of essays...Taylor weaves together insights, examples, and critical strategies from [performance studies and Latina/o American studies] and her exemplary book makes a major contribution to both."--Marvin Carlson, TDR: The Drama Review "The book is itself both a performance and a contribution to the archive. The remarkably effective way in which [Taylor] combines personal story with analytic reflection is a fitting demonstration of the usefulness that can result from being able to sustain an awareness of one's spatio-temporal role as an observer even as one gets lost in the findings of archival discovery."--Dianna Niebylski, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies

About the Author

Diana Taylor is Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish and Director of the Hemispheric Institute on Performance and Politics at New York University. Among her books are "Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform "(coedited with Roselyn Costantino), " Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's "Dirty War," "and "Negotiating Performance: Gender, Sexuality, and Theatricality in Latin/o America "(with Juan Villegas)," " all also published by Duke University Press.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
From June 14 to 23, 2001, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics convened artists, activists, and scholars from the Americas for its second annual Encuentro (encounter) to share the ways our work uses performance to intervene in the political scenarios we care about. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Important New Book Dec 15 2003
Format:Paperback
In her wonderful new book, Diana Taylor, a distinguished professor of both Spanish and performance studies, brings her areas of expertise into "conversation." Performances, she argues, are vital "acts of transfer" that transmit social knowledge, memory and a sense of identity in Latin/o American (and by extension other) cultures.
She writes, "I am not suggesting that we merely extend our analytic practice to other 'Non-Western' areas. Rather, what I propose here is a real engagement between two fields that helps us rethink both." By working from the points of disconnection between area and performance studies Taylor creates a new framework for approaching performance as embodied social practice.

Shifting focus to "the live" requires new methodologies and Taylor creates exciting new theoretical tools to further this discussion. Since, in her view, much performance writing betrays the "embodiedness" it seeks to describe; Taylor coins terms that do not derive from literary sources. The repertoire of her title is her term for a "non-archival system of transfer" that can capture the ephemeral trace of performance. By providing her reader with a kind of archive of affect, Taylor makes the body central. She argues that the repertoire "allows for an alternative perspective on historical processes...by following traditions of embodied practice" instead of literary rhetoric. As an alternative to "narrative" she offers scenario, a term with a theatrical genealogy, meaning an open-ended " sketch or outline" as a way to connote colonial encounters. For example, Taylor wittily names the scenario in which we are encouraged to "overlook the displacement and disappearance of native peoples" at the root of the popular show Survivor, "Fantasy Island.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Important New Book Dec 15 2003
By Joseph Shahadi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In her wonderful new book, Diana Taylor, a distinguished professor of both Spanish and performance studies, brings her areas of expertise into "conversation." Performances, she argues, are vital "acts of transfer" that transmit social knowledge, memory and a sense of identity in Latin/o American (and by extension other) cultures.
She writes, "I am not suggesting that we merely extend our analytic practice to other `Non-Western' areas. Rather, what I propose here is a real engagement between two fields that helps us rethink both." By working from the points of disconnection between area and performance studies Taylor creates a new framework for approaching performance as embodied social practice.

Shifting focus to "the live" requires new methodologies and Taylor creates exciting new theoretical tools to further this discussion. Since, in her view, much performance writing betrays the "embodiedness" it seeks to describe; Taylor coins terms that do not derive from literary sources. The repertoire of her title is her term for a "non-archival system of transfer" that can capture the ephemeral trace of performance. By providing her reader with a kind of archive of affect, Taylor makes the body central. She argues that the repertoire "allows for an alternative perspective on historical processes...by following traditions of embodied practice" instead of literary rhetoric. As an alternative to "narrative" she offers scenario, a term with a theatrical genealogy, meaning an open-ended " sketch or outline" as a way to connote colonial encounters. For example, Taylor wittily names the scenario in which we are encouraged to "overlook the displacement and disappearance of native peoples" at the root of the popular show Survivor, "Fantasy Island." Taylor expands on this theme in her second chapter, Scenarios of Discovery: Reflections on Performance and Ethnography. She writes, "Using scenario as a paradigm for understanding social structures and behaviors might allow us to draw from the repertoire as well as the archive."
Using these terms as "portable frameworks" and moving in and out of first person experience, Taylor explores a range of hemispheric performances. Chapters on the Mexican mestizaje, campy Latino American psychic Walter Mercado, and the ways that minority populations mourned Princess Diana, explore the hybrid spaces between perception and embodied culture. Taylor revisits the Argentinean "Dirty War"
(the topic of her book Disappearing Acts) in her chapter on H.I.J.O.S. -the children of the disappeared- and the "DNA of performance" that links them with their absent parents. Chapters on Brazilian performance artist Denise Stoklos, witnessing 9/11 and a 1998 Central Park performance of Rumba musicians interrupted by the NYPD, investigate the complex relations between hegemonic power and the anarchic spirit of live performance against a background of historic violence.
This book is a path-making piece of scholarship that recognizes performance as a valid focus of analysis. It creates a dialogue between area and performance studies that values the unique features of both. The questions Diana Taylor asks in Archive and the Repertoire extend beyond this work and will shape a terrain of inquiry in performance studies for years to come.
4.0 out of 5 stars It does it's job Sept. 13 2013
By Gustavo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like the the headline says, it does it's job. I purchased this for a gen ed, and it gets me by. I find some of the readings very boring, but it does have some interesting things in it.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book Worth Coming Back To July 20 2009
By T C - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Even for students and scholars outside of Latin American studies, this is a must read. Diana Taylor wears her unparalleled knowledge of performance culture lightly in this lucid and elegantly argued book. The notions of the archive and repertoire developed in the book (esp. pp. 19-23) have far-reaching implications for performance studies.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vital Intervention Feb. 15 2006
By Christopher Van Houten - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Taylor's "The Archive and the Repertoire" is an absolute must-read for all scholars and students in performance studies, cultural studies, Latin American studies, and the social sciences in general.

Drawing on a diverse range of case studies from a Peruvian community theatre troupe to Univision astrologist Walter Mercado to her own firsthand account of witnessing 9/11, Taylor creates a new vocabulary for describing how cultures remember and re-enact with the body.

Although her insights are crucial for the future of performance studies and useful to senior scholars in the field, she writes with a clarity and personality that will engage undergraduate students as well.

VERY highly recommended.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Dec 2 2007
By L. Lucas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book. Diana Taylor is a wonderful writer and anyone interested in performance studies and/or theatre of conversion will benefit from reading it.
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