The Department of Performance Studies integrates artistic and analytical approaches to a wide range of performance texts, events, and processes. The courses explore an interdisciplinary range of literary, cultural, and personal texts in performance. The department has particular strengths in the study of literature through solo performance; the ensemble adaptation and staging of poetic, narrative, and nonfictional texts; intercultural performance; performance art; cultural studies and the ethnography of performance; and performance theory and criticism. Internships and field study for performance studies majors extend and deepen their classroom work with experiential learning. Extracurricular work provides students with a variety of opportunities to perform, adapt, and direct, enabling their creative work to reach an audience outside the classroom.
Performance studies majors have been successful in many professions that require intelligence and imagination as well as critical and creative skills. In addition to pursuing careers in professional theatre and arts development, many graduates teach literature, theatre, humanities, and performance studies. Majors have found performance studies an excellent preparation for law school and complementary to their interests in creative writing, communication, new media, anthropology, dance, literature, or social work. Performance studies can be thought of as a major that bridges artistic expression and conceptual analysis, theory and practice. Performance, in its manifold forms, is the subject and the method of study.
PERF_ST 103-0 Analysis & Performance of Literature (1 Unit) Critical reading, written analysis, and performance of literary texts; general introduction to performance studies. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area
PERF_ST 119-0 Production Laboratory (0 Unit) Registration for performance studies majors fulfilling production crew requirements. Students perform duties for run crews and house crews in connection with department-sponsored productions in the Krause Performance Lab of Annie May Swift Hall.
PERF_ST 200-0 Introduction to Performance Studies (1 Unit) Explores fundamental themes and debates that animate the field, introducing a range of ways of theorizing, conceptualizing, studying, and making performance. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area
PERF_ST 203-0 Performance Culture and Communication (1 Unit) Explores how live performance and dramatic forms of communication are methods used to examine social behavior and cultural expressions.
PERF_ST 210-1 Performance of Poetry (1 Unit) Introduction to the analysis and performance of poetry. Prerequisite: PERF_ST 103-0 or equivalent.
PERF_ST 210-2 Performance of Narrative Fiction (1 Unit) Introduction to the study of narrative performance. Prerequisite: PERF_ST 103-0 or equivalent.
PERF_ST 210-3 Performance of Drama (1 Unit) Introduction to drama and theatricality from a performance studies perspective. Prerequisite: PERF_ST 103-0 or equivalent.
PERF_ST 216-0 Theories & Methods in Performance (1 Unit) Introduction to theories of performance, methods of cultural analysis, and schools of thought in performance studies. May be repeated for credit.
PERF_ST 220-0 Sound Cultures (1 Unit) Introduction to ways of thinking culturally and historically about sound and listening. Students learn to describe, contrast, and analyze sound cultures over a wide geographical and chronological range.
PERF_ST 224-0 Adapting Narrative for Group Performance (1 Unit) Introduction to theories and methods of adapting narrative for the stage, with special emphasis on chamber theatre. Prerequisite: PERF_ST 103-0 or equivalent.
PERF_ST 300-0 Movement Based Performance (1 Unit) Movement laboratory exploring theories and techniques of movement for performance, including dance, physical theatre, and framed quotidian action. Introduction to leading practitioners and practices in movement training, choreography, and composition.
PERF_ST 301-0 Performance and Activism in Digital Culture (1 Unit) Exploration of the intersection between performance and digital media as tools for activism. Includes practices of hacktivism, counter-surveillance, locative media activism, and networked protest. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area
PERF_ST 302-0 Performance in Asian America (1 Unit) Introduction to the performance of Asian America, including popular culture, performance art, theatre, and dance. Overview of current practices in Asian American aesthetic criticism.
PERF_ST 303-0 Transnational Flows of Performance (1 Unit) Exploration of how transnationalism and globalization challenge the concept of modern nation-states as bounded territories, identities, and cultures by considering how social actors negotiate these processes through performance as an embodied, in situ-cultural practice. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area
PERF_ST 304-0 Sonic Practices of the Middle East and North Africa (1 Unit) Sonic and musical practices and ritual in the Middle East and North Africa in relation to modernity, transnationalism, political economy, and performance. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area
PERF_ST 305-0 Performance Theory (1 Unit) Introduction to theoretical approaches that animate performance studies, including Marxism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, postcolonial theory, critical race theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area
PERF_ST 307-1 Studies in Gender and Performance (1 Unit) Introduction to theories on gender in relation to selected literary texts. How gender is prescribed, reinforced, and transgressed; how race, class, and sexuality disrupt and/or affirm these representations.
PERF_ST 307-2 Studies in Gender and Performance (1 Unit) Examination of theories of gender performance from a cultural studies perspective. Close attention to live performance, including drag, performance art, and film. A third course in this series (THEATRE 344-0) is offered by the Department of Theatre.
PERF_ST 308-0 Performing Modern & Contemporary Poetry (1 Unit) Use of performance in the analysis and criticism of modern and contemporary poetry.
PERF_ST 309-0 Black Performance (1 Unit) Exploration of black performance traditions; introduction to various schools of thought regarding black performance.
PERF_ST 310-0 Performance of Women of Color (1 Unit) Literary expressions by native, Latina, African, and Asian American women reflecting intersections of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, and culture in the United States. Feminisms considered across race and culture. Includes poetry, fiction, autobiography, drama, and critical theory.
PERF_ST 311-0 Performance in Everyday Life (1 Unit) Conceptual view of human beings as actors. Dramatism and the perspective of life as theatre.
PERF_ST 314-0 Postcolonial Theory, Fiction, & Film (1 Unit)
PERF_ST 315-0 Non-Fiction Studies (1 Unit) Exploration of the dramatic impulse in nonfiction texts. Emphasis on autobiographical one-person shows.
PERF_ST 316-0 Folklore and Oral Traditions (1 Unit) Genres of oral literature and an introduction to the methods and aims of folklore research. The nature of verbal art as performance and the importance of cultural context.
PERF_ST 318-1 Shakespeare's English Histories (1 Unit) Use of performance in the analysis and criticism of Shakespeare's two tetralogies of English history plays.
PERF_ST 318-2 Shakespeare Adaptations (1 Unit) Use of performance in the analysis and criticism of selected Shakespeare plays and their adaptations by other writers.
PERF_ST 320-0 Languages of the Body (1 Unit) Nonverbal body movement and gestural vocabularies in theatre, dance, and performance art (with reference to cinema and to productions of the body in the visual and commercial media); uses illustrations specific to a particular genre, repertoire, historical time, cultural context, and/or performance situation.
PERF_ST 321-0 Performing the American Fifties (1 Unit) Use of performance in the analysis and criticism of selected postwar American literature.
PERF_ST 322-1 Staging the Novel (1 Unit) Theory and practice of adapting novels for stage performance. Film adaptation as a model for stage adaptation.
PERF_ST 322-2 Staging the Novel (1 Unit) Theory and practice of adapting novels for stage performance. Staging narrative voice and style; fiction in relation to nonfiction.
PERF_ST 324-1 Presentational Aesthetics (1 Unit) Theatrical convention, presentational mode, and conscious artifice in the performance of dramatic literature, poetry, and nonfiction.
PERF_ST 326-1 Performance Art (1 Unit) History, development, and theories of performance art as a live-art genre from the modernist avant-garde to contemporary cross-cultural forms. Media in all forms, with emphasis on performance process and audience relationship.
PERF_ST 326-2 Performance Art (1 Unit) Further theoretical and laboratory exploration of compositional processes and political strategies of performance, media, and event/ audience contexts.
PERF_ST 327-0 Performance Ethnography (1 Unit) Ethnographic approaches to the field of performance studies, including the theoretical foundations of performance ethnography and methodological approaches to its performance.
PERF_ST 328-0 Studies in James Joyce (1 Unit) Primary emphasis on extensive critical study and performance of Joyce's Ulysses, resulting in either a lecture-performance, a recital, or a research paper.
PERF_ST 329-0 Performing Individual Poetic Styles (1 Unit) Content varies. Major poems of a significant writer or writers, permitting in-depth encounter with the writer, cultural context, and performance related issues.
PERF_ST 330-0 Topics in Performance Studies (1 Unit) Readings, discussion, and creative work in performance studies research and artistic practice. Topics vary. May be repeated for credit.
PERF_ST 331-0 Field Study/Internship in Performance Studies (1-4 Units) Intensive participation in off-campus production and/or field research experience. Departmental approval required.
PERF_ST 332-0 Urban Festivity (1 Unit) Ethnographic study of festivals, parades, exhibitions, civic celebrations, and other genres of urban cultural performance. Multiethnic expressions of Chicago identity. Field research methods.
PERF_ST 334-0 Human Rights & Performance (1 Unit) How social movements, local communities, and individual activists from specific regions around the world use performance to seek political empowerment and social justice. Performance as theory, method, and event in the arts of resistance; human rights as ideology and praxis within indigenous histories, imaginaries, and contexts.
PERF_ST 335-0 Social Art Tactics (1 Unit) Exploration of historical and theoretical foundations of social art practice, including work focused on social change in such genres as performance, digital media, relational art, and photography. Performance/art workshops; development of performance-based interventions.
PERF_ST 336-0 Latino/a Performance (1 Unit) Exploration of US Latina/o literature through narratives of migration, annexation, exile, and diaspora; focus on the arrival and development of Latina/o performance traditions in the United States.
PERF_ST 338-0 Family Stories, Memoirs and Diaries (1 Unit) Use of performance to explore family stories, memoirs, diaries, and other biographical and autobiographical sources.
PERF_ST 399-0 Independent Study (1 Unit) Prerequisite: consent of undergraduate dean after submission of petition.