The DE in Studies in Performance and Practice offers Ph.D.
students who want to focus on process, methods for
approaching practice, or procedures for analyzing it from
experiment, ways of thinking about and articulating
performance as embodied knowledge.
Performance Studies consists of a critical way of thinking about
practices of communication, from film and stage performance, to
sports, religion, and everyday behavior, among many other areas.
As an academic discipline it has developed new ways of knowing
and new knowledge about the process of these activities rather
than the end products. The field of Performance Studies is
inherently interdisciplinary and collaborative, and interacts
closely with new media. Its roots lie in critical philosophy that
emerged in the second half of the twentieth century, and which
responded to increasingly disembodied ways of thinking about
human behavior. By focusing on process, situated learning,
embodied knowledge, and the interaction and interplay of theory
and practice, performance studies has defined ways of looking at,
interpreting, and interacting with actual human agents and their
Critical approaches in the field of Performance Studies include
methods developed in interaction with anthropology and
ethnography, rhetoric and the history of language, communication
and the media, philosophy and critical theory, cultural and
technocultural studies, film studies, environmental studies and
many other areas.
The goals of the Designated Emphasis are
to provide graduate students with a set of strategies for
thinking about how performance theory and practice can interact
to encourage students to develop ways of recognizing and acting
upon embodied knowledge
to train students to analyze and evaluate craft and production
that is in process and may or may not produce identifiable and
conventionally duplicatable end products
to develop the students’ capacity for interdisciplinary thinking
through practical application, critical analysis and theory.
The required courses are PFS 200, one of PFS 265a-d, and at least
two other courses given by faculty who are affiliated with the
Many students involved in courses that look at material that is
“in process” will produce conventionally assessable work in
formats appropriate to the different disciplinary areas in which
they take a course (for example: the essay). At the same time,
some work will also take place in practical projects or the
production of portfolio work.
Graduate students in certain Ph.D. programs may participate in a
Designated Emphasis, a specialization that might include a new
method of inquiry or an important field of application which is
related to two or more existing Ph.D. programs.
Performance Studies Ph.D. students can get a DE in the
D.E. in African American and African Studies
Faculty Contacts: Halifu Osumare(firstname.lastname@example.org), Milmon