The Anthropology of Performance A Reader

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-02-18
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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The Anthropology of Performance is an invaluable guide to this exciting and growing area. This cutting-edge volume on the major advancements in performance studies presents the theories, methods, and practices of performance in cultures around the globe. Leading anthropologists describe the range of human expression through performance and explore its role in constructing identity and community, as well as broader processes such as globalization and transnationalism. Introduces new and advanced students to the task of studying and interpreting complex social, cultural, and political events from a performance perspective Presents performance as a convergent field of inquiry that bridges the humanities and social sciences, with a distinctive cross-cultural perspective in anthropology Demonstrates the range of human expression and meaning through performance in related fields of religious & ritual studies, folkloristics, theatre, language arts, and art & dance Explores the role of performance in constructing identity, community, and the broader processes of globalization and transnationalism Includes fascinating global case studies on a diverse range of phenomena Contributions from leading scholars examine verbal genres, ritual and drama, public spectacle, tourism, and the performances embedded in everyday selves, communities and nations

Author Biography

Frank J. Korom is Professor of Religion and Anthropology at Boston University, where he teaches courses on verbal art, anthropology of religion, and cultures of South Asia. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in India, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, amongst other places. His interests range from ritual and performance studies to visual and material culture. His extensive publications include Hosay Trinidad: Muharram Performances in an Indo-Caribbean Diaspora (2003) and Village of Painters: Narrative Scrolls from West Bengal (2006).

Table of Contents


Toward an Anthropology of Performance
Frank J. Korom

I. Performance in Prehistory and Antiquity

1. “Singing the Rug: Patterned Textiles and the Origins of Indo-European Metrical Poetry
Anthony Tuck

2. Performance and Written Literature in Classical Greece
Rosalind Thomas

II. Verbal Genres of Performance

3. Playing the Dozens
Roger A. Abrahams

4. The La Have Island General Store: Sociability and Verbal Art in a Nova Scotia Community
R. Bauman

5. Proverbs and the Ethnography of Speaking
E. O. Arewa and A. Dundes

6. Gbaya Riddles in Changing Times
P. A. Noss

7. Shadows of Song: Exploring Research and Performance Strategies in Yolngu Women’s Crying Songs
Fiona Magowan

III. Ritual, Drama, and Public Spectacle

8. Prayer as Person: The Performative Force in Navajo Prayer Acts
Sam D. Gill

9. Performance and the Cultural Construction of Reality
E. L. Schieffelin

10. He Should Have Worn a Sari
Joyce Flueckiger

11. Representing History: Performing the Columbian Exposition
R. K. Bank

12. The Palio of Siena: Performance and Process
A. P. Logan

IV. Performance and Politics in the Making of Communities  

13. Poetry and Politics in a Transylvanian Village
G. Kligman

14. The Matter of Talk: Political Performance in Bhatgaon
D. Brenneis

15. Celebrating Cricket: The Symbolic Construction of Caribbean Politics
F. E. Manning

16. Performing the Nation: China’s Children as Little Red Pioneers
T. W. Woronov

V. Tourist Performances and the Global Ecumene

17. The Promise of Sonic Translation: Performing the Festive Sacred in Morocco
Deborah Kapchan

18. Ethnic Tourism in Hokkaido and the Shaping of Ainu Identity
Lisa Hiwasaki

19. What They Came With: Carnival and the Persistence of African Performance Aesthetics in the Diaspora
Esiaba Irobi

20. Global Breakdancing and the Intercultural Body
Halifu Osumare

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